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Inside ITBP’s ‘pawsome’ canine coaching academy

Anamika, 22, stood in a queue with different girls earlier than she was ‘chosen for all times’ by Charlie. The good-looking boy got here as much as her, sniffed, nodded and that was it—he was hers for all times.

Charlie isn’t any odd boy from the block. He’s a four-month-old canine, a Belgian Malinois aka Belgian Shepherd at that, and Anamika is among the many first lot of eight girls being skilled as canine handlers on the Indo-Tibetan Border Police’s (ITBP) Nationwide Coaching Middle for Canines and Animals in Haryana.

“I discovered canine doing work like bomb detection and monitoring attention-grabbing. [That is when] I made a decision to grow to be a canine handler,” stated Anamika. “Charlie is bonded with me for all times.”

An armed forces safety canine ​​bonds for all times with its handler. Each prepare collectively, eat collectively, spend time collectively and are even transferred collectively. It’s so a lot a bond nurtured and perfected over time and coaching that when on energetic obligation the canine will solely take heed to their very own handler’s instructions even whereas being round different canine handlers and sounds.

Canine handlers coaching their canine.

Nestled within the Shivalik foothills close to Panchkula, the ITBP middle was designated as a nationwide coaching middle in 2005. “We now have been coaching canine for central armed police forces and (many) state police forces without spending a dime,” stated ITBP Inspector Normal Ishwar Singh Duhan . “The middle can prepare over 250 canine at a time.”

Just lately, Commerce Data Evaluation of Flora and Fauna in Commerce (TRAFFIC) India despatched its inspectors and canine from numerous nationwide parks for coaching in detecting wildlife-related crimes like poaching. Ilu, for example, will head to Kuno Nationwide Park in Madhya Pradesh, the place cheetahs have been just lately launched. The middle is getting curiosity from different nations, too. Police canine from Nepal and Bhutan have been skilled right here.

A day within the lifetime of a four-legged soldier begins early. Chow time is thrice a day for puppies and twice for adults. After a stroll and morning rituals, there’s bodily train and grooming earlier than fundamental coaching begins. This ranges from saluting and rolling to navigating impediment programs, the place the issue degree is elevated steadily.


A bomb detection coaching in progress.

Later within the day, the handler and the canine apply superior duties like narcotic drug detection, bomb detection and monitoring culprits. There are numerous modes together with some indigenously designed strategies like carousel coaching. On this, similar-looking tiffin containers are spun round, and the canine have to smell out the suitable one with explosives, after which sit silently beside it. In relation to narcotics, they’ve to sit down and bark. This helps the handler work out accurately what the haul is.

There may be additionally specialised coaching, they are saying, for rescue operations throughout an avalanche, as many ITBP posts are within the snowy heights of the Himalayas. Canines despatched to naxal areas or to borders on the plains are skilled in landmine detection.

To date, the middle has skilled 2,800 four-legged troopers. Vinay Shankar Tyagi, second-in-command vet on the middle, stated 60 Belgian Malinois and Labrador Retriever pups have been skilled on the middle. Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s shoutout to Indian canine breeds in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio discuss, the middle is now planning to coach desi breeds like Mudhol Hound and Rampur Greyhound and even feral Indies. “We now have began on the lookout for appropriate puppies,” stated Tyagi.

Like many an ex-serviceman, these canine troopers, too, don’t put their ft up put up retirement. “(Even) after retirement from service, these canine are put to make use of in society,” stated Dr Hitesh Shandilaya, second-in-command vet on the middle. “They’re taken to NGOs working with autistic youngsters and in previous age properties, the place they play and do mild work for them.”

True troopers at coronary heart, the decision of obligation doesn’t finish with the sundown roll name.


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