The cadets of the IAF tracking course, aimed at training dog trainers, went out for a morning practice with their dogs. It was one of dozens training sessions performed by the future dog trainers.
“They have extremely weighty responsibility”, explained Staff Sargent Sergey Kozmenko, the commander of the course who has also started as a dog trainer in Hatzor Airbase. “We provide high level of training and give the cadets the tools to respond whenever and wherever they are needed in IAF airbases”.
The presence of dogs is not strange to most of the cadets. However, SSgt Kozmenko believes that previous knowledge of dog behavior is not necessary. “We actually prefer the cadets will have no background”, he explained. “The course is aimed to build dog trainers from scratch. The secret of success is great motivation”.
“An immense sense of responsibility and rush”
Dog training is a special skill. IAF’s dog trainers are in charge of training the dogs to sit, jump and track by quick command.
“In the first stages of the five months course, the cadets learn how to provide their dog with basic treatment”, said SSgt Kozmenko. “Feed it, wash it and clean it. The next stage is the tracking training in which we teach the cadets how to handle the dog during operational tracking activity. It is worth noting that the dog is of course not a machine and therefore every trainer has his own training method for his dog”.
With the completion of the course, the new dog trainers will be stationed in different airbases and protect it against terrorist activity.
“When they complete their training and set out to the field, the cadets would finally grasp the immense responsibility they must bear. Our mission is to protect the safety of the soldiers and the aircraft”.