Two canine officers who have proved themselves to be the best in the world in carrying out their investigation duties, will be joining the Karnataka Police this week. These are Belgian Malinois puppies, the same breed that sniffed Osama Bin Laden out of his hiding place in Pakistan. S Siddaraju, DCP, CAR (City Armed Reserve) South, says the government sanctioned the pilot project on July 18.
“It is an internationally-reputed breed. They play a pioneering role in security operations in Israel. They have great features, are alert and fast. Hence, we thought of having them on our team to upgrade training programmes,” he says. The dog squad is an important aspect of the police system. “With increasing population, we need to improve our security services. Hence, our other teams that assist us in investigations, such as dog squads, should be upgraded. Belgian Malinois is a better breed for investigative purposes as compared to Labradors, German Shepherds and Dobermans. They are more active and alert and are used in the US as well. The training will take about six to nine months, and then, we will either use them in crime detection, narcotics or bomb squad, depending on the dog,” he adds.
It is said that the Belgian Malinois is a terrific police dog because it has a great sense of scent. Generally, they are used for security purposes at airports, railway and subway stations. If trained well, Malinois’ are usually active, intelligent, friendly, protective, alert and hard working. Inspector Ningareddy Patil adds, “We are happy to have this breed on board, and are in the process of selecting handlers for the dogs. Team discussions are going on, as we will need voluntary participation from their end — someone who can understand the behaviour and psychology of the breed to train them efficiently.”
The dog is known to thrive in any climatic condition. “In India, they are serving the ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police), NSG (National Security Guard) and are deployed at Kaziranga National Park. They are healthier and have better immune systems. The thin coat of fur makes maintenance and grooming easy,” he says. Belgian Malinois’ have high drives — prey, play and hunt — and are more interested in moving objects. Amrut S Hiranya, a certified canine psychologist who was recently hired as a consultant with the Police Dog Squad, says that he would recommend these puppies be trained through motivation. “It’s a play-and-learn method. Toys or treats are motivation for these dogs.