On Friday 24th August COMEUFOR paid a visit to a Mine Detection Dogs training centre at Vogošća near Sarajevo. The centre, which is run by the Norwegian Peoples Aid organisation, trains Belgian Shephard dogs to act as mine detection and explosives detection dogs all around the world.

Searching in the training area

Searching in the training area

Currently the Armed Forces BiH have 21 dogs trained at the centre over the last seven years and as of august this year the centre have 75 dogs in training to be deployed globally in such countries as Cambodia, Columbia and Somalia to name but a few.

In total, it takes 18-24 months to train a dog depending on its abilities and they then remain operational for approximately 8 years. Since 2006 the dogs trained at the centre have found 4641 mines, 3969 cluster munitions and 322,450 fragments of explosives.

As well as training the dogs the centre also trains the handlers who control them and additionally spend a great deal of time on research and development projects to ensure their methods and training remain current.

COMEUFOR was very impressed with the skills of both the animals and their trainers as he was shown dogs at various stages of their training. The method is based on the dogs having fun and enjoying what they are doing and despite being thoroughly disciplined they are obviously happy in their work.

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