Military Working Dogs and their handlers have demonstrated their unique bond during the 1st Military Working Dog Regiment (Royal Army Veterinary Corps) (1 MWD Regt) Commander’s Canine Challenge.
The arduous 12-kilometre, cross-country course included eight military stands that tested the fitness, training, skills and endurance of both the dog handlers and the military working dogs whilst also being a great sporting event.
Overall victory went to Team 105A from 105 Military Working Dog Squadron (MWD Sqn). Prizes for the best individual performances were awarded to Corporal Hewitt from 105 MWD Sqn for Best Team Commander, Private Emma Gooden and Military Working Dog Tess from 102 MWD Sqn for Best Protection Team and Private Bobbi Norman and Military Working Dog Bod from 104 MWD Sqn for Best Search Team.
“It didn’t feel like work; it’s been a really good day. We’ve had to take plenty of water breaks for both ourselves and our dogs because of the heat, but it’s great to be outside spending all day with our dogs.” Private Bobbi Norman
The stands included an obstacle course which saw the dogs and their handlers crawling under netting, negotiating tunnels and climbing low walls. Strength was tested when the soldiers had to carry their dog 100-metres between obstacles. The Agility Stand saw the dogs and their handlers tackle a variety of obstacles, both natural and man-made. Pushing the dogs in a wheel barrow was one of the more unusual obstacles here and really challenged the teams, testing the handler’s originality of thought as much as the dog’s obedience.
MWD Skills were really put to the test during the Obedience Stand, which featured tennis balls on poles and bowls of sausages laid out to act as distractors. The demanding scenarios created for the Search and Protection stands allowed the MWD teams to demonstrate their prowess within their specific areas.