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Belgian Shepherds, German soldiers

By 1st Lt. Javier Donesteve
First published in
SFOR Informer#111, April 18, 2001

Rajlovac - An Albanian company carries out security tasks in Rajlovac. But even though three Albanian soldiers guard the entrance of the German Battle Group's camp, they are not alone in this responsibility. The German Dog Unit is also present.
"Our unit is composed of seven (handlers) and their dogs, six are security dogs and one is an explosives detector dog," explained Staff Sgt. Hans-Peter Bock, unit leader. "Every day and every night, besides the Albanians, two of our dog (teams) are on duty, patrolling the camp's installations. In addition, we also support the Sarajevo military airport customs and, of course, we train with our dogs at least twice per week."
"All of us are civilian professional dog (handlers) from different places in Germany who volunteered to come for a three-month tour to BiH with the German Forces," said Cpl. Klaus Westphaler. "All our dogs are Belgian Shepherds Malinois, a breed with a very balanced set of virtues, a lot of temperament, faithful and they like working. Each of them receives a six-week course in the German Army Dogs School at Koblenz, at the age of one and a half to 2 years. There is a prior selection, and even with it, not all the dogs finish the course. The dog is only trained by one guide, its instructor, so it is used to recognising his voice and orders."
The unit will soon be reinforced with a drug detector dog, which will enlarge their use.

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: Germany
Training and Exercises