Hahn Air Base, West Germany: The 50th AP K-9 Section, 1961

...going by the manual


Hahn's K-9 Day Flight

Each K-9 Flight at Hahn, worked 3 days at the Kennels at the start of their work rotation. Time was spent on:

Kennel Maintenance,
Dog Grooming &
Equipment Care,
Basic Obedience,
Advance Obedience
(Obstacle Course),
and Attack Training
Handler Protection

Kennel Maintenance: there was always some kind of "self help project" to beautify the kennels. Weather permitting, we would cut and edge the grass ...paint the storage buildings, fence posts and the equipment in the obstacle course area.

Also, we would be responsible for cleaning our dog's kennel area (disinfecting his dog house in the summer, or changing the straw used for insulation during the winter).

Plus if needed, add more gravel to their pit area around their dog house. For the life of me, I don't know what my dogs did with all the gravel, but their areas always needed it.

Grooming:  It was "Health Care 101." Plus you would check your dog's equipment: collars, leashes and muzzles always needed to be oiled, it kept them soft and comfortable but more importantly, it kept them strong for duty.

S/Sgt Bobby Waits KennelMaster (facing us),
Brasel, Waits, Weaver, Joe Brandt (caretaker),
and Wallum, by the Kennel Building's doorway.

Basic Obedience Training!

OBEDIENCE: is the first element to be taught. The dogs were taught to "heel" while marching, a lesson which becomes the basis for all orderly movement of the dogs and their Handlers.

HEEL: At the command HEEL, the Dog of his own volition walks at the Handler's left side, with his right shoulder approximately even with the man's left knee, with the leash hanging loose.

THE IMPORTANCE OF LOOSE HEELING: In walking post, loose heeling is essential as long as the dog does not pull or tugs on the leash.

If close heeling is insisted upon, the dog is apt to concentrate on perfection in heeling. This means, that the dog's  full attention will be centered on the Handler, and not concentrated on his duty.

He is apt  to forget his main duty ...to be on the Alert at all times, and ready to give alarm at the slightest provocation.

SIT: At the command SIT, the Dog must promptly assume a sitting position from either a standing or lying down position.

DOWN:  At the command DOWN, the dog must lie down promptly. The dog is expected to make this response no matter if he is standing, sitting, or heeling. Down is a very depressing exercise, and must not be repeated to often in succession.

STAY: At the command STAY, the dog freezes in the same position held when the command was given. The dog must remain in this position until his Handler returns to him or calls him.

COME: Whenever the dog has learned to obey the command "stay," and is in the stay position, the Handler calls the dog's name, and immediately adding the command COME. The dog must promptly come and sit directly in front of the Handler.

Once the basics are mastered, they are followed by: sit/stay, down/stay both at the handlers side and at the end of a 30-ft. training leash, using both voice and hand signals.

Sometimes It Was A Little
...It Must Have Been Early!

Perfection in each training lesson was gained through having patiences, and repetition!  However a dog (or handler) can go stale or loss efficiency by practicing one command to much during any training period. It helps to take a break or change the exercise every so often.

And when the dog successfully executes a command, even though his performance has taken more time than desirable, the Handler must always reward him, with petting and praise him in some obvious way.

If the sentry dog's performance does not warrant any reward, he must be allowed to perform a short exercise, which he knows thoroughly and does well, so that he will earn a reward legitimately.

Dogs are usually anxious to please!  But they must be shown how to do so. When the dog is rewarded for his performance, he senses that he has done the right thing, and will do it more readily the next time he is given the same command.

Some Needed More Help, Than
Others! Chuck Voltz and Bob

Later the dogs learnt to crawl under, climb and jump over obstacles ...all of which was necessary for working posts.

Advance Obedience Training!
...The Obstacle Course

Sentry Dogs - were taught to negotiate an obstacle course, of course, the dogs loved it, they though it was PLAY, but it kept them prepared for any type of terrain or situation  we might as a team, come across while on patrol.

It also taught the dogs, not to be afraid of anything, while their Handler was with them, which was the main purpose of using the obstacle course.

Small Jump. They Did Get Higher!

Much Larger Jump In Background!

Ajax Going Over Hahn's Hurdles!

Ajax Just Resting And On The Balance Beam!

SiteBuilder Note: While the sentry dog training methods presented here are correct; anyone attempting to use them, does so, at their own risk, not ours.

Sorry but you'll have to step out of the K9 Training Area, we're going to have attack training and only authorize personnel are allowed in the area right now! There are VIEWING STANDS to watch from.

Don Ensley and his Attack Dog, Lux

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