Military Working Dog
Definition/Scope: A military working dog (MWD) team consists of one dog and one handler trained and certified as an entity. An Army MWD handler will normally be a military police, engineer, or special forces Soldier, qualified in his or her primary military occupational specialty. Marine, Navy, and Air Force MWD handlers are all military police by specialty. Mine detection dogs (MDDs) are trained at Fort Leonard Wood, MO; U.S. Marine Corps combat tracker dogs (CTDs) are trained at Yuma Proving Grounds, Yuma, AZ; and all other MWDs are trained at the Department of Defense Dog School, Lackland Air Force Base, TX. Army graduates of the 11-week MWD handler course receive the additional skill identifier Z6 and are assigned a dog at their home stations. Graduates of the 18-week MWD handler course receive the project development skill identifier E8B and are assigned a specialized search dog (SSD). After initial certification, recertification is an annual requirement for all MWD teams and also required under the following conditions: MWD is assigned to another handler. Handler and MWD were separated or have not conducted sustainment training for 35 or more consecutive days. Team failed to achieve specific detection rates based on type of MWD for two or more consecutive months. MWDs have the following limitations: They are not a stand-alone system for conducting search operations.; They may activate devices while searching.; Extreme weather conditions may reduce their performance; They may be reluctant to negotiate terrain or areas that are physically harmful, such as unstable rubble piles and broken glass; Excessive distracting elements such as trash, stray animals, or excrement within or close to the search area may reduce their performance; They must be trained to find the type and quantity of odor; They require continuous training to maintain proficiency and reliability; They may not be socialized and may bite when placed in close proximity to other Soldiers or civilians; They are not trained to search people; They do not share cover and concealment well with people other than their handlers; They may bark at inconvenient times; They may become protective if handlers are seriously wounded or killed; When working off-leash, they can become involved in fighting with feral dogs and other animals (for example, donkeys and deer) and can be endangered by heavy-volume, high-speed vehicle traffic; Although some types of MWD are not trained to bite and hold, these dogs still have an inherent nature to bite—if they have teeth, they bite.
Used For:sentry dogs
Broader Terms:kennel master
Narrower Terms:Combat tracker dog
Related Terms:MWD teams