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ZH - Customs Dog training

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Successful candidates will work in harmony with their handler in airports, seaports etc. preventing all types of illegal goods from passing in or out of a country. ZH is a three stage training program. Suitable dogs for this program will be required to have been properly socialized with people and animals, with a high smell discrimination level, sportive, and human cooperative. As a principle candidates will be searching bags and people and pointing out to the handler on detection of illegal matter. During work the candidate must not scare people. These dogs perform a much more active job then many other working dogs, working for longer hours and constantly on the run. Customs Dogs find their work fun. Quite often small breeds are preferred for the duty because they can be active longer and don't frighten people. Being searched by a larger breed has more of a chance of frightened the person in subject for searching who may decide to take matters personal when they might have had a smile on if a small breed was performing the task. On the other hand though, larger breeds will be great help if and when a subject is required to be apprehended. Therefore the choice is left up to the people concerned.

Training is carried out by the breed and candidates requirements and character.

ZH1:

Candidates are to be preferably of a minimum age of 12 months. Certificates are issued to candidates passing required tests at a minimum age of 18 months. This stage consists of OB1 obedience training and the candidate is introduced with the first set of narcotic smells being the most common ones. Throughout training proper socialization with people and animals is performed. Training continues for 30 to 45 days at the training center and ends with an evaluation set. The handler attends two exams at this stage. On success of both sides training continues at and during duty. During this period both trainee and handler will work on and improve training as well as figure out extra requirements and problems, which are resolved on site with instructor. Where the team will there on continue on enforcement training.

 

ZH2:

Once the trainee has successfully completed stage one and reinforcement training has been a success the trainee returns to the training camp for stage 2. Extra requirements which will differ from work place to workplace are added to the training as well as the second set of narcotics and explosives etc. All scents are camouflaged in a harder to detect manner. Certificate requires the trainee to be at least 19 months of age. ZH2 requires the team to attend and pass a set of exams. The second part of ZH2 training is performed by the handler under an instructor's supervision. This way the handler will learn proper handling techniques and will also learn how o further teach the candidate further commands and abilities. Handlers are like computer operators where as instructors are the programmers. Using a ready program an operator will be able to change and add extras to the software to suit their requirements… Training continues for 20 to 30 days. The trainee will return to work post after 5 to 10 days of training where training will continue.

 

 

ZH3 :

After completing the ZH2 program and fulfilling the re-enforcement stage the trainee will be ready for the final stage where the trainee turns into the real Customs Dog. The ZH3 certificate requires the candidate to be at the minimum age of 20 months. The last set of illegal goods scent is applied and all scents are camouflaged in a very high manner such that no electronic or man-made devise would be able to detect, being totally impossible for the best human nose to even get close to. All required remaining commands and abilities for the best working outcome are put into action at this stage. If required OB3 training will also be given at this stage. All training is carried out by the handler under an instructor's supervision. In this manner when a specific item is required to be detected the handler will know how to quickly train their companion on site for the event. Such as detection of a material or object that maybe have stolen and is likely to be transported out of the country or even money that was stolen from a bank that was last handled by a certain person whose scent will be found on the money that the handler will be able to quickly train the candidate to find the certain scent if past through their working area. Also the handler will have learnt to teach the candidate commands and actions that may be required later on in life due to changing laws, changing workplace etc. Candidates that successfully complete the ZH3 stage will be able to detect narcotics, weapons, explosives, illegal fruit etc. and therefore successfully help prevent them passing through customs. Dogs are also trained for adrenalin helping them to mark high adrenalin levels that a suspect would have. E.g. A terrorist with intentions to hijack an aircraft with a small undetected knife will have a good chance of showing a high rush of adrenalin when seeing a customs or police officer or customs dog that will be detectable by a ZH3 dog at a distance much further then one would suspect. Indicating to its handler will result in a simple and quick interrogation of the person in hope that they were simply frightened by something else. E.g. Flying. But giving officers time for a background check etc.

Training continues for 30-45 days were the ZH dog will have a short break from work for the first 10 days and return and continue training whilst at work.

Quite opposite to many peoples thoughts who believe narcotic trained dogs take the mentioned drugs thus craving for them in reality they don't see the drugs through training. They are trained with special balls that do not allow smell to pass, at least to the human nose, with a tiny drop of essence in the middle that if consumed would not show up on diagnose due to the tiny size thus harmless even if managed to have been consumed. The size itself would prevent human detection alone!

ZH trained dogs and handlers periodically go through evaluation tests that they must pass to keep certificates authenticated, and accordingly go through rehab as and when necessary. Instructors periodically control the team on site to ensure up to date enforced duty is performed.

 

Trainee must have a success rate of %80 in evaluation tests. Trainee – handler when evaluated must be within %15 of the evaluation performed by instructor and trainee. This must be within %5 for ZH3 and future evaluation. Written and oral exams are performed in the standard manner.

 

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