"Sit", "down", and "stay" are just a few of the commands that the working military police dogs at the Marine Corps Logistics Base respond to in their daily training.
Dog handler Corporal Gerald Coleman say it's extremely important to treat the dogs with respect so they will respect all of the commands. "If I'm just out walking him in a public area I don't want him to go after an innocent bystanderâ|so being able to just give a command and have them do it is very important out here" says Coleman.
All of the training and exercises done on base are preparation for real life situations in case one of the dogs has to jump into action. Officials say the dogs are ready for any and every situation at all times.
If a dog has to be released on a person there are multiple verbal warnings in an effort to get the person to stop running away or attacking. Officials say they are required to let a suspect know that the dogs are trained to attack if released. Kennel Master Lieutenant Angela Dunwoodie says if a suspect surrenders after a dog is released to attack they are legally required to make the dog stop in its track. "Once a fleeing suspect gives up we have no right for the dog to be able to attack because they gave up. So we give the command to 'out' and the dog will automatically stop and will guard the suspect. It guards the suspect so if they decides to start running again or to fight the officer - the dog will attack" says Dunwoodie.
In addition to their patrol capabilities all of the dogs are able to detect drugs and explosives. "We conduct explosive and narcotic detection here on base, we also do building searches if we have an unsecured building we go in to see if there is anyone in the building, and we do scouts whereas if we have a missing person or a suspect that fled we'll go try to find them" says Dunwoodie.
A little known fact is that the dogs are able to go off base to help local law enforcement and even President Jimmy Carter! They also travel internationally for their most important jobs. "We support the United States Secret Service very often, we just recently went to Brazil for President Obama" says Dunwoodie.
So whether their resting in their kennel or running an obstacle course, the dogs are always ready to serve their country....just like the marines on base.