They can walk 20 km without a break,detect explosives two miles away,and sniff out suspects in a room. One of them was probably part of the Navy SEALs team that hunted down Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad last year. CIA chief and former commander of US and ISAF forces in Afghanistan,Gen. David H. Petraeus,says the capability they bring to the fight cannot be replicated by man or machine.
The Belgian Malinois,a medium-sized member of the sheepdog family,is the toast of several police departments and security forces around the world. The CRPF has now joined the fan club since last month,24 Belgian Malinois dogs have been deployed with CRPF teams in Naxal-hit areas and in Jammu and Kashmir.
The dogs were raised at the CRPFs training school in Taralu,Karnataka. They are quicker than German Shepherds,and are capable of attacking a suspect or criminal within seconds, said a senior officer who trained them.
Dr D J Singh,commandant of the Dog Breeding and Training Centre,said the Belgian Malinois were rugged and had great stamina. They thrive in adverse situations. Considerable time is spent on their training. We hope to have about 3,000 of these dogs in four years. The 69th pup was born last month at the centre.
Our dogs have been trained in infantry patrolling. We can fit small cameras with night-vision facilities on their heads, said the officer who trained them. Their size is an advantage; they go where humans cant.
P M Nair,CRPFs IG (Operations),said the force was waiting for ground reports to assess the dogs performance.