As security agencies scramble to put in place arrangements for the Commonwealth Games, 40 dogs trained specially for the event, will be deployed here later this week.
Officials said that the dogs - Labradors and German Shepherds selected from across the country- were trained using “modern and innovative” techniques. These dogs will be brought to the national capital by September 15 to familiarise them with the Games venues.
A team of ITBP personnel and doctors visited the finest breeding houses in the country last year and selected 40 puppies after they were medically examined.
Trained by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) at its National Dog Training Centre in Haryana, the dogs will play a crucial role in carrying out anti-sabotage checks in places where players and officials will stay during the Games. The checks will also be undertaken along routes to be taken by the players, visitors and VIPs.
While dogs usually begin training after they become six-months old, the ones selected for the Games - because of their pedigree and intelligence - were put to training after just four-and-a-half months, sources said.
The dogs underwent a 12-week basic obedience course and were later put through a 12-week course for detecting explosives.
Other security drills apart, these dogs have also been trained to identify explosives from smells like that of diesel, petrol, perfumes and sports equipment.
“The dogs have been trained using techniques like positive reinforcement training methodology under which the dogs are not punished but encouraged to do good work,” said an official.
Interestingly, right from the start, these dogs have been given only pre-cooked packaged food including non-vegetarian food, so that they do not fall prey to the attempts of strangers who might lure them with meat. The dogs have been trained so that they do not eat anything else.
The endurance levels of these dogs, too, have been increased using various training techniques so that they can work for longer durations.