The idea of a dog as a mere pet changes whenever we see them in action with the Guardia Civil as if they are just another officer searching for drugs or explosives
On Thursday a group of these dogs performed an exhibition in which they showed how they could find a explosive projectile hidden at Benejúzar old people’s home.Officer Chema Rasero explained that “once the explosive is hidden, we leave 15 minutes to simulate the time we would take to reach the place where the explosive would be, so that when the dog comes out for its search it will recognise the smell.
“For us it is like a game but for them it is practice,” she added.
On this occasion the residents of the home were able to see how these dogs work but Rasero noted that this type of practice is carried out several times a week at their base in Alicante airport, where these are eight officers, a chief and 10 dogs that are specialised in seeking drugs and explosives.
“Although we officers know all the animals,” she explained, “each one works with their designated and specialised dog because our voices are not the same and the dogs associate more with their guide”. Each officer also knows the reaction of their dog.
She also indocated that they take care of their animals and practice cleaning them and caring for them in case they get some kind of illness.
The breed of dog most used for training to work with the Guardia Civil is the Malinois Belgian Shepherd, as Officer Rasero explained they are “very energetic, with more character and less fear and a lot of enthusiasm for work”. They also sometimes use German shepherds and the odd labrador.
The director of the old people’s home, María Carnes, said the activity was intended to show the residents that the animals “are not just pets put can serve the community in other ways, such as therapy”.
She also wanted them to learn “the services that we as people can perform for animals by volunteering” and to “encourage contact with animals, which is so beneficial for dependent people, and which was something we managed with these such docile and well behaved dogs”.