All Bite No Bark

  • Published
  • By A1C Jessica Blocher
  • 14 FTW PA

After being bit, jumped at and thrown to the ground Matos explained what an incredible experience it was to have a first-hand example of the abilities of the K-9 and handler teams. 

Dalton is a Patrol Explosion Detective Dog (PEDD) with three years of experience and extensive obedience training making him an ideal partner for new handlers like SrA Colin English 14th SFS K-9 Handler, who recently graduated the handler’s course this Fall. 

“These dogs are not self-sufficient, if an Airman wants to become a handler it’s important for them to understand that we are here long hours doing everything we can do to care for our K-9s,” said English. “If an Airman is going to get involved in this, they need to make sure they’re ready to make that commitment and they’ll find that this really is the most rewarding commitment.” 

The smell of dog treats and the sounds of barking lofted through the air. English smiled as he recalled wanting to be Dalton’s trainer before he was certified.  

“I’ve had the privilege of knowing Dalton since I arrived here three years ago even though I didn’t become a handler until recently,” said English. “In Security Forces you have the opportunity to work alongside the MWDs…which gave me the opportunity to bond with Dalton before I became a handler.” 

There is a strong bond between handler and K-9, every move Dalton made English was approving with a head nod or a gesture. Though they’ve only been working with each other for a few weeks, they functioned like they had known each other their whole lives. 

“He’s more than an asset or weapon,” said English. “He’s my partner and we rely on each other.” 

In-between successful takedowns and bites, Dalton eagerly awaited his reward in the form of a head scratch from English.  

Col. Justin Grieve 14th Flying Training Wing Commander, Col. Jonathan Cato 14th Flying Training Wing Deputy Commander, Col. Alexander Heyman 14th Operations Group Commander, Chief MSgt. Todd Rosenzweig, 14th Flying Training Wing Command Chief, attended the demonstration to learn more about the MWD section and capabilities.  

“These demos provide an opportunity for leadership to see a visual example of the capabilities of our K-9’s  to bite and hold an adversary until our officers can apprehend them,” said SSgt Lance Tillery 14th SFS MWD NCOIC. “These dogs are not equipment, but they are a vital asset to our base, our team, and the mission so it’s important for leadership to have that reassurance.”