By Staff Sgt. Christina Joy Turnipseed (USAREUR)March 17, 2014
ANSBACH, Germany -- After two-and-a-half months of rigorous training led by Soldiers from the 131st Military Working Dog Detachment, two former tactical dogs achieved patrol dog certification, a task accomplished by fewer than 10 dog teams in the entire Department of the Army.
Pfc. Jacob Yeager, a native of Onalaska, Wis., Pfc. Nicholas Milano, a native of Reading, Mass., and their dogs completed Patrol Explosive Detector Dog (PEDD) certification in less than 40 days; this after the dogs were initially trained as Tactical Explosive Detector Dogs (TEDD).
"Both of these dogs have done two to three deployments as a TEDD and were able to transition back into the garrison lifestyle and are still capable of learning new training techniques and becoming proficient," said Milano.
Military working dogs Spc. Anuska and Spc. Leo were acquired from a TEDD program in the U.S. and then certified well under the 60 days allotted for the Army's PEDD program.
As appreciation for their success, both dog handlers will be attending the 2014 Police and Military Working Dog Conference and Vendor Show in Nashville, Tenn.
"Our program manager awarded us with the opportunity to attend this conference because of the work and time we put into training these dogs," Milano said.
The future for these high performing K-9s is already mapped out by their caretakers.
"Anuska is currently working with Pfc. Yeager and will be attending a certification as a team in March," Milano explained. "Leo is working with another handler and will be attending the same certification in March as a team."
Both Yeager and Milano were grateful to be part of record-breaking dog teams.
"This was a great experience for me," Milano stated. "We were able to do something that not many handlers get the opportunity to do."