At a camp in Maryland, the American Army is trying to breed a battalion of superdogs.
At a camp in Maryland, the American Army is trying to breed a battalion of superdogs. The Army's idea is that these dogs will be better than any others at sentry duty, tracking, crowd control and finding hidden weapons and drugs. Meanwhile the University of Mississippi recently completed a programme to train six dogs to sniff out hidden explosives. The university programme was begun in the wake of a wave of bombings across the United States which prompted President Nixon to call for sterner anti-violence legislation.
SYNOPSIS: These dogs are being trained to start a new breed. They are part of an American Army programme which is trying to create a battalion of superdogs. The army hopes these dogs will be better than any other dogs of sentry duty, tracking, crowd control and sniffing out hidden weapons and narcotics.
Most of the dogs at the Maryland camp are German Shepherds.
Shortly after birth, the puppies are whirled in a centrifuge for about a minute. The Army says this makes them tougher later on. The programme is reportedly following the advice of the Russians who started a superdog project first. The puppies are also put in a refrigerator at just below freezing for about a minute. That's also said to be on the advice of the Russians.
The dogs are put through tests to measure their stamina, courage, obedience and intelligence. Dogs which perform well are bred other good performers. The experiment has been going on for three years at a cost of about 105,000 Pounds Sterling per year. The army hopes genetics will produce the superdog in about ten years.
The University of Mississippi also has a dog-training programme underway. Last March, 6 dogs were trained at the university's Oxford campus to sniff out explosives.
The programme was being carried out by the University's Department of Psychology. It was sparked by a wave of bombings across the United States last year. The bombings prompted President Nixon to call for sterner legislation to combat violence.
This programme is costing about 21,000 Pounds Sterling and is financed by the Army and the Department of Justice. With the training over, the dogs were slated to go to the Army's Aberdeen proving ground in Maryland. Two of the dogs were also scheduled to go to New York City to test their new-found skills.