Constable Martin Johnson and Police Dog Peppa, from the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Burghfield, successfully competed in the annual International Canine Biathlon that recently took place at Rutland Barracks and was hosted by the 1st Military Working Dog Regiment for the first time since 1986.
Military and police competitors from the UK, US, Belgium and Latvia took part in the event, with the biathlon course designed to prepare dogs and their handlers for the problems they could face whilst on duty or when involved in operations.
A total of 46 teams and individuals took on challenges across a 10km route. This involved a variety of obstacles and activities including: two skips filled with water, a dog carry for 100 metres, agility tests and an electronic shooting range.
Constable Johnson said:
When preparing for the biathlon, training was key. I had to ensure that mine and my police dog’s fitness was up to scratch. I prepared for the event in my own time, using equipment such as wheelbarrows and push bikes. This proved to be a real bonding experience for Peppa and I, improving our understanding of one another and making us an even stronger and more confident dog team.
Constable Johnson continued:
Peppa and I achieved a respectable 25th place out of the 40 competitors. I was really pleased with this and was astounded by exactly how fit my dog is! She was ready to go and do more training and running around straight after competing!
Next year’s event is due to take place in the United States.