Indian Army to use ferocious dogs as attacks on army installations increase

                                                                  Rottweilers
Under fire and embarrassed over the back to back high profile attacks on its installations, the Army is mulling going back to the basics with ferocious sniffer and guard dogs set to help soldiers at the LoC and other sensitive areas.
Although the use of canines has been quite prevalent in the Army, but usually these dogs are used by the bomb squad or by the road opening parties (RoP) to sniff around for explosives.
But with the recent high profile attacks like Pathankot, Uri and Nagrota, there is growing clamour within the security planners that perhaps in the quest for technology the Army overlooked the utility and smelling prowess of well-bred guard dogs.
                                                          German Shepherds
“After we probed the Uri incident, we found foliage inside the sentry post which means the bunker was hardly used. If we had enough trained ferocious Rottweilers or German Shepherds I am sure they would have picked up the smell of intruders from a distance and warned the soldiers,” says a senior Army officer posted in North Kashmir.
In numerous brainstorming sessions post these attacks, senior officers have rued the failure of human intelligence as well as inability of lasers and high tech surveillance equipment as far as the attacks were concerned.
In some of the meetings, the topic of attack dogs was also discussed, The Kashmir Monitor has learnt.
Interestingly, in a meeting of the parliamentary standing committee on home affairs held earlier this month, opposition MPs asked the government why the Nagrota attack happened given that the decision on demonetisation had been taken with the plea that it would dry up fund flow to militant organisations.
According to a news report, the MPs grilled senior officers of the Army as well as Ministry of Home Affairs over the attack. On the question of using canines in the border areas, the Army stumped everyone in the meeting when it said that dogs like the Bull Mastiff and the German Shepherd could not be used in these areas as they were too expensive.
A good Bull Mastiff pup does not cost more than Rs 30-40,000 and a German Shepherd pup usually comes even cheaper between Rs 20,000 and 30,000.
Army planners say that well-trained dogs could man the LoC along with the soldiers in a far efficient manner than any technology.
“The dogs can smell from a distance. They can be trained to attack too in a stealth manner. I wonder what’s keeping our bosses from getting the best attacking dogs in the world,” says another Army officer who is serving in Kashmir.
Lt Gen (R) Syed Ata Hasnain, former GOC of the Srinagar based 15 Corps while talking to The Kashmir Monitor said that use of tracking and other type of dog breeds could strengthen the overall security however this was not the only step that needed to be taken to make the whole surveillance system fool proof as there were many more things which needed to be taken into consideration.
“There are different kinds of sniffer dogs which include mine, explosive detecting dogs and they have been very helpful in Kashmir especially in areas like Rajouri and other sectors. But yes there is shortage of tracker and catch dogs in Army,” he said.
The former GOC further said that army needed to strengthen the intelligence network and protect the surrounding areas of military catchment areas.
“To avert attacks like Uri or Pathankot in future, the security establishment has to equip themselves with the latest electronic surveillance system and have to check the reaction time then only the whole system will be streamlined,” Lt Gen (R) Syed Ata Hasnain said.

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