Nat Geo Wild's new show "Alpha Dogs" premieres Friday! The show will follow working dogs as they're trained by police and military handlers. Ken Licklider and his trainers at Vohne Liche Kennels (VLK) have an incredibly important job. Proper training can result in the saving of many lives, not only of crime victims, but also of the dogs and officers who are trained to take proper action in intense situations. Here are some of the exciting events you can expect to see on "Alpha Dogs," as these dedicated pooches train to handle life and death situations.
Real mistakes and real injuries
"Alpha Dogs" isn't just a show about amazing dogs and their handlers; the dogs and their handlers are being trained to do dangerous, serious jobs, and this process can be difficult. They will make mistakes before they get the hang of a task, and sometimes those mistakes can lead to injury. Viewers will have the opportunity to see these mistakes, underlining just how difficult the pursuits of these dogs and their handlers truly are.
What it takes to be a handler
The officers who handle the dogs have the most challenging task, since the dogs see everything as a game. In order for the dog to understand what to do, the handler must know how to connect with the animal and make the "game" engaging. Therefore, much of "Alpha Dogs" involves the training of the handlers. The dog's job is to have fun and be brave.
Fun with decoys
A decoy is the person who dresses up in that silly-looking suit with enormous amounts of padding to represent the criminal and intended target of the attack dog. The decoys add a bit of levity to the show. Even though decoys help train the dogs to do a seriously intense job, they look ridiculous and are even more entertaining to watch as they try to move around or fit in tight spaces.
Learn just how amazing dogs can be
The wide range of duties that dogs are capable of is mind-boggling. There are plenty of stories of dogs that act in incredible ways to save their owners, but the working dogs of "Alpha Dogs" are specifically trained to do exceptional things every day.
One of the most impressive examples is when a dog calmly rappels from the top of a building with its owner. Dogs have no depth perception, so taking that first step off the side of a building seems like a nearly impossible training task. Yet these dogs do just that. The fact that dogs are capable of everything from swimming to rappelling to sniffing out bombs and even cell phones is simply incredible.
Tune in for the premiere of "Alpha Dogs" on Friday, 2/8 on Nat Geo Wild at 9 PM ET.