CRIMINALS would not anymore have a dog of a chance on campus.

The UST-Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) is training canines at the University grounds every Sunday to guard the campus during special occasions. According to Elmer Tan, trainer of UST-ROTC canine unit, UST’s ROTC is the first in the country and in Asia to train a canine unit in its Army Reserve Command Unit.

“Canines in the university can deter criminals since dogs are effective lookouts,” Tan told the Varsitarian. “Breeds of admitted canines include the Belgian Malinois, German Shepherd, Dutch Shepherd, Rottweiler, Labrador, Boxer, Bloodhound, Beagle and Doberman.”

At present, six dogs are being trained in “Basic Obedience,” which teaches the dogs’ basic commands such as “sit”, “stay”, “heel”, “come” and “fetch.” The owners are also the dogs’ trainers.

“Bonding is a very important element in training canine dogs effectively, thus we have called on the owners to personally train their dogs,” Tan said.

After the Basic Obedience course, the dogs will undergo an intermediate course where the same commands are given with additional agility-inducing skills, such as jumping and going through obstacle courses. Tan said that these courses are prerequisites for tracking scents and bomb-sniffing.

“The dogs are privately owned and screened to see if they are fit for training,” he said. To be trained, they should have acceptable working breed and have been vaccinated against rabies, distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis and pneumonia.

“We also require registration and vaccine certificates,” Tan said. “The training is available for dogs owned by students and employees of the University and we do not require registration fees.”

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Tan said students and employees need not worry since the dogs are cleaned and they will be controlled and well trained.

“These dogs have been properly vaccinated and follow a rigid and healthy diet,” he said. “As long as the dogs are part of the working breed, and the owners are willing to commit to train their pets, they are safe for training.” J. L. G. Aguilar and J.S. Cahilig

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