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Extreme Control in Extreme Situations by Armin Winkler

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1 Extreme Control in Extreme Situations by Armin Winkler

2 What is an Extreme Situation in the K9 World?

3 Extreme Situation 1 The incident was:
The subject had shot and killed several subjects, then fled by vehicle to an abandoned bar He left the vehicle and fled into the bar He was confronted by law enforcement, fired some shots and the incident became a barricaded subject Throughout the day and into the night, gas rounds were fired into the bar.  We were requested for our dogs' capabilities, and flew by helicopter in a snowstorm for several hours to the scene.  Many of the law enforcement folks on location thought the subject was probably dead, and probably located in a lower cellar of the bar

4 Situation 1 cont’d The plan was for handler A and K9 -1 to go with a team that was going to enter, clear past the stairway that led to the cellar K9 - 2 and I went with another team that was going to flow behind the first team, launch K9 -2 down into the cellar and follow him When the entry was made by the first team, they cleared past the stairway to the cellar and we flowed in behind.  The interior was totally different than sketches we had been provided When I arrived at the top of the stairway, there was a narrow hallway that led from the stairway towards the back of the building. As I got ready to send K9 -2 down the stairs, I remember him air scenting down that hallway towards the back of the building. I directed him towards the stairs, across that small hallway Just before he got to the top of the stairway, he turned down that hallway and headed towards the back of the building.  At that moment, I thought he had air scented K9 -1 and the other team, and was heading towards them.  I called him back and sent him down the stairs

5 We followed him down He quickly cleared 2 rooms down below and kept heading back towards the stairs At that point, shots were fired, the subject and K9 -1 were killed. I ran upstairs with K9 -2 to see if they needed any help.  When I got upstairs, the subject was dead in the area of the building where K9 -2 was initially heading.  During the debrief, I realized that Handler A and K9 -1 and the upstairs team were not located where K9 -2 was initially heading when he air scented toward the subject's location.  I inadvertently and unknowingly redirected K9 -2 from the subject's location

6 Extreme Situation 2 Midday, Heavily Populated Urban Area
Dismounted movement after squirter. Moving through town with local nationals everywhere at a fast pace K9 needs to keep contained quiet and not get under foot and cooperate with team members over walls and obstacles, through traffic, both automobiles and foot traffic until POI has been located or identified and the K9 can be targeted and released At this point you need to ensure that K9 will engage specific target, and not engage to another local national

7 Extreme Situation 3 After a domestic terrorist threat incident
A tactical team with their attached K9 were assigned to conduct a surreptitious explosive detection clear of stairways and front doors of apartments, prior to entry pursuant to search and arrest warrants The K9, handler and 2 cover personnel were required to quietly approach the duplex style apartment building, clear the entry way, and the exterior doors to the apartments on the first, second and third floors The K9 was required to remain quiet, conduct explosives detection with minimal verbal commands and negotiate the stairs without alerting subjects who may have been inside After the exterior doors were explosively breached, the K9 conducted off lead clearing of the target with the tactical team The K9 successfully cleared the objective quietly and effectively without making noise

8 Extreme Situation 4 While assigned to operations targeting drug smuggling operations in a mountainous area of the Southwest U.S., the K9 and handler were required to safely and effectively disembark from small helicopters to support ground teams searching caves and lookout/scout sites The helicopters were required to land with one skid on rocky ledges, and the K9 and handler were required to get off the helicopter in close proximity to a hovering helicopter The K9 was put in a down while the handler took a knee until the helicopter left the area, and the handler could safely move The K9 and handler were also required to get on helicopters in the same manner to move to other sites that needed to be searched The K9 was required to remain down and in control in the near vicinity of an operating helicopter

9 Extreme Situation 5 A tactical team was required to move on foot to a target residence containing weapons and explosives to execute search and arrest warrant The K9 assigned to the team was required to quietly move to the breach point during darkness where a breaching charge was placed and detonated The K9 was required to remain quiet and in control during movement to the target, placing of the breaching charge, and afterwards during the call-out and arrest of occupants After the charges were detonated and the residence cleared, the K9 conducted explosives detection and subsequently located weapons and ammunition

10 Extreme Situation 6 The tactical team with K9 attached fast roped onto the roof of a high rise hotel The handler was required to negotiate a narrow beam from one portion of the roof to another. The K9 was given the "carry" command and carried across the narrow beam The K9 then had to be hoisted down approximately 15' to another portion of the roof top where the K9 was given the "down" command until the handler negotiated the climb  At one point, the K9 was given the "carry" command and lifted over a fence to another operator. The K9 was placed in "down" until the handler climbed over the fence The handler attached the backpack straps to the K9s tactical vest and climbed down a 20' ladder with the K9 on his back

11 Situation 6 cont’d After an explosive breach of an exterior door, the K9 and handler and tactical team conducted off lead CQB  of several floors of the target in darkness The tactical team utilized flash bangs, explosive slap charges and shotgun breaching during the building clear At one point, the K9 was required to jump through an opening in a wall created by an explosive charge into an adjacent room While in the room, the K9 was required to conduct off lead explosives detection After alerting and indicating to an IED in the room, the K9 was recalled through the hole in the wall back to the handler

12 What is Extreme Control?

13 Extreme Control 1 Tactical team with K9 moves to target location in complete darkness traveling over 1 mile Team prepares for dynamic entry, K9 must remain stationary and 100% silent to maintain element of surprise During all preparation work prior to entry it is mission critical that the K9 does not move or make any sound K9 has to be ready to deploy without benefit of “firing up”

14 Extreme Control 2 Night time, Urban Assault. K9 launched into house. Acquires target who runs into a room to avoid capture K9 pursues, enters room with man, woman and small girl Man attempts to use GIRL as shield against K9. Handler downs K9 Man throws girl then attempts to flee out back door and handler resends K9 on man

15 Extreme Control 3 Night time house clear
Team enters hallway, K9 in lead K9 shows behavior change indicative of the presence of explosive odors Man appears at end of hallway K9 engages man who then pulls K9 into room out of sight of team and handler K9 is commanded to release and recalled to team Handler puts long line on dog commands K9 to perform explosives search K9 again shows behavior change at door in hallway and gives final response Team exits house

16 Extreme Control 4 Team encounters group of hostiles in small abandoned village. Contact results in gun battle. K9 on handler’s hip lead during gun battle involving at least 6 hostiles and a team of 6 operators including handler Team continues through village killing several hostiles. K9 must remain obedient and under control during the firefight. All remaining hostiles but one surrender

17 Extreme Control 4 cont’d
Single hostile holes up inside building Building is covered from all sides Call out to hostile to surrender No gunfire or response Building entered after deploying flash bangs Dog finds and engages hostile

18 Control expanded Control is much more than remaining still, or waiting, or outing, or stopping or recalling It is about: When to engage Who to engage What to engage Where to engage Who not to engage.

19 Food for thought Multiple officer call out of semi cooperative and semi passive suspect SOF team deployment in complete darkness Task differentiation Task transitions

20 The Essence of Control is Communication
All SOF teams show great situational control over themselves and their actions because of briefings and clear systems of communication We need to learn how to brief our K9s We need to learn how to keep communication signals clear for the DOG All control, and communication has to happen without suppressing, diminishing or destroying drive, intensity, and power

21 How do we Achieve Effective Communication?
What is a COMMAND? What is a CLUE What is a TRIGGER?

22 A COMMAND creates a situation of predictable outcome and consequence as a result of action or behavior! A CLUE or TRIGGER creates stimulation to activate drives, motivations and emotions!

23 Classical Conditioning
Pavlov Creating specific task stimulation with replacement triggers - “BELLS” Flipping the dog’s mental “rolodex” to create clarity. Eliminating “verbal corrections”

24 “Capping” Impulse control Internal self control by the dog
Containing and harnessing drives, motivations, and emotions. Achieved ONLY through guided and facilitated “shaping” Only two learning psychology principles can be utilized: Positive Reinforcement and Negative Punishment

25 Practical work Aggression Control Targeting Differentiation

26 The 3 Part “OUT” Approach
Part One: The dog learns a stable position This position may be immediately at the decoy’s body, or it may be more optimal for some dogs to be positioned at a distance where they can contain optimally

27 Part two: Outing the dog with the decoy on the ground or other controlled positions to teach the dog emotion and drive control safety maintenance of control non depriving

28 Part three: The dog learns the verbal release and is guided by the handler into his stable position Expansion of this skill to perform it more and more without guidance and assistance from the handler

29 Expansions After the initial verbal release teaching dogs have learn various expansions of the concepts taught Such as: - repositioning walk-aways even the terminated pursuit is an expansion of the capping control and stable position concept

30 Targeting Teaching directional sends in obedience
Dog has to clearly identify the direction indicated by the handler Directional indicating can occur by use of hand, object, weapon or where possible laser

31 Targeting expanded Directional send to target location to perform task
Detection Search Apprehension

32 Targeting expanded Multiple visible apprehension targets
Using obedience directional send techniques to identify target in play. Using wide angles to start Reducing angles This should include suit clad targets and civil targets (muzzle)

33 Targeting expanded Passing potential targets
Using directional send techniques to identify target in play. Passing by distraction target initially at wider angle but closer than target in play. Utilizing aggression control techniques and stable position to halt targeting error and direct to target in play. This should also include suit clad targets and civil targets (muzzle)

34 Differentiating Team Members and Targets
Three ways for dogs to differentiate team members and targets: Visual Audible Olfactory Training should include all three Best to work all three simultaneously to ensure clear elimination clue association

35 Visual differentiation
Team members must dress in deployment uniform and gear to present clearly identifiable visual picture to the dog Target in suit Dog with handler pass stationary team. Dog with handler pass team moving single file. Dog with handler weave through team stationary and moving. Dog is called past stationary team members to handler Dog is called past moving team members to handler Initially every repetition results in a bite on target

36 Visual differentiation cont’d.
Target in civilian clothing Team in uniform and gear Dog in muzzle (or target wears hidden protection) Repeat all dog movements past, through, and across team members as before Every successful performance should result in contact with target

37 Audible Differentiation
An elimination word is chosen by the handler - The word should be simple and not be common language people use with dogs. Team members speak the word each and every time the dog passes them during all drills Whether the dog ignores the team member or gives him a glance or even more attention The team member ignores the dog and calmly speaks the elimination word All elimination drills are performed as described

38 Olfactory Differentiation
The handler chooses an elimination odor for his dog. The elimination odor is deposited on each team member somewhere between knee and hip. The differentiation drills are performed as before. The olfactory elimination is very reliable in all environments especially darkness

39 Differentiation conclusion
Differentiation training has to be expanded Start with simple drills Incorporate into scenarios Vary environments Vary team member placement and movement The dog’s performance and proficiency determines how to proceed It may be required during some training drills to also employ aggression control techniques to prevent incorrect targeting this may include some corrections.

40 Transitions Transitions are when a K9 has to switch from having performed one task to now performing another with clarity and reliability It falls into the category of transitioning when a dog has to perform a task which does not meet his expectation based on situation and scene

41 Transitions cont’d I suggest that is it essential for effective transitioning that dogs have had training in aggression control, impulse control and capping A dog needs to be in a clear headed and contained state of mind, no matter how high in drive he may be A dog needs to also have effective clues and triggers the handler can give to flip his mental “rolodex” in order to bring his brain into the correct focus and state of mind to perform the new task

42 Transitions cont’d The training drills are a combination of two functions the dog performs in his work which have different goals for the dog For example apprehension work and detection work To start the dog is stimulated for apprehension very lightly maybe just the sight of a decoy in a suit or with a sleeve He is put into a contained state The handler now utilizes a clear trigger to stimulate another goal focus These triggers can be audible, visual, or olfactory And the dog is directed to perform a simple detection task with quick success

43 Transitions cont’d The intensity of the stimulation for apprehension is increased, from light visual to more and more intense agitation until the dog eventually is actually on an intense bite on the decoy and has to be outed prior to the transition To engage the dog into the following detection problem the handler should still utilize all the most obvious and easily recognizable clues and triggers for detection

44 Transitions cont’d Eventually the clues for the transition problem are reduced more and more until only the clues remain which can be realistically utilized on target This reduction in transitioning help may require to once again reduce the intensity of the apprehension stimulation Until the dog can perform a transition with minimal clues from the handler immediately following an intense apprehension encounter

45 Scenarios A couple of training scenarios incorporating control principles for illustration:

46 Rolling Barricade Felony Vehicle Takedown
After a felony vehicle stop an uncooperative potentially combative occupant has to be engaged and extracted Officers use a vehicle as a safety barricade to move themselves into an advantageous tactical position Handler and K9 remain under control and contained behind vehicle with back up officers Once in a tactical position, dog is positioned to target vehicle and potential entry point (which may have to be created) Dog is directed into vehicle to apprehend suspect Officers and handler do a take down of suspect with K9 engaged K9 is controlled and taken out of situation once suspect is under complete control of officers

47 Assisting a Dog To Contain During Tactical Movement
A high drive dog with extreme noise issues is taught quiet tactical movement Dog refuses to be quiet even with handler help Obedience results in barking, creeping, and forging ahead Dog is shown with communicative touch to be successful by being quiet and contained

48 Conclusion The situations LE and military units encounter are often extreme They may not always appear movie script crazy, but when examining all the parts and pieces officers, operators and handlers have to face that they are extreme in their demands and the room for error is zero Reliable functional control can be achieved and is achieved by units across the world in all conceivable situations Control comes in many forms, but always relies on clear communication We owe it to ourselves, our fellow officers, and most of all our dogs, to challenge ourselves and strive for excellence at every turn. We should NOT accept less

49 Armin Winkler Head Trainer at RivannaK9 Contact Information: Phone:

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