Alpha is a Malinois dog originally owned by Cagayan Valley native PO1 Randie Ramos, who had another dog to train but not yet mature enough. Ramos felt the need to train one that’s why he sought for a new dog that is old enough to do the work and fortunately found Alpha in the City of Olongapo.
Alpha was barely 7 months old when he was sent off to train at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Law Enforcement Department K-9 Branch, where PO1 Ramos served as his trainer. Their Man-dog Team excelled during the 8-month training, making Alpha the “Top 2 Best Dog” among the others that have come from different parts of the country.
On the job
Working dogs are supposedly trained when they reach one year old. However, Alpha was trained ahead of time for the reason that their productivity lasts only up until they reach the age of three. Since dogs age 7 times faster than men, their olfactory system also deteriorates when they exceed the limit however sharp it may be.
Training him at an early age was due to Ramos’s will to maximize his term and make use of his skills while his recognition to explosives is still fresh. In fact, he can detect 11 kinds of explosives and never fails to recognize even its simplest forms whether it is placed in boxes or in hidden places.
Certified police dog
Last February 28, Alpha graduated as a certified K-9 dog who can work with the Explosive Ordinance Disposal – the PNP’s National Operational Support Unit (NOSU) responsible in handling prospect explosives.
Just recently, their team was invited to inspect the areas during the celebration of ‘Araw ng Orani’ and verified that the whole area is safe from explosives.
Being the only K-9 dog in Bataan (aside from PO1 Romos’s younger trainee that can detect three kinds of explosives), it is such a great responsibility for Alpha to cater the need of 11 other towns in the province in terms of explosives inspection. Therefore, it would be of help and a relief if the government could procure more working dogs.
Though done with the memorization of a bunch of various kinds of explosives, a little for him wouldn’t go a long way as their training is continuous. According to his trainer, Alpha has to continue learning and refresh what he has learned because dogs’ memory and understanding are not as high as humans. Nevertheless, he is that kind of dog that will listen only to his trainer, focusing in searching, and independent dog that prefers to do the work without being taught where to go at all times.
Conversely, Ramos shared how a dog is being conditioned: “Exposure ang unang unang kailangang idevelop sa aso. Pangalawa, yung obedience nya – kung paano mo sya mapapasunod sa detailing mo, sa kamay mo, sa gesture mo, at sa voice command mo,“ he said.
Alpha and his companion, Rambo, are currently quartered at Camp Cirilo Tolentino here in Balanga City where they continue their training. There should at least be two K-9 dogs per incident in order to confirm the accuracy of one’s response to explosives, but for now Alpha shall take the lead.