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Military working dogs begin physical training

Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.- Staff Sergeant David Duritsky and Pier, 460th Security Forces squadron, enjoy their time physically training together at the fitness center Mar 2, 2011. Buckley is one of few bases instituting this new program to keep the military working dogs physically fit and deployment ready.  ( U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Marcy Glass )

Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.- Staff Sergeant David Duritsky and Pier, 460th Security Forces squadron, enjoy their time physically training together at the fitness center March 2, 2011. Buckley is one of few bases instituting this new program to keep the military working dogs physically fit and deployment ready. ( U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Marcy Glass )

Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.- Satff Sergeant David Duritsky and Pier, 460th Security Forces squadron, share a satisfied glance towards one another during their cool down lap at the fitness center Mar 2, 2011. Buckley is one of few bases instituting this new program to keep the military working dogs physically fit and deployment ready.  ( U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Marcy Glass )

Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.- Satff Sergeant David Duritsky and Pier, 460th Security Forces squadron, share a satisfied glance towards one another during their cool down lap at the fitness center March 2, 2011. Buckley is one of few bases instituting this new program to keep the military working dogs physically fit and deployment ready. ( U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Marcy Glass )

Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.- Pier, 460th Security Forces squadron, tuckered out from a long morning of physical training lays down to take a breather Mar 2, 2011. Direct from Lackland AFB, Buckley begins its physical training program for the security forces military working dogs.( U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Marcy Glass )

Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.- Pier, 460th Security Forces squadron, tuckered out from a long morning of physical training lays down to take a breather March 2, 2011. Direct from Lackland AFB, Buckley begins its physical training program for the security forces military working dogs.( U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Marcy Glass )

Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.- Staff Sergeant David Duritsky and Pier, 460th Security Forces squadron, cool down after a morning of PT at the fitness center Mar 2, 2011. The new military working dog PT program allows security forces members and their K-9's time to train together. ( U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Marcy Glass )

Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.- Staff Sergeant David Duritsky and Pier, 460th Security Forces squadron, cool down after a morning of PT at the fitness center March 2, 2011. The new military working dog PT program allows security forces members and their K-9's time to train together. ( U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Marcy Glass )

Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.- Staff Sergeant David Duritsky and Pier, 460th Security Forces squadron,run laps around the inddor track at the fitness center Mar 2, 2011. The new fitness program for military working dogs gives the K-9's and their human partners time to train together.  ( U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Marcy Glass )

Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.- Staff Sergeant David Duritsky and Pier, 460th Security Forces squadron,run laps around the indoor track at the fitness center March 2, 2011. The new fitness program for military working dogs gives the K-9's and their human partners time to train together. ( U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Marcy Glass )

Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.-  Pier, 460th Security Forces squadron, works hard while running on the treadmill Mar 2, 2011.Direct from Lackland AFB, Buckley is one of few bases instituting the new physcial training program for military working dogs.  ( U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Marcy Glass )

Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.- Pier, 460th Security Forces squadron, works hard while running on the treadmill March 2, 2011.Direct from Lackland AFB, Buckley is one of few bases instituting the new physical training program for military working dogs. ( U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Marcy Glass )

Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.-  Pier, 460th Security Forces squadron, begins his day with a nice run on the treadmill Mar 2, 2011. Buckley is one of few bases instituting the new physcial training program for military working dogs.  ( U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Marcy Glass )

Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.- Pier, 460th Security Forces squadron, begins his day with a nice run on the treadmill March 2, 2011. Buckley is one of few bases instituting the new physical training program for military working dogs. ( U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Marcy Glass )

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Sprinting down the track you see something a little out of the norm for a typical military training day. Running side by side are Buckley's Security Forces members and their Military Working Dogs. Buckley is one of very few bases that are instituting a test program for the Air Force. Direct from Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, the new program is designed to increase the MWD's health, maintain their well being and ensure the dogs are physically fit for deployment.

"We build the dog's strength with the strength training program," said Staff Sgt. Rick Laird, 460th Security Forces Squadron, who is in charge of Buckley's program.

At this point the program consists of strength and endurance conditioning for the dogs. The strength program consists of activities such as power fetch, obstacle work, pulls, center line drills, weight pulls. The program also includes endurance. The endurance phase consists of brisk walks, runs, walk then a jog. As the military working dogs improve their physical fitness, the length of time they work out increases.

"The program ensures we send the most physically fit dogs to a combat zone," Sergeant Laird said. "I also want to ensure that we have physically fit dogs state-side as well. We want to make sure that they are physically fit, and to properly maintain their health and well being."

So far, both the MWDs and their partners are excited about the program.

"I LOVE IT....I love the fact that I am able to PT with our K-9's. When we are down and do not feel like running they are always up for it. Like today when we were running, he started pulling me like hey dad, come on let's go," said Staff Sgt. David Duritsky, 460th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler.

Sergeant Duritsky and his new partner, Pier, are one of the teams taking part in the test program.

"We PT four times a week and my wife gets upset because I do more exercising with Pier then I do with our dog at home, and I tell her it's for a good cause," said Sergeant Duritsky.

Though they have to PT like every other service member, MWDs don't have to PT test quite yet.


" Buckley is using this program as a test program direct from Lackland, so at this time we are just looking at this to better the health of our working dogs for when they deploy down range," said Sergeant Laird.


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