A police sniffer dog at the G20 Leaders Summit in Hangzhou. [Photo/provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Seven police sniffer dogs and their trainers, fresh from a successful security mission at the G20 Leaders Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, were welcomed at Harbin Taiping International Airport in Heilongjiang province on Wednesday afternoon.
"As early as March, we began to train and select sniffer dogs for the summit from more than 200 police dogs at our training base," said Qi Ming, director of the dog training facility of the Heilongjiang provincial border defense troops in Harbin.
After four months of training and rounds of internal selection, seven dogs passed the strict examination of the Ministry of Public Security and joined the mission to intercept explosives during the summit, Qi said.
"As soon as we arrived at Hangzhou on July 30, we dedicated ourselves to intense training even though the summit wouldn't start for another month," said Zheng Hang, the team leader. "Every day we spent more than 12 hours outside. The high temperature of the city was an enormous challenge for the dogs, which are native to the northeast."
In order to lower the temperature, they installed electric fans and automatic spray devices in kennels and placed blocks of ice outside. In addition, they decided to shave off the hair of the northern dogs.
A sniffer dog and its trainer. [Photo/provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
"I chose a Mohawk style for my 4-year-old Labrador, which makes him look quite fashionable. But now another problem is coming. How will the withstand the winter cold in Harbin before its hair grows out again? Maybe I'll have to tailor a cotton waistcoat for it," Zheng said.
Wu Xu, a trainer with another Labrador, said: "The heavy tasks and uncomfortable conditions will more or less affect the dogs' mood. As their trainers, we pay attention to their daily life, but it is most important to interact with them. They like being touched, and we also often talk with them."
Wu told this story: "One day, when we patrolled around West Lake, my feet seemed to catch fire, even though I was wearing thick shoes, because of the high surface temperature. My dog kept scampering on the scalding road. Suddenly it jumped into the lake to cool itself. I really didn't have the heart to rebuke it, but I had to ask it to go ashore because we were on duty."
During the monthlong mission, the team patrolled an area of more than 2 million square meters and intercepted more than 260 prohibited items.