Puppies for peace

Jotun is now sponsering the training of a second mine detection dog, a young Belgian Shepherd Malinois called "Jotun".
In 2015 Jotun “hired” the first puppy and gave him the name “Jotun”. Once he was fully trained, “Jotun” and his handler started working with mine cleaning in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Second puppy: Jotun

The second dog, "Jotun", is being trained at the NPA Dog Training Centre in Cambodia. Fully educated he will be able to detect hidden landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERWs) in some of the world’s most dangerous places.   

Eventually, “Jotun” and his handler will join 80 other NPA dogs in Cambodia, where an estimated three to five million mines and explosive remnants of war lie hidden under the soil. 

"Jotun" is currently under very progressive training on long lead searching pattern. A month ago, Jotun got a new trainer (Ratha), as you can see from the pictures in the attachment. "Jotun" still performs well in all stages and progress of training. At the moment, most attention is paid to completing searching pattern. We hope that within a short period of two to three months, the searching pattern will be completed, and then, if necessary, the dog will be transferred to another province on the final adaptation to the mines, cluster munitions and UXO.

We are very proud to see "Jotun" making great progress and want to share with you the lovely Christmas card card we received Dec. 2018. 


  • Report No. 4: Jotun is in perfect health, and still in the top of his litter

    Jotun dog
    Report February 2019
    Date of birth: 19.05.2017 
    Occupation: Mine Detection Dog Trainee 
    Current workplace: Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) Dog Training Centre in Cambodia 
    Employer:
    Jotun

    Personal development
    Jotun is in perfect health, and still in the top of his litter at the Dog Training Centre. Jotun is a very playful dog, and he is acting like a puppy, being very active and curious. His favourite time of the day is the morning, when it is cold. Ratha UK is still Jotuns trainer, and they are progressing well together. Ratha has already been at the centre for three years, and at the moment she is training five different dogs. 

    Professional development
    Jotun has completed his main training on searching pattern, and his searching pattern was successfully tested in January. He now needs the last stage of his training, which will be in explosive remnants adaptations, before being qualified to get his Mine Detection Dog Certificate. 
     
    Jotun has now mainly completed the training he needs at the training centre, and depending on deployment options he is ready to complete his Mine Detection Dog training in the field. When we find deployment for Jotun he will be sent for a last stage of training, and then be tested for accreditation as a Mine Detection Dog.

    Did you know?
    • NPA aims to employ local staff for all projects, including the mine detection dog projects. We hope that this principle will allow effective transfer of resources and know-how to those countries where the need for humanitarian services is greatest and allowing eventual withdrawal of NPA from the programme.
    • Jotun is a Belgian Shepherd, the breed we use for our Mine Detection Dogs. This breed has been chosen because it weighs less and can withstand more work than for example the German Shepherd. It also has shorter fur and can tolerate heat better. Hunting instincts are naturally strong, while the dogs are controllable enough to train and work.
  • Report No. 3: Jotun is a very strong, confident and stable dog

    Report September 2018
    Date of birth: 19.05.2017
    Occupation: Mine Detection Dog Trainee
    Current workplace: Norwegian People’s Aid Dog Training Centre in Cambodia
    Employer: Jotun 

    Personal development 
    Jotun is a very strong, confident and stable dog. He likes playing with the other dogs and is full of energy, highly motivated and very quick in learning from others. He receives a general check-up of his health every six months, and is found to be very healthy.

    His favourite activity is searching in the carousel room. Here the dogs train their sense of smell. A sample of the smell they are training on is put in a carousel, the carousel is spun, and the dog is sent to find the container with the correct smell. Jotun is very effective in identifying the correct smell, and thoroughly enjoys this part of his training.

    Professional development
    Right now Jotun is completing his training in “long lead searching pattern”. His current trainer is Mr. Sopheap. They fit very well together. Mr. Sopheap is the second trainer Jotun has had, and before finishing his training he will probably have had three different trainers.

    The Mine Detection Dog trainees are usually classified into puppies, young adults and adults, mostly each group have specialized trainers. Jotun is now training as a young adult. We might also change trainers to learn the dog to adapt to different people. Jotun passed his last test in July, and we are expecting him to succeed in taking his last exam in the beginning of 2019.

    Did you know?
    • Dogs are particularly useful for finding mines where it is difficult to determine where objects may be found or where mines have not been deployed systematically.They are used to delimit suspect areas from areas which are actually mined, and to quality-control areas which have been cleared by machines.
    • Safety is given top priority by Norwegian People’s Aid. None of our Mine Detection Dogs has ever been injured or killed by mines or other explosive ordnances.

  • Report No. 2: Jotun is progressing very well with his training

    Jotun

    Jotun

    Name: Jotun 
    Date of birth: 19.05.2017 
    Occupation: Mine detection dog 
    Current workplace: NPA Dog Training Centre in Cambodia
     
    Personal development 
    Jotun is almost one year old, and is thriving at Norwegian People’s Aid’s Dog Training Centre in Siem Reap in Cambodia. He now lives in his own enclosure at the kennel, and is getting along very well with his trainer Uk Ratha and her assistant. He is a well adjusted dog, and he is happy in all his activities. 

    Professional development
    Jotun is progressing very well with his training. Compared to his fellow trainees he is progressing at least 25% faster in learning the necessary skills to be a fully trained Mine Detection Dog (MDD). At the center of his training is the “Kong”, a red plastic toy that is used as a reward and as a training tool in locating by scent.

    Jotun is now training various skills that will be important for being a successful MDD: socialization training, environmental training, drive and motivational training, off-ground pressure-search training, tracking training, search pattern (short- or long-leashed MDD) training, on-ground pressure-search training and carousel training. His favorite part of training is being rewarded when he has completed a task successfully. Jotun is currently in a high progress of training, and is expected to be fully trained and ready for field work within the next 10 to 12 months. 

    Did you know that a mine detection dog is able to:
    In demining with MDDs NPA generally use two different searching patterns, long and short lead. When using long lead the handler stands outside the contaminated area and sends the dog straight for 11 meters. At the end, the dog turns to the left and also searches on the way back. When using the short lead searching pattern the dog searches next to the handler, all the way following a tape or rope which is 11 meters long.

    When a dog indicate a target it’s searching for, it sits down calmly and stares at the ground. In doing so, the dog communicates to its handler that something should be there. The handler will call the dog back and take necessary action . A manual team will check the indication. If reported as a positive target, it will be handled by qualified personnel in a safe way later. 


  • Report No. 1: Jotun has started his training

    Name: Jotun  
    Date of birth: 19.05.2017  
    Occupation: Mine detection dog  
    Current workplace: NPA Dog Training Centre in Cambodia 
      
    Personal development  
    Jotun was born 19th of May this year at NPAs Dog Training Centre in Cambodia. Jotun is a Belgian Sheepdog (Malinois), and his parents are Finni and Lord. Finni is seven years old, and she was transferred to Cambodia from Bosnia in 2015. Lord is three years old, and he is now deployed as an Explosive Detection Dog in clearance operations in Vietnam. Jotun is part of a litter of eight, and has three brothers and four sisters. Jotun is a friendly, curious and playful dog.  

    Professional development 
    Since birth Jotun has shown all positive predispositions and characteristics that will enable him to be trained to be an effective mine detection dog, even though it is still too early to confirm that he fully meets all training requirements. All potential mine detection dogs go trough a test at 10 weeks. In his 10-week test Jotun showed highly positive results in all phases of testing. Of the eight tested puppies in Jotun’s litter, Jotun is within the top three. Jotun’s main trainer is Uk Ratha from Cambodia. Ratha’s dog training career began in 2000 and she is one of the best trainers at NPA’s Dog Training Centre Cambodia. Jotun is a very stable dog and he is always ready to solve new challenges with his trainer. 

    Did you know that a mine detection dog is able to: 
    • find a mine that is as far as six meters under ground 
    • find a mine that has been buried in the ground for over 40 years 
    • find a mine 20 times faster than a human deminer with a metal detector 
    • release 800 sqm of cultivable land within one work day

First puppy: Jotun the dog

In 2015 Jotun “hired” the first puppy and gave him the name “Jotun”. Once he was fully trained, “Jotun” and his handler started working with mine cleaning in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

  • Report No. 6: Jotun is doing an invaluable job clearing minefields

    Employee report 2 – year 3

    Name: Jotun
    Date of birth: 27.06.2015
    Occupation: Mine detection dog
    Current workplace: Mine clearance in Bosnia and Herzegovina 

    Personal development
    Jotun is now working as a mine detection dog, and he is doing an invaluable job clearing minefields of dangerous remnants of war. Jotun is enjoying his work with his handler Alen Krestorac. When not working in the field Jotun is still living at the kennel of the mine detection dog center in Sarajevo. On his time away from doing field work, he is under maintenance and fitness training. He likes playing, and swimming is his favorite activity. Now he will have to wait for spring for the dog pool to open again. 

    Professional development 
    Since January 2017 Jotun has been a part of Norwegian People’s Aid’s Mine Detection Dog team in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Jotun’s team is engaged in operational tasks in the northeastern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, engaging in mine clearance of agricultural areas. A regular workday is now four hours long, including breaks, but in order to maintain Jotun’s physical form daily endurance training is required. Jotun has as of December 2017 helped clear or verify as safe an area of 22 336 m2 in cooperation with his handler. Jotun will continue to be an important professional and family member of Norwegian People’s Aid. He has many years ahead of him doing one of the most important jobs in the world. His contribution will be an integral part of the great task of clearing all of Bosnia and Herzegovina from landmines.   

    Did you know?
    • The mine detection dogs of Norwegian People’s Aid has been part of clearing an area the size of 2000 football fields
    • Norwegian People’s Aid runs the worlds biggest mine detection dog center
    • Where mines and explosive remnants of war are deeply buried, mine detection dogs are sometimes the only ones who are able to find them. Mine detection dogs can smell explosives that are buried up to six meters deep



  • Report No. 5: Jotun is now a fully operational mine detection dog

    Employee report 1 – year 3

    Name: Jotun  
    Date of birth: 27.06.2015  
    Occupation: Mine detection dog  
    Current workplace: Mine clearance in Bosnia and Herzegovina  

    Personal development 
    Jotun graduated from the NPA Global Training Centre (GTC) in Sarajevo in March, and is now a fully operational mine detection dog. He has been transferred to the Humanitarian Department Program Bosnia Herzegovina Mine Detection Dog Program. Here he works with his dog handler Alen Krestorac. Jotun’s stay at the GTC is to get him in good shape with fitness training so that he will be completely ready for new tasks when he is sent back to the field.  

    Professional development 
    Jotun is now a graduated and fully licensed mine clearance dog. In April he passed the final accreditation test and now has a work license. This license must be renewed every six months. Jotun has been engaged in three operational tasks where he has searched almost fifteen thousand m2. After his vacation he will be sent to Doboj to continue the important demining work in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Jotun is a very important demining resource within our mine clearance program in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a very high quality detection dog. His dog handler is very pleased with Jotun’s achieved results.  


    Did you know? 
    The requirements for a good mine dog are many: They must be focused, sociable, tough and fearless.
    The breed of Belgian sheepdog (Malinois) is rarely ill. Nevertheless, Jotun and the other mine dogs get regular health checks. Every morning starts with a health check. Snake and parasite treatment is given every three months. Health checks are performed by the veterinarian once a year. When blood and urine are analyzed, vaccines are filled and the organs are checked.

  • Report No. 4: Jotun has now reached the end of his training

    Jotun the dog has almost finished his training

    Name: Jotun 
    Born: 27/06/2015 
    Position: Apprentice 
    Workplace: NPA Global training Center MDD/EDD in Bosnia and Herzegovina 

    Personal development 
    Jotun is still at the NPA Global Training Centre (GTC) in Sarajevo, but he is now reached  the last phase of the MDD training, which takes place in a training field with buried mines.
     
    The training field is so called high intensity requiring established search pattern and good indication (marking) behaviour, with a perfect ¨sit and stair¨. Jotun is a very temperamental dog, which is good in this line of work and gives him the potential to learn quickly. He is now 20 months old dog and has a long career in the life saving business ahead of him.
     
    Jotun is currently in the stage of training that is called Intergration training with the aim of forming the MDD team before accession to the final accreditation test by BH Mine Action Centre.  

    Professional development 
    Jotun has now reached the end of his training. Jotun has been through everything from 10-week aptitude test, obedience training, search for kong pieces in all possible objects, environment training, physical training, mine search and lots of memorized search pattern. He will soon become a very important part of NPA Bosnia and Herzegovina demining resources.
     
    When Jotun and his handler successfully passes the accreditation test, the team will start working in a real minefield and find mines that have been buried in the ground over many years. 

    Did you know?

    • All NPA dogs «speak» Norwegian? The command words used are all in the Norwegian language, regardless of their origin
    • NPA GTC also breed dogs, and the training starts already from the dogs are new-borns
    • MDDs can find mines up to 20 times faster than manual deminers using metal detectors, and they can search around 800 m2  in a single working day

    For other news from Norwegian People's Aid, see folkehjelp.no or follow us at facebook.com/folkehjelp 

  • Report No. 3: Jotun the dog is progressing well

    Jotun the dog doing long line training

    Name: Jotun 
    Born: 27/06/2015 
    Position: Apprentice 
    Workplace: Norwegian People's Aid's training centre in Sarajevo 

    Personal development 
    Jotun the dog is now into his second year and he is progressing well. Jotun is still at the Global Training Center in Sarajevo and going through regular MDD (Mine Detection Dog) training, the phase called Integration of direction and on-ground pressure search exercise. He is very a talented young dog and progressing very well. We are working hard that he pass internal test for MDD in the beginning of next year when we’ll decide his next destination or client. 

    He is currently at the final step of a so-called long line training. He is now searching for very small pieces of a “Kong” toy with aid from a long rope only. Soon, the rope will be gradually be removed and he will be able to search 10 meters back and forth in a straight line without any kind of help. See how long line training takes place here: 
    https://publisher.qbrick.com/Embed.aspx?mcid=48188C1CC082F9C7&width=400&height=300 

    Professional development 
    This summer, there has been a lot of training in the pool, and it has been a very popular exercise among the dogs. The Center has a pool where there is a lap pool and a pool in the middle. Check out how the pool training takes place here: 
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOtYSd_PSSs&feature=youtu.be 
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyaV3vMa_2Q&feature=youtu.be 

    Now that the weather has gone colder, the pool training have been reduced, so there has been more focus on agility training, long endurance walks and plenty of fun playtime. Jotun is currently practicing on search for small pieces of a “Kong” toy on different surfaces, both over and below the ground. He is also practicing independent searches on the ground of a designated area (10 meters away from the dog trainer and back). 

    He works very intensely and marks the target. The dog trainers have great faith in Jotun and believes that, in due course, he will be a fully trained minedog. 

    Did you know? 
    • Since 2006, Norwegian Pepole’s Aid’s minedog training centre have transfered over 500 minedogs to different minedog programs worldwide. 
    • Additionally, over 200 trained minedogs have been sold to the policeforce, military and customs. 
    • Belgium shepard dog has good physique, health and motivation, and have 70 percent better work capacity than a labrador, and 30 more than a German shepard dog. 
    • If the dogs have a bad day, the trainers excempt them from working that day. 

    For other news from Norwegian People's Aid, see folkehjelp.no or follow us at facebook.com/folkehjelp 

  • Report No. 2: Jotun is talented, positive and charming

    Name: Jotun
    Born: 27/06/2015
    Position: Apprentice
    Workplace: Norwegian People's Aid's training centre in Sarajevo

    Personal development 
    Jotun is currently 11 months old and is a talented, positive and charming gentleman. The “wonderful” teens have arrived, and just like other teenagers he too can be a bit of a handful and not always agree with what he's told, or in his case: commanded to do. Jotun doesn't always agree that the dog trainer is the boss.

    There was some snow in Sarajevo in December and January, which suited Jotun very well. Nothing is better than doing the victory lap with the kong in one's mouth in the snow after a successful session, and as proud as he gets, there often an extra lap (or ten). Snow is well suited for stamina training, so Jotun can run as many laps as he wants.

    Skills development 
    The training involves a lot of different tasks now, and Jotun works very well. He attacks new tasks with abandon, and impresses all of the dog trainers with his strength and exuberance.

    He's started with long line training, searching for very small pieces of the kong on a long line as the only aid. In a short time the line will gradually be removed, and he'll be able to search 10 metres back and forth in a straight line with no form of assistance. See how long line training is carried out here: http://youtu.be/3c6j79Ig1m0

    Now spring has arrived and the temperature is rising, and the next stage of training can begin: Jotun will find real mines and explosives that have been buried in the ground for several years. In a short time your dog will be a fully fledged mine dog.

    Did you know?

      • Every third inhabitant of Bosnia-Hercegovina are affected by mines and explosives left behind after the war that ravaged the country from 1992 to 1995.
      • The mine dog centre has a replica of an Afghan farm with sheep to make training as realistic as possible.
      • The puppies are tested for the first time when they are ten weeks old. “At that point we look for hunting instinct, stamina and whether they are sociable and pleasant.”

    For other news from Norwegian People's Aid, see folkehjelp.no or follow us at facebook.com/folkehjelp



  • Report No. 1: A puppy for peace

    Name: Jotun
    Born: 27/06/2015
    Position: Apprentice
    Workplace: Norwegian People's Aid's training centre in Sarajevo

    Personal development 
    Jotun is a happy, satisfied and not least eager puppy. He loves to play and has already formed a completely unique attachment to the dog handlers at the centre, and perhaps particularly to Goga who is the senior trainer of the puppy group. He receives the best possible care, with a dedicated clinic and dietary expert. In around 16 months Jotun will be prepared to go into the field, where he will secure school roads and playgrounds and save a lot of lives.

    The 10-week test was passed with flying colours. The only test he wasn't comfortable with was lying still on his back in the test leaders lap, but that's only to be expected from an energetic puppy who only wants to play around and have fun. After all, those are the properties that will make him an excellent mine dog. He particularly likes travelling by car, probably because he knows that there will be treats waiting at the training ground.

    Skills development 
    Jotun is now six months old, and is at a high level in comparison to his contemporaries. He's fond of obedience training, because he knows he'll be rewarded with loads of goodies and play. So far Jotun isn't quite up to scratch on being called in when he has his cone toy, as he'd rather keep it for himself. For the time being, this is still a positive trait.

    A usual day for Jotun now consists of searching for small bits of the cone toy hidden among bricks, and he also seeks out treats in the ground and gets accustomed to new environments with his trainers. It's important to get used to the world outside the centre's fences. Jotun is lifted and carried a lot and has his paws and ears checked regularly so that he gets used to it.

    Did you know?
    • Every hour people are killed or maimed by land mines and cluster bombs. Every fourth victim is a child
    • The cone toy accompanies the mine dog for its entire life, and is eventually the only form of reward
    • Norwegian People's Aid treats its mine dogs as top-level athletes. A healthy and balanced diet is an important part of everyday life

    For other news from Norwegian People's Aid, see folkehjelp.no or follow us at facebook.com/folkehjelp