Do you think your dog could cut it in the military? Well, now’s your chance to find out.
In June, Churchill is proudly sponsoring ‘Animal Heroes’, a new primetime documentary series following the lives of animals and their handlers in the British forces. Across the world, British servicemen and women are risking life and limb for their country – and standing by their side are a host of remarkable working animals.
To celebrate the sponsorship of ‘Animal Heroes’, Churchill Insurance has launched its very own Dog Boot Camp. We’ve enlisted the help of John Fitzpatrick, a recently retired Warrant Officer and dog handler in the Royal Air Force Police, to create a series of video tutorials with military style training.
See more video tutorials on Churchill’s specially created campaign website www.churchill.com/dogbootcamp and they’ll form the basis of Churchill’s Dog Boot Camp competition, where you can find out if your dog has the potential to be a military hero.
With help from expert trainers, four lucky dog owners will have the chance to put their pooches through their paces to see if their dog has what it takes to cut it in the military.
This will be no ordinary doggy drill training. The Boot Camp will see pooches receive a lesson in ‘petiquette’ by John Fitzpatrick and expert agility trainers from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Offering an insight into the rigours of dog training on the front line, owners will be given an understanding into the training methods used to train animals in the military: These will include:
– Jumping over hurdles (to learn to negotiate obstacles)
– Walking at heel (to learn to be under a soldier’s control)
– Searching and retrieving a toy (to learn to search for drugs or explosives)
– Send away to a marker (to learn to negotiate hazards ahead)
After this, the winners will have the opportunity to put their newly learnt skills to the test in a military-style assault course. Should they pass the test, pooches will be awarded with a doggy distinction.
Then, when you feel up to the challenge, record your pooch’s best attempt at mimicking one of the five exercises shown and upload them for your chance to win.
We’re asking the public to vote on the four entries most deserving of a place in Churchill’s Dog Boot Camp. When voting, we’re asking the public to consider the level of determination, potential, sense of character and the connection between the owner and their dog.
The winners will be the four entrants with the most votes and they’ll attend Churchill’s Boot Camp in September, which will be held at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Old Windsor venue.
Animal Heroes will air on ITV at 8pm on 4th, 11th and 18th June.
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Ryan O'Meara is group editor at Total Pet Publishing. A former professional dog trainer, Ryan is a frequent commentator in the media on a wide variety of canine issues including dog attacks, animal welfare and dog behaviour.