(BOSNIA HERZEGOVINA): Explosive Detection Dog (EDD) in work in an area affected by duds from cluster munitions in Bosnia Herzegovina. (Photo: Damir Attikovic/Norwegian People's Aid)
Today, Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) has twelve accredited and operational Explosive Detection Dogs (EDD) and they are an essential part of NPA’s Mine Action efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The dogs are used in an integrated concept with mechanical tools and manual deminers. The first step is always the deployment of a machine with a flail, removing vegetation tripwires and other booby trap devices and breaking the surface crust of the soil. This kind of ground preparation makes the working environment easier and safer for the dogs and their handlers. The use of this concept dramatically improves the effectiveness of work. The NPA EDD Project has a local staff consisting of the EDD Coordinator, two Team leaders and 12 dog handlers.
All staff in the EDD project are trained manual deminers and have undergone three months of the basic dog handler training course prior to accreditation and operational deployment. All the dogs used by NPA are brought to Bosnia and Herzegovina from suppliers in Norway and Sweden and preferred breeds, have been German Shepherds and the Belgian Shepherd - Malinois. All dogs go through strict mental testing and an intense trial period prior to undertaking one year of specialist training to become an accredited Explosive Detection Dog with specialising in mines and ERW.