Being “alpha male” at my company, CQB K-9 requires more than just top physical and mental prowess. Running, shooting on the move, navigating natural obstacle courses, carrying out executive protection dog training and night operations are the norm in a training day. Staying at peak performance for activities such as high-altitude training at 8,000-14,000 feet requires a mindset and skillset where failure is not an option. Where I work, you might require medical treatment, need a plan B (or D) or have to endure the weather changes that can occur in Colorado in five minutes’ time.
Coming from a former Reconnaissance Marine background and having survived cancer (holistically self-treated), I know what it takes to survive the elements, hostile environments, and life-changing events. It involves the willpower of a Samurai and the body of a Viking to make it through a day in my world. I use breathing and circulation exercises, mental conditioning, along with visualization techniques. My superior diet makes sure I have the stamina and focus to get my dogs through our training regimen.
Hiking for hours at four miles per hour with a forty-five pound pack, doing land navigation skills for six hours straight, digging holes in the ground and moving around logs and rocks for shelter — all in cold, hot, wet, stinky, and food- and sleep-deprived conditions — this is typical training for the third-world shithole environments that we operate in while performing personal security and high-risk operations.
At CQB K-9, our dog training employs night-vision goggles (NVGs), as well as unmanned aerial systems (UAS). My patent-pending K-9 helmet camera (Level III-A with GPS), laser devices, covert communications and advanced tactics. This puts us at the cutting edge of working-dog technology. By moving around on ATVs at night, we can get a team well prepared for “counter-leadership” or “pursuit team” missions.
And this is why we train like we do — it has to be realistic and hardcore. Anything else is second best. The night, wind, surprise, speed and superior training is what brings us back alive and sound. Breathing is our life force and it helps us to run and swim faster. It allows us to get up onto a precipitous ledge, shoot straighter, and clear our heads of negativity and stress. I call all this “extreme close-quarter battle” (XCQB) training. A dog is my workout partner. For a life like this, you need a backpack, good boots, and some steel in your balls to make it all fluid. Expect an injury here and there. Don’t Tweet it—get up and back on it. Stay motivated.