A Day in the Life: Fort Sill K9 Handlers

Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 12:25 AM CDT
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FORT SILL, Okla. (TNN) - We are starting a new series on Fort Sill we are calling A Day in the Life. Each week, 7News reporter, Hunter McEachern, will experience a new job on Post, learning about the many different roles that keep Fort Sill operating optimally. Today, Hunter explored what it is like to train and maintain the military working dogs on Post.

Their day starts early: 6 AM. The handlers feed their dogs, do full body health checks and make sure their kennels’ are clean. Then, it is time to train.

“Obedience training is usually what we do right before we get into the vehicles and go head out for detection training, whether that be in a building or a roadway, and then we also do scouts and building searches at the same time to be able to make sure our dogs are proficient in not only just the patrol aspect but the detection aspect as well,” said Cpl. Cody Grosinsky, K9 handler at the Fort Sill military working dog kennels.

The military working dogs' role is primarily to keep the Post safe, and they respond to a variety of a calls.

“If anybody needs us to search anything, health and welfare of the community is our big seller here, as well as we deploy to contingency operations around the world,” said SSG Bret Ashabranner, K9 handler at the Fort Sill military working dog kennels.

What is special about these dogs is that not only are they professional, but also they are approachable.

“Let’s say bite work, but once the bite work’s done, they’re done. They’re normal,” said SSG Ashabranner. “They’re not goal- oriented to attack somebody. That’s not what they’re trained to do. They’re just trained to do their job, and essentially all they think they’re doing in every bit of training is just playing and having fun with their handler.”

The handlers often put in hours of their personal time into training and building bonds with their K9, but they say it is worth it.

“It is one of the most time-consuming jobs, but it’s also one of the most rewarding,” said Cpl. Grosinsky.

Each dog is different, but the handlers do take a three month time period to evaluate the dog when it first comes in to make sure it can complete all the tasks that they require, as well as to build an initial bond.

Tune in next Monday at 10 PM to watch Hunter experience what it is like to be a drill sergeant on Fort Sill.

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