‘Yulla’ is a new Mum for military working dogs

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The RAAF Security and Fire School has added another brood bitch to their training group. ‘Yulla’, named by Indigenous elders of the Yuggera and Ugarapul people, was one out of a litter of five that were fathered by Special Operations Military Working Dog (SOMWD) Odin, a Canine Operational Service Medal recipient.
While Yulla’s brothers and sisters have gone on to train in military and special operations careers, she has been selected to remain at the school and continue to produce future generations of working dogs for the RAAF.
The Amberley puppy breeding program was launched in 2001 in response to a lack of dogs available for training. Since then, the base has been breeding several litters a year, as the RAAF sometimes requires up to 100 dogs over the twelve months.
The dogs will be fostered out at 12 weeks to socialise with families and then return to the base at seven months old in order to begin their military training.
The Defence Force largely uses German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois, as they are known for their intelligence, athletic abilities, loyalty and when needed, aggression. However not all puppies live up to their name and those who are deemed too friendly will be offered up for adoption.
It’s crucial that the dogs the RAAF breeds are the right fit, as they play an essential role in providing security, crime prevention patrols, emergency response, and intruder detection on RAAF Bases all while assisting their handlers. They are trained far more rigorously than a household dog, and must be reliable and capable under highly stressful conditions.
Although Yulla won’t be heading out for any military training any time soon, she will be a mother to future military pups and can look forward to a comfortable retirement when her job is done.