Pros: compensation, brand new environment, quality of canines, quality of trainers, individual vehicles
Cons: monotonous, little ways to communicate with loved ones
Indonesia was my first experience as an actual tracker dog trainer. Although I had worked alongside tracker teams in the past, I was now getting the chance to train myself as well as others. I picked up the fundamentals and techniques rather quickly thanks to the team that was already in place when I got on site. I was also fortunate enough to take classes with my interpreter (certified instructor) on beginner level Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian Language).
Every morning the team, who all lived in the same 3 bedroom house, would wake up at 0630 and head out to the kennels where we began kennel care and walked all dogs. We would then go back to the house and get ready for our work day to begin. Each having our own vehicles, we would start to head back to the kennels and load up our dogs as well as our interpreters and the Indonesian BRIMOB police force that we were training to become handlers. Once loaded up each team would take off to our designated posts where we would be on standby incase any reports broke out about persons trying to cut into pipes that were transporting liquid gold down the mountain. If this happened it was our job to quickly react and assemble our team as well as coordinate with the Indonesian Army to go into the jungle and track the perpetrator(s). On days that we did not utilize, we trained dogs and/or conducted hip pocket classes on dog training and obedience as well as tactical procedures while handling a canine.
Management and co-workers were all very experienced and very helpful during my adaptation period. If there was a problem, it was addressed – more... and taken care of quickly and professionally. They listened to all team members, taking any and all advice that we recommended seriously.
The hardest part of the job was being away from loved ones. Also, there was constant rain, vegetation and humidity which was a lot different from anywhere I had ever needed to acclimatize. The most enjoyable part was being around the dogs, training in the jungle and up the mountains, as well as learning about a different culture. – less