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Pint-size dog trains to search for drugs at Norfolk Navy Base

NORFOLK, Virginia — An unusual drug-sniffing dog is joining the ranks of Naval Station Norfolk.

Puskos, a 17-pound Jagdterrier, has been in training since January and is expected to be certified to search for narcotics by the end of March, Navy spokeswoman Chief Petty Officer Leeanna Shipps said in a release.

He is the smallest of four drug detector dogs assigned to Norfolk. However his small size – about one-fifth the size of most working dogs like German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois –  makes him stand out and is a great advantage for the security team.

Master-at-Arms Petty Officer 2nd Class Jordyn Japec, assigned to Norfolk’s Security Division as a dog handler, said Puskos does not look like your typical Military Working Dog [MWD] because of his size. “However he has a great nose and a natural ability to detect his target up to six feet taller than him.”

“The other three narcotic detector dogs we have in our department weigh an average of 70 pounds. Puskos size allows us to sweep and search spaces that are challenging with an average MWD. Once we are done certifying we will be able to sweep spaces like submarines and small spaces on ships, which is very difficult to do with an 80 pound dog,” Japec said.

Japec added his 2-year-old partner is a little stubborn, just wants to work and “has no fear.”

Jagdterriers, also known as German hunting terriers, were bred from fox terriers, wire-haired terriers and Welsh terriers after World War I by hunters who wanted a well-trainable dog capable of hunting underground.

Reports from The Associated Press and Naval Station Norfolk Public Affairs Office were used in this story.

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