Under the Radar

How Your 'Alpha Dogs' Get Trained



Raise your hand if it ever occurred to you that United States military and law enforcement would outsource at least some of their dog training. Retired USAF Senior Master Sergeant Kenny Licklider saw a need for specialized training, seized the opportunity and started Vohne Liche Kennels.

VLK is now a multi-million dollar business spread over 600 acres in Denver, Indiana with satellite kennels in California and Arizona. Just like (seemingly) all successful entrepreneurs in modern America, Kenny got himself a cable reality show and Alpha Dogs premiered last Friday night on National Geographic's Wild channel.

Over the last twenty years, VLK has trained dogs for more than 5,000 law enforcement and government agencies, including the National Security Agency (NSA), Pentagon Police, U.S. State Department, all military branches and more than 500 civilian and police agencies.

The show follows the usual workplace reality conventions. Nobody gets too weird, because who needs manufactured TV weirdness when you've got dogs? The clip above features Luther McDonald, VLK's lead instructor for the Tactical Explosive Detector Dog Program (T.E.D.D.) for the U.S. Army.

New episodes are running Friday nights at 9pm EST through March 8th. You'll have to stay home to watch or set your DVR because Nat Geo isn't much for the On Demand, buy on iTunes or stream on the Internet thing yet.


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