A former Navy SEAL is making headlines for using his skills as a K-9 handler in the military to train dogs to respond to gunfire in schools by tracking down the gunman. Joshua Morton of Iowa originally started training police dogs when he returned from his final overseas. But when he started mass shootings and how assault weapons were used to perpetrate violence in schools, Morton decided to start training dogs to respond to active shooter situations. “I did not expect to see what I saw overseas, to see it in schools. But, unfortunately, it’s happening,” Morton told NBC. “I’ve been trying to find this solution for a very long time.” That idea has culminated in a Minnesota school preparing to receive one of Morton’s dogs in January, along with a trained K-9 handler. The price tag is high, at $125,000 per year for a dog and a handler, but Morton believes it’s worth it to ensure student safety. During training, the dogs are taught to use their senses to find the room where they heard the gunshots and go after the person handling the gun. Morton is currently working with five puppies who are clones of his original training dog. The veteran said cloning the dogs makes their behavior and response to training more consistent. [full article]
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