DynCorp International At Work

DynCorp International Explosive-Detecting Dog Handler, Spencer Himes


January 12, 2012 at 2:54 pm

dyncorp international explosive detecting dogSpencer Himes was starting his last two years of service with the U.S. Military when he discovered a hidden calling to train as a handler for the military’s canine unit working with Explosive Detector Dogs (EDDs).

While working as a military police officer on a Special Reaction Team for the Provost Marshal’s Office, Himes came in contact with the installation canine unit. After befriending some of the dog handlers and researching the role, he was determined to become a dog handler and headed to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas for 11 weeks of handler training.

Training the Humans

Working with a Patrol EDD, Himes first learned how to command the dog for tactics such as patrol techniques, controlled aggression, scouting, pursuing a fleeing suspect and obedience. He then focused on working with the dog to find narcotics or explosives. Himes was also taught how to properly care for the dog’s health.

Himes commented, “The dogs are already up-to-speed and are actually training the handlers – showing them how to avoid the dangers from explosive devices by learning the dog’s reactions. For example, the dog will sit or have some other non-aggressive reaction when they have discovered a potentially dangerous object.”

Training the Dogsdyncorp international k9 team

After serving in the military, Himes went to work for DynCorp International in Iraq as an Explosive Detective Dog Handler. That’s where he met Rex, the half German Shepherd, half Belgian Malinois who became his partner for the next three and a half years.

They trained together for some time so Himes could build rapport with Rex and they eventually became mission-certified for work at one of the regional embassies. Their primary duty was to sweep areas where meetings would take place to ensure the safety of the participants.

EDDs generally train for about 60 days on detecting explosives in open areas, buildings, vehicles and on travel routes before they are initially certified. Detection training can utilize traditional protocol training, or what is known as the deferred final response training method. Canines are also trained in patrol techniques which teach basic obedience and proficiency in completing obstacle courses, scouting for suspects, building search methods and controlled aggression. Patrol training also takes approximately 60 days.

Breed and Temperament

There is no specific breed requirement for EDD team dogs, although you most often see German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Dutch Shepherds or Labradors. Other breeds such as Weimaraners, German Shorthaired Pointers Vizslas or even Beagles are also used as EDDs.

“It’s really more the temperament of the dog that matters. This also determines the type of work the dog will perform as each dog is evaluated to see where it fits best. Rex is a bit skittish and will defend more than he will attack, so he was a great choice as an explosives dog,” said Himes.

The Rewards of Service

Now seven years old and suffering from arthritis, Rex is retired from his EDD work and lives with Himes in Johns Island, S.C. Handlers are often allowed to keep their retired dogs through a formal written request to the State Department. A veterinarian must examine the dog to confirm that it should be retired, the State Department must agree, and the handler must have the proper living environment for the dog.

According to Himes, Rex is enjoying his well-earned retirement and happily handling his new role of companion and friend—with no danger attached.


  • By Derin on March 8, 2013 | #  | Reply

    D fact dat all dogs can b trained to detect ieds is extremely a keyword and of interest, comparing different types of breeds in d world.

  • By Denzil Mukuma on June 7, 2013 | #  | Reply

    I m Denzil Mukuma from South Africa, I m professional Dog handler trained by Mechem with Two years experience, I was trained on EDD/MDD now I m looking for international vacancy especially in afghanistan or iraq or even other places around the worlds, thanks hope u will get back to me

  • By jimmy on March 1, 2014 | #  | Reply

    hello my name is jimmy mpedi im from south africa im looking for job as dog hantler pls can u sent me u email addrass

  • By Ralph Baker on May 23, 2014 | #  | Reply

    Good day,

    I am R Baker, a professional EDD/Narcotic/Patrolling dog handler from SA. My training was done in San Antonio, Texas and I was based in Afghanistan for nearly 2 years. I am currently looking for an opportunity in this field as I have a American Visa till 2021.

  • By Dragan Malikanovic on June 30, 2014 | #  | Reply

    I m Dragan Malikanovic from Bosnia and Herzegovina, I m professional Dog handler trained by Ronco with 10 years experience, I was trained on EDD/MDD now I m looking for international vacancy especially in afghanistan or iraq or even other places around the worlds, thanks hope u will get back to me

    • By DynCorp International on July 2, 2014 | #  | Reply

      For those seeking open opportunities with DynCorp International, please visit our careers site to view listings, apply and maintain your profile: http://www.dyn-intl.com/careers/overview/. Thank you!

    • By Frans Campher on January 8, 2015 | #  | Reply

      Hi Dragan,are you the same person that worked with me on the World Bank contract in 1997 clearing the railway,with Mine-Tech.Would like to hear from you,please contact me on my email: midogzone@gmail.com Dobro druggi!

  • By Aleksandar Micevic on August 11, 2014 | #  | Reply

    I m Aleksandar Micevic from Bosnia and Herzegovina, I m professional Dog handler trained by GTO,AMK9 WITH 4 years experience, I was trained on EDD/MDD now I m looking for international vacancy especially in Afganistan or Iraq or even other places around the worlds, thanks hope u will get back to me.Thank in advance

  • By DynCorp International on August 20, 2014 | #  | Reply

    Hi Aleksander,
    Thank you for your interest in DynCorp International. Please visit our careers site at http://www.dyn-intl.com/careers/overview/ to view listings that your qualifications may match up with. Thank you!

  • By rocco on September 27, 2014 | #  | Reply

    Good day.

    Can you please forward me information on your explosives and narcotics course.

    I also would like to inquire if it would be possible to pay the course in installments.

    Rudolph Neveling

  • By Thabo on January 20, 2015 | #  | Reply

    I have explosive detection doghandlers

    • By Phillip Simion on August 27, 2015 | #  | Reply

      Dear Sir /Madam

      My name is Phillip Simion im looking for a job as a EDD or Narcotics dog handler im read for any deploymet i will be gled if you consider my application

      Thank you

  • By jimmy on February 28, 2015 | #  | Reply

    Hello my name is Jimmy mpedi i am looking for job as dog hantler or dog trainerI have 31 years experience working with dogs i was team lead mdd dog hantler in Mozambique and DRC and agola and etophia as Team lead for mdd dog hantler.and irag as edd dog hantlerAnd afganastan.sawdan as team lead for mdd dog hantler.

  • By George C. Alvarez on March 13, 2015 | #  | Reply

    Good day!I’m George from the Phils.,I’ve worked with DynCorp.Intl.,last 2009-11,one of your constraction site in Jllabad,Afghanistan,as a K9 bomb detection dog handler under VCSI.I’ve been training dogs for more than 20yrs.Thank you!

  • By brains on May 14, 2015 | #  | Reply

    hi mr, im new in this industry,ĺookin to grow reach your level or abov
    e,to have someone like you really encourage young guys like me,im proud of you of how you worked your way up hight to your rank,would like to get channeled to things i dont know,learn more,to make a best dog handler internationally,
    thank you

  • By Lawrence Wessels on May 17, 2015 | #  | Reply

    Good day. I am a qualified K9 Narcotic Dog Handler. I qualified in San Antonio, Texas.

    I worked in Afghanistan for almost 4 years and the company’s contract expired sending me home.

    I am VERY interested in being deployed again, to either Afghanistan OR Iraq.

    However I notice that most of your vacancies are for US Citizens. Are you not employing South African. Is this true ???

    in the meantime I will visit your vacancy blog as suggested in your other above reply

    Thank you in advance.

    Lawrence Wessels.

  • By Jaime Molina Gavino on June 8, 2015 | #  | Reply

    hi,have a great day i’m interested to be part of your K9 industry as a k9 Handler I was working as k9 handler in Kuwait,EDD/NDD.I’m a Filipino,just inform me,if you need Filipino Handler ty and more power.

  • By sylver lutwama on June 14, 2015 | #  | Reply

    am here in dubai .i work as a k-9 handler specifically explosive dog detection. am still currently employed as a handler here with fedex regional hub dubai but we are sub contractors with fedex.i really wana join you dat side due to some reasons dat cant be explained here on comment wall.am aged 31 en am a ugandan . GOD BLESS U.am waiting fo de response

  • By Bobby Burleson on July 10, 2015 | #  | Reply

    Retired last after 28 years as a police officer and K9 handler. 7 years with Defense Intelligence Agency and TS clearance. Interested in overseas K9 position. Contact 205-919-4706

  • By vinicius bocaiuva on August 26, 2015 | #  | Reply

    Dear Sirs, I am currently looking forward to locate 10 trained MWD (NDD, MDD, EDD, Search & Rescue, Missing Persons, Fugitives) to be donated to a Non-Profit Organization in Brazil. I thank in advance who might have an idication. Thx

  • By Shannon Bragg on September 16, 2015 | #  | Reply

    Recently retired from military after 20 years. I have 11 years experience as a DDD/ EDD hanler. I have 2 tours of service to Iraq 2005/2007 Mosel and Baghdad as well as presidential secret service tasking experience. I am dedicated to the business of agression and detection. I am looking for work abroad. Please reply if interested. Resume and DD214 available upon request, secret clearance.

  • By ngonidzashe on October 21, 2015 | #  | Reply

    I hope I find you well I’m a Zimbabwean EDD/NDD handler who have vast experience. I have worked in Afghanstan and Eritrea. I’m looking for possible employment I’m readily available.

  • By ngonidzashe on October 24, 2015 | #  | Reply

    I’m readily available I’m an EDD/NDD handler/trainer I have worked in war torn Afghanstan and Eritrea. My email address is ngonimusami@gmail.com Please feel free to get in touch with me if you know companies that might need my experience

  • By José Félix castillo on December 11, 2015 | #  | Reply

    Hi there, i was working at afganisthan since 2007 to 2013. I”m looking for a job,im doghandler EDD/ i”ve recived certificate from the army usa.i was working for AMK9 Dtection service.im available to work with you..thanks

  • By Mario de souza on January 25, 2016 | #  | Reply

    Hi my name is Mario i am a explosives dog handler from SA. Will you pls let me know if there is any vacancies available.

  • By Josip Mihajlović on February 11, 2016 | #  | Reply

    Hi, I am EDD handler from HR. I have worked as K9 handlers.

  • By Edward Canell on February 24, 2016 | #  | Reply

    Looking for K9 employment over seas. Just retired after 21 years in the military just need to know where to start.

    Thank you for your time
    Ed C.

  • By John Lundt on March 21, 2016 | #  | Reply

    I am a EDD handler and Team Leader living in Cape Town, South Africa.I have been in the UK, Egypt, Kuwait and the USA. I also have experience as a Kennel Master. I have a Military and Law Enforcement background. Seeking employment in High Risk Zones as a K9 handler. I am available immediately.
    John Lundt

  • By samson nyandoro on May 27, 2016 | #  | Reply

    I am an EDD dog handler looking for a job anywhere in the world. I was trained in South Africa at MECHEM. please conduct me if there is any oportunity

  • By Gideon Francois Combrink on May 31, 2016 | #  | Reply

    Good day .I am a qualified K9-PEDD/EDD Handler with 30 experience in the South-African Police Service ,living in Pretoria South-Africa.I completed a K9 Handlers course in San Antonio Texas .I worked in Afghanistan for 4 years .
    I am VERY interesting in being deployed again in Afghanistan or Iraq or anywhere in the world where needed,I am in the position to been deployed on a very short notice.
    Thank you in advance
    Deon Combrink

  • By Boipuso Ntlhabang on June 6, 2016 | #  | Reply

    Good day.im soldier working in Botswana in dog unit.i have 25yrs experience of working with dogs ver active.passion with initiatives and able to work without supervision im willing to retire very soon. I want a job of using detection dogs in UK…..

  • By José Félix Castillo on June 26, 2016 | #  | Reply

    Hi, im José Félix i was working for amk9 detección service, since 2007 to 2013 im interested to work with you.

  • By Josko Radja on June 30, 2016 | #  | Reply

    I am an 40 years old EOD specialist, MDD and EDD handler
    from Croatia with 19 years of experience.I have in my possession
    Ronco and Global Training Academy MDD certificate for MDD
    (1998)and Canadian International Demining Corps (2007)as EDD handler.
    Since 1996 i have worked in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo
    (with Ronco as USKEDF-United States Kosovo Emergency Demining Forces).
    In those years i have worked as a single unit and in a team as a team leader.
    Now i’m seeking for a new engagement.
    I heard nothing but the best about AMK9 and i am enthusiastic to work with the best.
    I am a highly motivated quick learner and hard working person willing and ready
    to be deployed in short notice wherever is needed.

    Josko Radja

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