Meet Dingo, one of a litter of eight puppies who could soon be on a special mission to make Cambodia a safer place.
Dingo and his seven siblings were born at the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) Dog Training Centre in Siem Reap, where canines are trained to become demining dogs and sniff out unexploded explosives.
Cambodia has a large legacy of landmines and other remnants of war, which have killed or injured more than 64,000 people since the fall of the Khmer Rouge.
NPA, a nonprofit organization that has been in Cambodia since 1992, only uses one breed of dog, Belgian Malinois, which are known for being robust and curious.
Dingo and the other puppies—three male and four female—were born in May, and will be tested to see if they’ve got what it takes to work in the field.
If Dingo passes, he’ll undergo rigorous training for up to 22 months, enabling him to eventually sniff out a microscopic piece of TNT buried 20 cm below the surface.
The Siem Reap center currently has 19 dogs, including the puppies and seven 1-year-olds going through training.