Alpha Dogs

by Rebecca on February 8, 2013

in Reviews

Alpha Dogs Marquee


New Nat Geo WILD Series Goes Inside One of the Most Elite Police and
Military Dog Training Facilities in the World

Executive Produced by Jack Osbourne and Rob Worsoff,

New Series Alpha Dogs Premieres Friday, February 8, 2013, at 9 & 9:30 PM ET

They hail from Europe, and respond to commands in their native tongue; they are members of every branch of the
military, the Secret Service and law enforcement agencies worldwide; they
have helped take down some of the most infamous terrorists in history; and
they are suckers for a tennis ball. They are the K-9s of Vohne Liche Kennels
(VLK), one of the premiere K-9 training facilities in the world, and
together with the team that trains them they are an integral part of the war
on terror.

Beginning Friday, Feb. 8, at 9 & 9:30 p.m. ET (and airing weekly Fridays at
9 & 9:30 p.m. ET), Nat Geo WILD’s cameras go behind the scenes with
exclusive access to VLK’s elite trainers at their headquarters in rural
Indiana, as they work around the clock to train these Alpha Dogs in the art
of detection and assault. They do it all with one goal: serving our country.

The training approach is intense: Any mistakes the dogs make-missing a bomb,
letting an enemy escape or not detecting weapons-could cost lives. Join the
VLK team as they teach handlers and dogs to leap from helicopters, rappel
down buildings, search buildings and cars for explosives and drugs, and
chase down human targets. The dogs can even be trained to find illicit cell
phones in prison cells and money being brought through airports as part of
laundering schemes. Training these K-9/human tandems in real-world
situations, like staying focused on a bad guy while live gunfire is
occurring around them, is critical. The VLK team will go to whatever lengths
necessary, be it live explosives or real drugs, to make sure no dog or
handler graduates from their program unprepared.

Though the trainers at VLK may look like a biker gang, and sometimes may act
like one, they have extensive experience serving on the front lines in
military and law enforcement agencies, and many carry top secret clearance.
Led by owner and founder Kenny Licklider, a retired senior master sergeant
in the U.S. Air Force, each member of the team is an alpha male in his own

. Danny, head of police training, is the toughest guy with a mullet
that you’ve ever met.

. Bobby, head of military operations, is cool under pressure, and
has never seen a deadline he can’t meet.

. Luther, lead instructor for the kennel’s Tactical Explosive
Detector Dog (T.E.D.D.) program, is the team’s most outgoing personality.

. K.C. isn’t just the boss’s son but also one of the best
up-and-coming trainers at the facility.

“The K-9s you’ll meet in Alpha Dogs are serious animals, a perfect
combination of muscle and smarts, trained at the highest level,” says
executive producer Jack Osbourne. “If you met Kenny and team on the street,
you’d never expect that this group of beer-drinking, motorcycle-driving,
tattoo-covered guys from small-town Indiana would be some of the world’s
finest law enforcement trainers. From the moment I met them and saw their
operation, they blew me away.”

Fellow executive producer Rob Worsoff adds, “I think people are going to
love this show. It has everything: awesome characters, funny moments,
awesome dogs, explosions, tears and tons of tension. It’s an action-packed

Premiere episodes include:

Alpha Dogs: Life and Death

Premieres Friday, February 8, 2013, at 9 PM ET

Meet Kenny, Danny, Bobby, Luther and K.C. – owner and staff at Vohne Liche
Kennels (VLK), one of the most elite K-9 dog training facilities in the
world. Together they train not just the dogs sent to the field to detect
drugs, weapons and bombs and attack aggressors, but also the handlers who
will work with them on a daily basis. In the premiere episode, it’s almost
graduation for a team from Special Ops forces, and Kenny and Bobby are
worried when one trainee struggles with controlling his dog. Any delay in
their graduation costs the kennel money, but they can’t risk graduating a
dog or human without being fully confident in their skills to transition
between taking down an enemy and finding the bomb. Later, Kenny joins Danny,
Luther and his son K.C. as they travel to a training seminar commemorating a
fallen officer and former VLK student. Together they take the officers
through exercises similar to what their fallen colleague encountered the
night he was killed, including a rappelling challenge that causes one VLK
trainer to confront his fears and sends another to a hospital.

Alpha Dogs: Bite Me

Premieres Friday, February 8, at 9:30 PM ET

The team at VLK has been working hard, and Kenny wants to take them
“turtling” over the weekend as a reward; but they have a lot of work to get
done before they can go. First, Danny and Kenny visit the police department
in Terre Haute, Ind., to test a group of dogs’ reactions to live gunfire.
One of the animals becomes anxious, and when his handler tries to subdue him
incorrectly, he winds up with a vicious bite. The guys have to take the dog
back to the kennel to determine if the dog has issues, or if the real issue
was poor handling. Meanwhile, Luther has four dogs who he must teach to
detect explosive odors in only a few short days before a new Tactical
Explosive Detector Dog (T.E.D.D.) class. If he can’t get the job done
they’ll have to work through the weekend, which means no turtling. The
pressure is on!

Alpha Dogs: Rodney & Bullwinkle

Premieres Friday, February 15, at 9 PM ET

A new client, Rodney, arrives from Afghanistan looking for a new cadaver
dog, which can be used to find mass burial sites and body parts. Rodney is
used to using strapping Belgian Malinois, but Bobby and Luther are convinced
the right dog for the job is a cocker spaniel named Bullwinkle. Rodney is
skeptical, even after Bullwinkle shines in the indoor test, detecting the
odor of body decomposition in a target box, and again outdoors finding a PVC
pipe with real human remains. To really sell Rodney, they’ll have to test
the dog to find an intact human foot they’ve buried – which will also test
their squeamish stomachs. Over in Logansport, Ind., Kenny and Danny have
been invited to participate in the police department’s drug interdiction
detail, where they’ll attempt to catch cars using a side road to avoid a
drug checkpoint, and then bring in dogs to search for drugs. Kenny and Danny
are excited to be out on the streets, and hoping their dogs can make the

Alpha Dogs: Blow Up

Premieres Friday, February 15, 2013, at 9:30 PM ET

VLK is welcoming a new group of T.E.D.D. handlers who need pairing up with
dogs. This program trains K-9s to detect improvised explosive devices and
trains the handlers to use the animals’ skills to save the lives of their
fellow soldiers. Once Kenny and Luther have made the pairings, they set the
duos to work in a bomb-sniffing exercise that features live gunfire and
explosions. One of the dogs, who, like the rest in this class, has already
served time in Afghanistan or Iraq, shows signs of resistance at the first
sound of explosions, and it’s up to the guys from VLK to determine if she is
capable of seeing combat again. Danny is dealing with a different kind of
personnel problem: K.C., the boss’s son, is perpetually showing up late and
missing work. His young age and lack of real-life experience make it
difficult for him to earn the respect he thinks he deserves: not only from
overzealous trainees but also from his own dad.

Alpha Dogs: Busted

Premieres Friday, February 22, 2013, at 9 PM ET

Kenny has high hopes to become the exclusive dog provider for K9s4Cops, a
charitable organization that buys police dogs for departments across the
country that can’t afford them. The leaders of the charity visit VLK with an
officer who is to receive a K-9 from the charity, but after he makes his
selection, Bobby and Kenny are shocked to learn the dog needs to be
comfortable working in and around water. If these two can’t get the dog up
to speed, it could affect the relationship with K9s4Cops and cost the kennel
thousands of dollars in new business. In nearby Kokomo, Ind., Kenny and
Danny work with a group of police officers to build their dog’s confidence
in taking out a bad guy. One handler shines bright, so Kenny and Danny
invite him along on a real drug bust to give him a taste for real-world
detection. Will he falter in the face of adversity, or continue to show

Alpha Dogs is produced for Nat Geo WILD by Schweet Entertainment, LLC. For
Schweet Entertainment, LLC, executive producers are Jack Osbourne and Rob
Worsoff. For Nat Geo WILD, executive producers are J-T Ladt and Ashley
Hoppin, senior vice president of development and production is Janet Han
Vissering, and executive vice president and general manager is Geoff


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