One dog took the ride of his life recently when he parachuted from a plane cruising at 10,000 ft. But this wasn’t just any pup — he’s a super-smart explosive-sniffing dog, working with the Austrian government on a training mission.
The specialized pup participated in Norway’s Operation Cold Response, a three-week exercise that ran from Feb. 17 to March 4, bringing together 8,500 soldiers from 14 countries. Strapped to his handler — and with a muzzle to prevent jaw injuries on landing — the Belgian shepherd plummeted over Narvik, Norway, and made a safe landing.
“It’s something he does a lot and he’s very comfortable with,” one special operations trooper told the U.K.’s Daily Mail. “He has a much cooler head than most recruits.” The soldier went on to say that dogs in general are actually more likely to be frightened by the plane’s engine noise than the jump, since pups “don’t perceive height difference the same way humans do. Once we’re on the way down … they just enjoy the view.”
He was quick to point out that four-legged team members are valued just as highly as their human counterparts, and are never put in situations that are unnecessarily dangerous.