CAMP PENDLETON — Arthur, a Belgian Malinois shepherd, and his handler, California Highway Patrol Officer Robert Stage, circled 15 large cans, some of which held explosives without detonation devices.

Within seconds, Arthur identified all five cans containing the explosives.

The exercise, a trial run on the first of a three-day national explosive certification held by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives National Canine Division, was designed to teach canine teams from across the nation the newest strategies to fight the ongoing threat of high-tech terror.

Security experts look to dog teams as a way to get a leg up on the expanding technology of explosives. Dogs’ detection capabilities are the only thing aside from intelligence gathering that can detect a bomb, experts say. Canines are capable of detecting 19,000 explosive formulations, they say.

“In London, in France, terrorism is everywhere, whether it’s domestic or international,” Stage said during the training Tuesday, June 6. “This training is necessary for law enforcement and the general public. Dogs can do a lot of things we can’t.”

Stage, 47, from the  CHP’s Inland Division in San Bernardino, expertly maneuvered the 2-year-old dog around three more ring drills after that first success.

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