Different type of attack: Reds continue unique pre-season with dog squad collaboration

Thu, 04/11/2021, 05:10 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
We were lucky enough to have the Brisbane Dog Squad in at Ballymore to run the 2022 Reds squad through some training exercises and focus on their defensive strategies. Hear from defence coach Michael Todd, Brisbane Dog Squad Senior Constable, Dog Handler Nathan Ross and Queensland prop Harry Hoopert reflect on the session. Please note, all scenarios were completed under strict supervision and guidance from the Brisbane Dog Squad with plastic training firearms used. No animals or persons were harmed during the duration of the training exercise.

How do you top a three-day army camp for intensity? In the words of C Montgomery Burns: release the hounds.

The Reds have continued to think outside of the box as they gear up for pre-season, bringing in the Brisbane Dog Squad for a series of exercises.

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This saw players don the protective suits whilst the dogs attacked them, taking a unique outlook at building how they view and operate under pressure.

“There were many situations where you are going through tunnel vision. It could be in a game where you are stuffed and you can’t think, get your breath, and then they come in and make us think under pressure,” prop Harry Hoopert told the media.

“It’s about talking to each other, finding a threat and talking to each other so they’re showing how relatable it is.

“(Being attacked by a police dog) was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I wouldn’t like to be attacked by one without a suit on, I’ve already got bruises from it…we want to be hungry like dogs, always attacking and I think that was a great way to put it into perspective.

“It’s good for the younger boys (to mix it up), good experience and something they’ll talk about for the rest of their life.”

Harry Hoopert believes the unique work with the dog squad will only be beneficial for the Reds. Photo: Getty Images

Hoopert was identified as a standout from last week's gruelling camp believes it will only be beneficial as they look to back up their impressive 2021 season.

“Coming off that three day camp at Canungra, you can just tell we’re all tight, everyone talking about the bad things and how hard it is for our mental thinking,” he noted.

“I think as a group it’s brought us together so much as a group."

“When we made contact with the dog squad, we spoke about what we wanted to get out of it and soon realised that our values aligned,” defence coach Michael Todd added.

“Army camp last week was all about working under pressure, they were a bit fresher this week so it was all about bringing in external stimulus, putting the guys under mental pressure with a bit of tunnel vision starting to develop and being able to do under duress.”

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