Tyler Falconer has a unique relationship with dogs — the harder they bite, the better he feels.
"Every bite is about 700 lbs per square inch on my arm," said Falconer, who runs Falco K9 in South Boston.
"That was really nothing personal," he explained about being bitten during a training session. "What I'm doing is just preparing for a situation that can happen and I'm building his confidence."
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Falconer training working dogs for police and the military. His breed of choice- the Belgian Malinois, the same kind of dog as Conan, the one injured in the Syrian raid that killed the leader of ISIS.
The breed is agile and smart and can flip between being terrorizing and friendly on a dime — with proper training.
"Not only does the dog have to be proficient in apprehension like biting people. They also have to be proficient in detection," Falconer said. "They also have to be environmentally and socially stable."
When he heard about the efforts of that Conan, the military K-9, his reaction was simple: "I was very proud. Because there's a lot more room for failure than there is for success."
He should know. Falconer served as a K-9 handler in the Navy.
Now he and his nephew Jake carefully select puppies to train for up to two years before they're ready for work.
"We perform certain tests on them when they're puppies to see what their prey drive is," Jake said.
They expose the young dogs to as many sounds as possible, including gunfire that's played on a speaker so they're ready for further training in dangerous scenarios.
"When they're performing that task, the dogs' No. 1 worry isn't" the sound, but performing the mission and making their handler happy.
Falconer has more than just a dog in this fight.
"Two of my friends that I was in K-9 school with had actually been killed overseas, so it became pretty real to me," he said.
He keeps mementos of those fallen K-9 officers — Michael Brodski, Keaton Coffey and Sean Brazas — at his training facility.
"Even though we're in a nice cushy building getting dogs prepared, there's a purpose for why we do what we do and we take the pain in the bite suit," he said.
Falconer trains regular dogs as well, but his own dog, Nala, is trained. He keeps her for protection.