SIEM REAP, Cambodia: From a small enclosure, on the outskirts of Cambodia’s second largest city, high-pitched yelping can be heard from afar.

Lying in the orbit of their protective mother, eight young puppies – just five days old – feed, roll, wriggle and cry, barely able to open their eyes.

This is a special litter.

One of the young puppies who will one day join the de-mining dog ranks. (Photo: Jack Board)

Even from this early age, the training has begun to transform these adorable youngsters into the future wave of dogs that will commit their lives to ridding Cambodian land of a lingering danger.

Soft music beams from speakers overhead, part of a systematic approach to keeping the puppies calm and relaxed – an attribute that is imperative to their success in the field in the years to come.

They will one day be tasked with independently locating land mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO), which continues to contaminate large swathes of the countryside, from Cambodia’s once conflict ridden north-west border with Thailand, to the east where millions of bombs were dropped during the Vietnam War, decades ago.