The AKC Detection Dog Task Force has been pleased to present several webinars over the past 18 months to encourage the breeding and development of homegrown hero dogs that can achieve the rigorous standards necessary to be an explosives detection dog. The latest webinar, 9 - 12 Month Puppies, Getting Started Right for Detection Work, focused on the final stages of training and the transition to advanced training and placement; preparing for a job.
During the 9 – 12-month period, it’s important to be familiar with your dog’s strengths and weaknesses. “You should know if you have a ‘quitter’”, says Stacey West, Patriotic Puppy Program Manager. “You should focus on challenging the puppy, lengthening exercises, and increasing the action time. Create obstacles to encourage self-re-engaging and object-reward behavior.
“It’s crucial to challenge the puppy with different activities because all agencies test differently,” added Tim Baird. “Always remember to ‘not overdo it’, if during a training session the puppy does something exceptionally well, let the session end on a positive note.”
Around 12 months of age, as the trainer, you should ask yourself “What has been accomplished?”
- Is this dog ready to be shown to prospective purchasers?
- Is the dog working out front and confident?
- Are there holes in training or qualifications such as environmental stability that need to be filled?
- Based on the characteristics you see, consider what the best job for it may be.
- Does this dog shut down after a challenging experience? If so, more work may be needed.
- Does this dog have any aggression issues? If so, it may not be cut out for detection work in the public.
All aspects of training and development should come together as the dog completes training and is ready to move on to advanced training after procurement.
To learn more, view a recording: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/1406466011048252929
Upcoming: AKC National Detection Dog Conference, August 23-25, 2022, Sheraton Imperial - Raleigh-Durham, NC (In-Person). Registration Invitations coming soon!