08 Feb Dog Breeding the Best Military, Police, and Search and Rescue Animals
Dog Breeding the Best Military, Police, and Search and Rescue Animals
It seems like many people take for granted the incredible skill and talent that it takes to be a search and rescue dog. These dogs are agile, smart, resourceful, and extremely disciplined. It takes a combination of good dog breeding, good dog training, and a handler who will do what it takes to make the dog the best it can be. Police, military, and search and rescue teams count on their canine partners to save lives and catch criminals, so they need the absolute best of the best. Here is a guide to the work that goes into providing the best dogs for those tasks.
Choosing the Right Dog
While it’s the first step, going wrong at this stage could pull the whole effort down. The right dogs must be chosen for this vocation. That means only certain breeds are considered. German Shepherds, such as the ones bred at Lara’s Canine Solutions in New Braunfels, are one of the ideal breeds for this kind of work. As well, the dog must be focused and determined. During training, the dog must be able to spend long hours trying to win rewards in all sorts of conditions and weather. Dog training for search and rescue is best done with puppies since they can start the training as early as possible.
Let the Training Begin
Search and rescue dogs are trained for many types of situations. Some are trained to track live people, some for cadavers, and some are trained specifically for work in certain situations. For search and rescue of a living person, the full training process can take up to a year. Dog training works best if it’s treated like play, and it’s no different for these elite dogs. It would typically start with the puppy playing hide and seek games that are as easy as possible. When starting out, the trainer will make sure that they are upwind of the dog, so that the scent will more easily hit the dog’s nose, for instance.
As the dog gets older, the training gets more complicated. It will happen in larger areas, and with the trainer using more difficult spots to hide. They will go to different types of terrain and in different weather. Even at the later stages, the training is still based on fun. When the dog is successful, the trainer will get really excited and play with the toy they are using as a reward. The dog will learn to find the toy, or the person, using the scents they pick up from the air or from the ground.
How Dog Breeding Plays a Part
While it’s true that a dog’s natural instinct plays a part, dog breeding is just as important. Dogs that are bred specifically for this kind of work will take to the training better and be of more service to those men and women in the field who rely on them. A well-bred dog for search and rescue will save lives. It’s that simple.
The next time you’re out in San Antonio you might see a service dog helping the police. You may also from time to time read a story about a bomb-sniffing dog overseas, or even about a person rescued from a tight spot because of a dog. Just remember, it takes a lot of hard work, training, and good dog breeding to get the best of the best out in the field.