Friday, September 12, 2008

And the little dog laughed to see such a sight...
OK, so she isn't so little...... but Monroe was happy and couldn't wait for her turn to get on the boat. We had a lot of fun participating in a TASK-9 search and rescue water training exercise over the weekend. Below are a few pictures of Shasta and Monroe with me during training.

In the training exercise we are encouraging the dogs to use their sense of smell to detect human odor from an underwater diver. Once the dog understands the game, the idea is to turn the boat in the direction the dog chooses (with their nose) until you are close to the diver. As the boat gets close to the diver, the dog signals - usually with barking, pawing, animated enthusiasm, etc. The diver is then signaled to surface via an underwater rope; they have hot dogs with them to reward each dog for their "find". It doesn't take long for the dogs to learn the game and they have a great time. Shasta was so excited he went overboard into the water his first time out. He has since learned that staying on the boat is much more fun. Monroe can be a bit more analytical and less impulsive when learning something new (not counting her skunk episode last month). I will always remember Monroe's expression and the look she gave me the very first time she saw a diver come up to the surface of the water. If she was in a cartoon strip, the bubble above her head would read "Wow, look at that! Did YOU know there are hot dog dispensing people that live in the water??!!"

Several dogs trained during the day. Here is a picture of Taiz. She is the most experienced dog in the group. She is 12 yrs old and still loves to work.

No comments: