One of the things we have been discussing at our Mini Paws meetings is that dogs are wonderful family pets, but they can also be working dogs with a job. Our October Mini Paws meeting introduced us to Search and Rescue dogs. Vicki Wooter, of the Search and Rescue Dogs of Pennsylvania, joined us for a very informative presentation. We learned a lot about what search and rescue dogs do and we were able to meet Quake, a gorgeous Shepherd, who is excellent at his job.
The neatest thing about this presentation was the kids were able to compare the job of the K9 unit shepherds (from the spring presentation) with the search and rescue shepherds. The K9 units are always “working” and are not meant to be social with people since they have a job to do. In our spring meeting we watched a police trainee be padded up and subdued by the K9 unit much like he would do when commanded to stop a suspect on the street. On the other hand, search and rescue dogs are trained to be friendly since they will likely encounter people and pets while out on a search and can’t be aggressive. We saw how true this was when Cassidy was asked to hold Quake’s ball, his prized training possession, and not give it to him until told to do so. As instructed, Quake waited patiently and never touched Cassidy until his handler gave him the ok. The Mini Paws and adults truly enjoyed another informative presentation.