With all the media in recent times about recent dog attacks I thought I would give the public another perspective to consider.
Having just returned from a trip to Philadelphia USA to the Penn Vet Working Dog Centre conference and training facility, I saw just how truly amazing dogs can be and what they can achieve with expert training and socialisation. As a well-respected facility both in USA and around the world the centre assists police dog trainers, search & rescue, private organisations and owners as well as being a research facility working alongside universities.
The conference itself covered all of the disciplines outlined below, as well as other topics from scientific advancements in training methods, Wounded Warrior program for PTSD of returned military personal, physical fitness of dogs, to medical scent detection and research.
At the Penn Vet Working Dog Centre dogs are fostered by families who drop them to the facility each weekday morning and collection each evening. Puppies start training at 8 weeks and each is trained in body strengthening, agility, high level of obedience and scent training using positive reinforcement methods. They are assessed during training for drive and motivation, work ethic and personality then based on these findings are trained specifically for one of many disciplines including Search & Rescue live find, human remains, explosives, accelerants, narcotics, diabetes alert, and cancer detection.
These dogs are wonderful examples of how dogs help us in so many ways and a true contrast to the bad publicity often afforded to our dogs. From my perspective, dogs assist us so much more than they attack us and ultimately it is our responsibility as humans to offer our dogs the best physical care, excellent socialisation and training in a positive and compassionate manner.