Definition: Drive is the propensity of a dog to exhibit a particular pattern of behaviors when faced with particular stimuli. [Drives are triggered by these particular stimuli and expressed in a typical and predictable way that is associated with the particular stimulus. Drives can be enhanced or diminished through experience (e.g., training, environment, et cetera), but they cannot be created or eliminated. Traditionally defined in the working dog literature as an exaggerated, instinctual response to certain stimuli and situations. Drive is most narrowly and clearly defined as a willingness, vigor, or enthusiasm to engage in certain behavior, contexts, or situations.] – SWGDOG
Link to terminology page: Drive
Our puppies participate in daily exercises that will hone and develop their natural instincts to play with toys, desire food, chase and hunt. Building these drives creates a solid foundation for which a successful search career is based.
Definition: A term that is encompasses a variety of applications. SWGDOG offers the following:
Link to terminology page:
In preparation for detection careers in fields including Search & Rescue, Explosive, Narcotic, and Cancer detection, our puppies are building confidence to search out and find their target in a variety of environments including buildings, vehicles, and an array of outdoor areas.
Definition: The canine should be under the control of the handler, capable of heeling through crowds and non-aggressive to people and other canines. The canine, for its safety, must be responsive to an emergency stop command. The long wait evaluates the reliability of the canine to remain in place when the handler is not in sight. – FEMA Canine Search Specialist Certification Annex
Our puppies learn an extensive set of obedience skills to ensure they live safe and enjoyable lives during both working hours and when they are off duty.
Definition: A character trait which describes the natural (running) speed, sure-footedness, and coordination, and the ability of the dog to correct and recover. – SWGDOG
Link to terminology page: Agility
Utilizing a combination of traditional agility equipment and real world props, our puppies learn proprioception (hind-end awareness) and confidence on a wide array of surfaces and heights. This allows them to stay focused on their search and not their footing improving their probability of detection.
Direction & Control
Definition: In order to search areas that the handler may not access or to avoid hazardous areas, the canine must demonstrate the ability to be directed and controlled by the handler. The canine should respond to audible and/or visual signals. – FEMA Canine Search Specialist Certification Annex
Mastering these skills prepares our dogs to enter successful detection careers in any environment.
Definition: Instruction and evaluation procedures used to teach a dog to work, and determine whether a dog can work, in a variety of operational environments with increasing biological and physical complexity, which may distract or inhibit the dog from work. The training and testing, respectively, are designed to teach the dog to work, and assure that the dog can work, in a variety of operational environments, some of which may be extreme. – SWGDOG
Link to terminology page: Environment
For the same reason we expose our puppies to a variety of surfaces during their agility training, we teach them to be unphased by the many preassures and distractions they might encounter in their work environment. This includes crowds, moving vehicles, loud machinery, gun shots, other animals, and smoke are just a few situations they will learn to work through.
Fitness & Conditioning
Definition: Cardiovascular and musculoskeletal conditioning of the dog or handler for the work undertaken. – SWGDOG
Link to terminology page: Physical Fitness
With the amount of time and money it takes to get a dog to the level of field readiness, it is imperative that we ensure they stay at top physical performance. From the very beginning, our puppies undergo fitness routines aimed at maximizing their performance and increasing the duration of their working life.
Definition: The science of providing for the needs of an animal including housing, daily care, feeding, exercise, and meeting the behavioral/mental/”emotional” needs of the animal. – SWGDOG
Link to terminology page: Husbandry
Stand for veterinary exam, grooming, toe nail clipping, loading in and out of vehicles and traveling calmly are all skills that any dog needs to thrive. In addition to successful search careers, we strive to ensure that our puppies are confident and capable during their time off of work when they are faced with the same situations as any other dog.