Heide is the newest member of the Frederick County Fire Marshal’s Office and was chosen as a new team member in July on a visit to Susquehanna Service Dogs. Staff traveled to Pennsylvania with trainers from the CIA’s K9 Explosives Detection Program. As one of the largest K9 Explosives Detection programs in the Washington Metropolitan Area, and the first United States Police Canine Association (USPCA)-certified “Detector Training Center” in the country, CIA often trains dogs for local government entities.
Susquehanna, which raises and trains services dogs to assist children and adults with disabilities to become more independent, intimately knows the personalities of each puppy in its program. Usually, by the time the dogs are between 1 1/2 to 2 years old, Susquehanna knows whether or not the dog will make it as a service dog. Not all dogs make the cut, but the dogs not suited to service work are often exactly the right dog for explosives detection work!
Heide was chosen to be a member of the Fall 2017 Puppy Class, the first all-female puppy class, and is currently in training. Here are some photos of Heide during imprint training. The first few days of imprinting basically teach the pups to sniff a little tin that contains an explosive scent for a food reward (kibble). To encourage the pups, the trainers use high-pitched voices, dancing, playing, being silly - anything fun to get the dogs to stick their nose in the tin and take a whiff!
Check back for updates as Heide continues her training!
Updated on 08/25/2017 11:35 AM
Heide is the newest member of the Frederick County Fire Marshal’s Office and was chosen as a new team member in July 2017.