When you try to find a good candidate for search dog training, you have to look for certain things. Not every dog can be a search dog. Only dogs that fit a certain profile are generally used as search dogs. If you have a dog and want to see if they are a good candidate, here are five traits that your dog will need to be successful.
5 Traits for Successful Search Dog Training
Search and rescue dogs have to have a high level of intelligence. This is one reason why German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers are common breeds used. These highly intuitive dogs are extremely smart and can perform the tasks put before them. If your dog exhibits a good bit of intelligence, that could be a sign that they might be a good candidate for search dog training.
Another important quality in search dogs is a very focused drive. Dogs that are willing to go until the job is done are very popular in this type of field. Dogs have to go through long and uncomfortable situations at times to get the job done, so a high amount of drive is necessary.
If your dog is quick to pay attention when they are being spoken to or commanded, that is a good sign as well. Search dogs are constantly being led and given commands, so your dog must be quick to respond. Sometimes a quick response will be the difference between life and death. If your dog is not responsive they will not be able to do this type of work.
Not Easily Distracted
Just as a search dog must be responsive, they must also be highly focused. If they are easily distracted by noises, other people, animals or anything else, this is a bad sign for their search dog training possibilities. One way to test this out is to play with your dog on a regular basis and see how he reacts when outside things come into play. A car riding by, a stray noise or another person added to the mix will sometimes cause the dog to stop playing and investigate. A good search dog will often not stray from their fun no matter what is going on around them.
Finally, a good search dog has to have a solid ability to keep going. Dogs have to be in great shape to do this type of thing and they can’t be in poor health. If your dog has an awesome ability to keep going when other dogs are winded or finished, then they might be a good candidate for search dog training.
A good search dog has all of these qualities in spades and that innate ability to learn. If you think your dog is capable of search dog training, by all means go and get them certified. There is a shortage of these dogs in the world and a huge need for them. Just remember that not every dog will make the cut.