This week we read John Katz's novel, The New Work of Dogs: Tending to Life, Love, and Family. Each chapter was a different story about a dog and his/her owner. Every chapter helped us gain a better insight into the lives of canines and learn more about canine personality and temperament, as well as the attachment between humans and their pets.
On Wednesday, Officer Chad Mashni of the Winston-Salem Police Department brought his Belgian Malinois, Abby, a member of the Winston-Salem K9 unit, to class. The ten dogs and their handlers of the WSPD have 400 hours of very expensive training in various fields. The Czech Shepherds and Belgian Malinois of the K9 unit are trained to attack on command and/or if the officer is being assaulted. During class, Abby performed a "bomb search" drill.
On Friday, Dr. Jeff Ersoff brought his trained Vizsla, Ty to class. He reinforced training with treats in class. He also showed the class how attached Ty is to his master, Dr. Ersoff. The dependency of canines to their owners was reinforced by Ty's actions in the classroom as well.
We also learned about different training methods. We reviewed the American Kennel Club's Breed Standards and watched "Best in Show". Our class studied the drives of canines, and what behaviors are universal with that drive. We did surveys on drives/temperament and attachments with our own canines. The classes have been very eventful, with canines actually attending class!