In April the new dogs learned foundational skills. They learned how to detect drugs or explosives, tracking, and obedience. In May these foundation skills are being transferred into gradually more complex scenarios.
For example, the dogs started in their first week "tracking" inside a 15'x30' area full of crushed vegetation and food reward. A week later they were able to follow a 80' long track with a 45-degree turn. By the end of April they were tracking 150-300 yards with very limited food baiting. By the end of May the dogs are practicing tracks up to 30 minutes old and up to 600 yards in a city environment with some contamination.
Dog training is based largely on successive approximation, or "baby steps." Dogs can accomplish great things when the task is broken down into little steps -- from very simple and then very gradually moving to very complex.
The foundation assisted in making the three new dogs possible, providing a $10,000 grant towards their purchase. A great big thanks to our donors!