It’s been three months since the Penn Vet Working Dog Center welcomed its inaugural class of puppies, seven rambunctious balls of energy destined to become highly trained detection dogs performing jobs that range from police and rescue work, to bomb and drug detection.
The dogs—Bretagne, Kaiserin (called Kai), Morgan, PApa Bear, Sirius, Socks, and Thunder—are known as the Class of 2013.
Each weekday, the puppies are delivered by their foster parents to the Center’s headquarters at Penn’s South Bank, where they spend the day training to be expert detectors and also learn how to remain physically fit.
At the end of their year of training, the dogs will be expected to perform an extended search for a hidden object or person in an area that is unfamiliar to them. They will be able to ignore distractions, and they will be able to follow off-leash directions with agility.
In addition to training the dogs, the Center is conducting scientific research on how to optimize the health and performance of all working dogs.
Text by Tanya Barrientos
Video by Kurtis Sensenig and Penn Vet Working Dog Center