At the Penn Vet Working Dog Center, our puppies start training from the day they join the program at eight weeks old, participating in age-appropriate exercises to gradually develop the skills they will need as working dogs. From that point, they spend at least eight hours a day, Monday through Friday, at the Center to learn the basics of search, agility, fitness, impulse control, obedience, and drive.
A Foundation in Scent Detection
Since we are a foundation program, we teach our dogs the basic skills necessary for a successful career in detection. We like to think of it as a liberal arts degree that will prepare them to go on to the advanced training that best suits their physical and behavioral strengths.
When they graduate from our program they will learn to apply their search skills to their specified target odor (i.e., explosives, drugs, medical detection). To ensure they will succeed in any detection program, our dogs learn to confidently & independently search on and off leash.