The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) Working Dog Center Patrol School recently celebrated its first dog graduate, a 19-month-old German shepherd named Rookie. Previously, all law enforcement K9s from the Center attended patrol school at other facilities, the school noted.
“By holding our own patrol school, we’re able to provide continuity of positive-reinforcement training,” said Cindy Otto, DVM, Ph.D., executive director of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center. “Our hope is that, with our expertise and training methods, we can produce the next generation of top-notch law enforcement K9s.”
Rookie started patrol school in early November with her partner, Officer Jeffrey Seamans of the Lower Merion Police Department. The team will now receive advanced training in explosives detection.
At the patrol school, Rookie and Seamans worked together on searches, odor imprinting, agility, obedience, hard-surface tracking, direction and control, criminal apprehension, environmental conditioning and article searches. The pair completed more than 400 hours of training and will continue to do monthly in-service training at the center, according to Penn Vet.
“It was a very positive experience at the Working Dog Center,” said Officer Seamans. “Rookie and I developed a great foundation to build upon as we start our careers in the K9 Unit.”
Rookie was donated to the center by KDs K9s. She is named in honor of Rookie Guerrero, who deployed to the World Trade Center following the attacks on 9/11.