Day 3 of the trip was the second and final day of testing for the dogs. After yesterday’s tests, the team narrowed the list of potential dogs from 22 to 10. Today, the final 10 dogs were brought to a new location for the final test: another environmental test in a variety of buildings.
This time, we exposed the dogs to abandoned buildings with a variety of obstacles. We took each dog through a series of structures, including a barn, warehouse, and an old house. While the dogs walked through, the trainers made several loud noises to see how the dogs would react. The trainers also asked the dogs to complete different tasks, the hardest of which was to climb a wooden slat staircase where you could see through the gaps between stairs. These tasks and sounds were new to the dogs, and we were looking for dogs who trusted their human handler, approached new environments with confidence, and who wanted to investigate where new sounds were coming from.
This wooden staircase was a particularly difficult obstacle, because the dogs were able to see through the slats.
After this final test, we had narrowed down the 10 dogs to the final 7 that would be coming back to Delaware. The only question, which dog will go where?
We’ll decide later tonight, and tomorrow we will introduce you to our new canine rangers!