On September 1, SDF’s training team passed the leashes of five Search Dogs to their brand new Firefighter-Handlers: Brandon Andersen & Winnie (California Task Force 5 – Orange County), Jeff Hanlon & Willy (Oklahoma Task Force 1 – Oklahoma City), Mike Toepfer & Deacon (California Task Force 2 – Los Angeles County), Marc Valentine & Charlie (California Task Force 5), and Dane Yaw & Delta (Oklahoma Task Force 1).
From basic heeling to search strategy and scenting, the Handlers learned as much as possible in the short two-weeks they spent at the National Training Center. Now partnered with their Search Dogs, the teams will continue to train together and with SDF’s Trainers to prepare for Certification and eventual deployment readiness.
We are so proud of these Search Dogs and Handlers and cannot wait to see them grow as teams as they begin their careers together!
See the video from our live stream on our Facebook page of the Graduation Ceremony here:
And here are some of our favorite photos from the Handler Course and Graduation Ceremony: