I am looking for any Info. on fire dogs. I have a Golden Lad puppy, that i want to train to be a Arson dog but am having trouble finding any Info please anyone who can help.
Curtis B. "TAZ" Young
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Thread: Arson Dog
09-19-1999, 09:07 PM #1FireMedic TAZFirehouse.com Guest
09-20-1999, 08:39 AM #2Jim M.Firehouse.com Guest
It's my understanding that the Maine State Fire Marshall's office has the only (one of the only??) nationally certified programs for training arson canines. Local stories are always showing how they are trained, handlers arriving from different places, insurance company investigators with bright smiling faces, etc. Try contacting the Fire Marshall's Office in Augusta, Maine. Sorry, don't have number handy - if I find it, I'll update post.
09-20-1999, 10:22 PM #3SteamerFirehouse.com Guest
It's not the Fire Marshal's Office, it's the Maine State Police that trains the dogs. There is also a program in Connecticut which I think ATF may be associated with. Maine's program is who trains all of State Farm's animals.
There are also several private trainers around the country. If you enter a search for Arson Dogs on your browser, you should kick up a couple. I think both the Maine as well as the Connecticut programs use primarily Labrador Retrievers. Other programs vary.
Should you decide to get involved in an "Accelerant Detecting Canine" program, be ready to change your life. State Farm's program for instance takes 5 weeks initially, and 1 week annually for recertification. Since the dogs work off of their "food drive", you only feed the dog after detecting accelerants during the continual training you provide after the initial school.
Oh, by the way, most handlers tell me you should maintain records of how you feed your dog should it ever come up in court. You might also run into problems finding lodging when you go out of town on vacation because unless you are lucky enough to have a certified handler close by to keep your dog while you're gone, poochy goes to; check ahead.
I am lucky enough to have been given a scholarship from State Farm for the April 2000 class at Maine. The above information is a short synopsis I've been given by various handlers.
The end result is that although a lot of work, I have never seen anything quite like these animals. They are truly incredible, and a true help on a fire scene when they are properly trained and maintained.
I'm not trying to discourage you, but please be sure you want to folow through. It's a lot of time to put in, and later decide all of this hassle isn't for you.
[This message has been edited by Steamer (edited September 20, 1999).]
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