We caught up with Miami-Dade Fire Captain Cat Labrada who is training Halo, the Superpower Dogs search and rescue pup, to see how she’s getting on
How does Halo’s training begin?
“It’s basic puppy training, obedience and socialising – the only different thing is nerve strength training, exposing her to different surfaces and noises. I’ve been taking her into the fire station so that she can get used to the big doors, fire trucks and loud noises. We are working on agility and she’s also working on searching for her tug-toy. We are working towards her stopping using her eyes and ears and concentrating on using her nose.”
Has she achieved any milestones?
“The major milestone that she has passed is toy drive – she wants to do it and she wants to play the game [for the tug-toy reward], and that’s huge because it will set the tone for the rest of her training. She’s like ‘okay you have my tug-toy, where is he?’” We don’t have her tug-toy lying around because that’s saved for work.”
We are working on agility and she’s also working on searching for her tug-toy. We are working towards her stopping using her eyes and ears and concentrating on using her nose.”
What kind of pup is she?
“She’s naughty and playful! She keeps one [tennis] ball in her mouth and she will bat another ball to you! She’s probably one of the smartest dogs I’ve trained.”
What’s next for Halo in the coming weeks?
“We’ll be getting her up on the rubble pile. She has to master searching on the ground before going on the rubble pile to search, but we do go on the rubble to teach her the agility that comes with rubble.”
Superpower Dogs is an epic family adventure film about extraordinary real-life canines. Filmed in 3D and presented in association with the California Science Center, it will hit giant screen and IMAX theatres in Spring 2018.