I just saw this posted on a friend's FB page and wanted to re-post it here. This dog is one of the reasons I wanted to create this group: to highlight great dogs and the great things they do. Thanks to Martha Hoffman for the post and share to her FB page. The original post was made by Pat Cook, a well-known trainer in Oregon, who also spent time in the past in the Bay Area, doing a lot of great things for dogs.
"Chako (The Chupacarbra) impressed everyone when tested by Working Dogs for Conservation near Clearlake, CA on Friday. Their trainer knew immediately that he was what they are looking for, but the trainer who hosted us, who has trained hundreds of dog for California Fish and Wildlife, wanted him badly for her program! He blew them away with his intensity and focus, environmental soundness and superb temperament. So he will be heading to Montana in a few weeks to the WD4C facility to be trained for a very special operation: helping to stop the illegal trade in rhino horn and ivory! Once trained, he will be taken to Asia to search cargo coming into one of the biggest ports dealing with this problem. WD4C has been to check out the facilities and will be continually supervising the program. Once Chako is retired he will be brought back to the US in their care. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome or the care and commitment of the organization to its dogs.
At about 6 weeks of age Chako was thrown out of a car in Sacramento. A good Samaritan picked him up but couldn’t keep him. He was taken in by Chako Rescue and fostered in one of their wonderful homes. Dawn recognized his working potential and I picked him up at 11 weeks of age.
It became quickly apparent that he was more Malinois/Dutch Shepherd in his temperament than pit bull. We don’t know his breeds but we can guess. He is very intelligent, insanely driven by food or toys and a blast to work. By five months of age he had around thirty cued behaviors performed with great enthusiasm. But his passion was searching, and he obviously had an amazing nose. My goal became to socialize him well enough that he could go anywhere and be comfortable working detection in different environments or settling in a crate. It doesn’t sound like much but it was a lot of work over many months. Keeping him exercised and entertained alone could be a full time job! He’s a giant PIA to live with.
When friends saw him doing obedience exercises they asked why I wasn’t keeping him to show. My reply was that giving this dog a career in AKC obedience would be like using a Maserati to go grocery shopping! I believe in finding the best match for the dog; it looks like Chako has found his match!"