Katie’s first official job was mountain lion patrol. The job came naturally to Katie and she didn’t need any training – all she had to do was alert those of us in the field if the mountain lion was near. The mountain lion that we were worried about was targeting people in the local community and we didn’t want to be the next victims. We never saw that cat during the job, but Katie did alert us to the presence of a bobcat. After mountain lion patrol, we worked together on a variety of jobs. I took note of how Katie responded to different stimuli. When a deer was near she acted differently than when a coyote was near – she postured her body differently. Her ears are in a slightly different place for each and she wags her tail in a distinctive way for each. These signs help me determine what we are dealing with and what I want her to do for me. In 2008, we started working exclusively with coyotes and have been working with them since. In this picture she is looking for coyote scat, scent posts, trails, and den sites.
Katie also serves as an educational dog during dog training classes. Her main job here is to be a calm, well behaved dog while we are around dogs that may not be. She also helps by demonstrating basic commands and as a ‘tool’ for humans practicing a training method so they can learn how to instruct their own dog.