Some dogs never get adopted because they have too much energy, exhibit destructive or aggressive behavior, or just can’t bond with humans. Fortunately, one Washington State-based group has discovered these shelter rejects have a critical job to do. They are shaping unwanted mutts into skilled detection dogs that help biologists gather critical data in the field.
They pair that insane need to play fetch with locating rare or elusive odors, whether this is wildlife or toxins or invasive plants or live animals.
Retraining dogs isn’t easy, especially when you’re working with shelter dogs. It can take years to just train one dog. Once trained these dogs travel the country and world in the name of wildlife conservation.
One benefit to detection dogs is that they can canvas for multiple species during a single survey.