There are days when work becomes exhausting and you just want to go hit the beach and relax.
Ahh, that would be living the life.
Well, somehow. For these dogs who spend their work hours at the middle of the sea, it’s a totally different story. Inspired by the drug-detection program for police dogs, here are some dogs trained to sniff out…whale poop.
Tucker is one of 17 dogs working with the CK-9 program, part of the University of Washington Center for Conservation Biology. The dogs are trained to hunt down fecal leavings from dozens of threatened and endangered species. Some track spotted owls, cougars and caribou, while others can sniff out rare species like the Iberian wolf, giant armadillo and tiger. Experienced dogs can identify scat from more than 13 separate species.
From collected specimens, researchers can obtain information on an animal’s diet, genetic makeup, environmental toxins, stress hormones and other physiological indicators. In turn, many of the dogs are rescue animals that had too much energy for a housebound life. They get new homes, lots of love and a chance to indulge their instincts in the name of wildlife conservation.
“Every now and again I find a dog that looks like he has the right kind of ball drive and seems to explore the world enough with his nose,” says Deana Case, a canine behavior specialist with the Kitsap Humane Society, one of CK-9’s partners. “They’re looking for the dog that’s nosy, the one who finds the ball that’s been under the metal case for a month. You can almost feel them.”
Samuel Wasser, who founded CK-9 in 1997, has been analyzing fecal hormones for wildlife studies since the mid-1980s. Realizing that identifying the pressures on threatened species required a much larger scale, he hit upon the idea of adapting narcotic dog training methods for tracking wildlife.
To know more about these interesting dogs, you can visit the full article here.
Okay, that’s one really unique job. These dogs are not just doing well on their day to day jobs, they’re also helping save the marine wildlife, especially the orcas. The additional great news? No specific breed of dog is required for the job. The dog can either be a full grown German Shepard, a poodle, or even a chihuahua, and they would fit right in. The most important factor? The very keen sense of smell.