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Weird NewsShelter Dogs Are Being Trained to Protect Wildlife—by Sniffing Poop

05:50  03 august  2019
05:50  03 august  2019 Source:   mentalfloss.com

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This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Dogs have excellent schnozes. This we know, thanks to the proliferation of K-9 drug sniffers and Over 40 four-legged participants have been trained to sniff out up to 12 species each: wolverines Tucker started off as an antsy pup at a shelter in Arlington, Washington—too antsy for the shelter

Their Wildlife Detector Dog Program relies on shelter dogs , currently all highly trained labradors Dogs are trained to find multiple things that shouldn’t be there, drugs included, but that’s typically at Electronics- sniffing dogs are new to the detection scene and require much longer training due to the

Shelter Dogs Are Being Trained to Protect Wildlife—by Sniffing Poop © FiN85/iStock via Getty Images Shelter Dogs Are Being Trained to Protect Wildlife—by Sniffing Poop

Dogs can identify tainted wine just by sniffing it, and now shelter dogs' incredible olfactory skills are being put to work for wildlife conservation.

Shelter dogs with endless energy might not make ideal pets, but Samuel Wasser, director of the Center for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington, gives them a new purpose in the center's Conservation Canines program. Wasser and his colleagues train high-energy and obsessively focused dogs to seek out the scat—a.k.a. poop—of threatened and endangered wildlife. Dogs are 153 percent more accurate than humans in detecting scat by smell, and through the program, the dogs have identified scat from tigers, orcas, spotted owls, bears, and Pacific pocket mice. The dogs hone their skills in Washington State's 4300-acre Pack Forest.

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Most will be satisfied with a sniff , but a few will want, like human children, to put everything in their mouths. Poop eaters are no harder to house train than any other dogs . Females are more likely to eat Scientists hypothesize that this may be related to the instinct to protect the pack from predators.

— Shelter dogs too intense or feisty to be adopted are finding new purpose helping out wildlife scientists with Conservation Canines, using their noses The noses of these detection dogs are being put to good use in northeast Washington’s Pend Oreille County, in an exploratory project that hopes to

Their work isn't limited to land animals. Since 2006, Wasser and researcher Deborah Giles have studied the endangered southern resident orcas around the San Juan Islands in Washington with the help of the conservation canines. Giles’s rescue dog, Eba, goes out on the boat with researchers and locates orca scat in the water—a scent usually undetectable to humans, KCPQ.com reports. From collected samples of whale poop, Wasser and Giles can tell if the donor animal is pregnant, if it’s getting enough food, and if it's diseased. The sample's chemical composition can paint an entire portrait of the animal’s health. “If you don’t collect data, you don’t know what’s going on,” Wasser told KCPQ.com.

The canines' incredible sense of smell is one key to understanding orcas and other species. And when it comes to saving these threatened animals, humans need all the help they can get.

Woman opens her home to 97 rescue dogs during Hurricane Dorian.
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