Poo Sniffing Dogs: Yes, it’s an Actual Job

July 28, 2012

Health and Science

Dogs find feces from deer much better than we doResearchers in Brazil have finally confirmed what dog owners have long known to be true: dogs are way better at finding shit than we are. In this experiment, researchers were hoping to prove that scat-detection dogs are worthwhile to biologists for their help in finding the feces of rare species. The team taught a dog (her name was Granada) to find the poop of the Mazama deer, and then tested the dog’s ability compared to humans’. Needless to say, the dog kicked butt.  The humans found zero samples, while the dog joyfully uncovered 8 samples.

Another professional poo-sniffer is Tucker, a ball-crazy black Labrador. He has helped his team find poop from killer whales at over a mile away! The poop is a “treasure trove” of information, as it can tell researchers the species, sex, diet, age, and relative stress of the animal. So, researchers trained Tucker to find the mucous-y globs of poop in exchange for a tennis ball. The researchers are investigating the effect of stress on the orca population, which declined over 20% in just 6 years.

Orca research has the added help of dogs

I left you a sample about a mile back…

Dogs have been trained to detect the scat of mountain lions, bobcats, foxes,  bears, wolves, moose, wolverine, deer, and  even lizards! Dogs have also been found to be adept at sniffing out invasive plant species, according to the organization “Working Dogs for Conservation.”  This organization looks for dogs with insane toy drive- so much so that they are incredibly hard to live with. The organization gets many of its working dogs from exasperated dog owners, or shelters. Hopefully, with the help of these talented trainers and dogs, we can find out much more about endangered species, and hopefully save them before they’re gone. Consider making a donation here or simply spreading the word about the world’s best job for a dog.

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About BredByBitch

Hello! My name is Dani, and I've been in the "dog world" since I was 8 years old. My mother raises and breeds Irish Wolfhounds, which was my introduction to the show ring. I showed in Junior Showmanship for many years before aging out and getting my first German Wirehaired Pointer. I live in Tucson, AZ with my German Wirehaired Pointer, Luke. Luke is my man, from my first home-bred litter of wires.

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