Remember how you felt when you found out that someone actually gets paid to taste ice cream flavors? Or test video games?
That’s how your dogs are going to feel when they find out that some dogs get paid to sniff poop!
Meet Crush, a sewage sniffing dog from Environmental Canine Services. She and her handler, Aryn Hervel, have traveled to my part of northwest Washington state a few times to track down the sources of fecal coliform bacteria in our water ways.
Unregulated agriculture is a huge part of the problem, but Crush is trained to alert to the smell of human waste specifically. Last week, she was in Whatcom County, sniffing samples of water taken from watersheds with high levels of contamination. By letting us know which samples contain human poop, Crush is helping officials locate sources of septic tank failures or sewage leaks.
Your dog’s pretty jealous, right? I mean, I play nose work games with my dogs, but never with actual, aromatic human poop!
Nose work has gotten very popular recreationally because it reinforces what your dog was born to do, and it’s entirely reward-based: when the dog finds the hide, she gets a treat!
Fearful dogs can gain confidence through nose work; dog-reactive dogs can take nose-work classes, since no other dogs are in the room while they search; and obedience school drop-outs (or flunk-outs) can even excel at nose work, since obedience commands are discouraged in the nose work arena!
Training should always be fun for both the dog and the handler. Crush is super lucky because her handler adopted her from a shelter at four months, and found a way to turn the nose work game into a career.
What have you done that’s fun for your dogs today?
This post is part of the Positive Pet Training Blog Hop hosted by Cascadian Nomads, Tenacious Little Terrier and Rubicon Days. Please share your responsible pet owner positive pet training tips by linking a blog post or leaving a comment below. Our theme for this month is play and trying out new training games. The Linky Link will be open through Sunday.
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