Does this dog have the best job ever?

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?

Positive TrainingThis post is part of the Positive Pet Training Blog Hop hosted by Cascadian NomadsTenacious 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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7 thoughts on “Does this dog have the best job ever?

  1. This is a new kind of sniffing dog I haven’t heard of! I’ve read about the ones that track the scat of endangered species. Thanks for joining the hop.

  2. The dogs that sniff whale poop and gorilla poop have a close second for great dog jobs;

  3. I saw another post about that dog recently and my husband did too! I think nosework is so awesome and both of my dogs are loving it!

  4. What a cool job for a dog! Seriously would love this–she rolled in poop a few nights ago, lol. Have a great week, and woof, woof to the pooches.

  5. That’s such a great point that I never thought about before. Nose work would be perfect for fearful dogs! These dogs are having a great time while also performing a very valuable purpose.

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