Scientists Are Using Shelter Dogs To Find Gorillas

Written by: Tasmai Uppin

March 2, 2015

Dogs hold down various jobs from painters, to herders, to bomb sniffers, to scientists’ assistants. In fact, we’ve even covered a couple of stories about working dogs and the value they are bringing to humankind.


As we learn more and more about dogs, we’ve caught on to their many special talents and abilities. Scientists in particular are partnering with specially trained dogs to sniff out endangered and near extinct species of animals. A great example of this is scat-sniffing Tucker who goes out on boats with scientists to help locate orcas!


Another group of German and U.S. researchers are using specially trained shelter dogs in Cameroon to help them find the rarest gorilla species known to man.


Megan Parker from Working Dogs for Conservation in Montana (who also happens to be a part of the team), told the Scientific American:

“We select high-drive dogs, meaning they are high energy, most people would say is excessively, object obsessed. This allows us to train them as detection dogs, and since these traits in a dog tend to make them poor pets, we select dogs from shelters, specifically for these characteristics. These dogs also have to have high focus and a desire to work with a handler, as well as being able to focus while working, ignoring all the distractions that would normally tempt a dog to explore.”


You can read the in-depth account of their work here.

While this bodes well for shelter dogs, there are still tons of them who could use a loving, furever home. Hop on over to BarkBuddy to find your pup-mate.

Featured Image via National Geographic

Written by: Tasmai Uppin

March 2, 2015