High-energy dogs are finding their perfect job: protecting the environment! From sniffing out invasive and endangered species to detecting wildlife crime, dogs are using their incredible sense of smell to protect ecosystems all around the globe.

Dogs and humans have made the best of teams for millennia! We’ve joined forces with them for agriculture and transportation, to sniff out bombs and even diseases, and of course, for companionship. But did you know that they’ve been out there saving the environment as well? Here’s the story of the amazing Working Dogs for Conservation!

Source: Photo by Kristie Burns (@bearthimages). Courtesy of Working Dogs for Conservation.

Sniffing out a healthier environment!

Time and time again, we find that the answers to our most vexing problems are already out there in nature. And this time, in the face of fragile environments, it turns out that our four-legged best friends are our ticket to building a healthier world!

The dog’s nose is an amazing feat of evolution. (Check out this article to learn about what’s happening inside of it.) With it, they’re able to detect minuscule scent particles (parts per trillion) and track them down to their source. In the case of collecting the data we need to protect the environment, this is the perfect skill to have!

And that’s how Working Dogs for Conservation (WD4C) is making a difference.

The pups that work with them are specifically trained to seek out anything from the invasive species throwing ecosystems out of whack, tracking endangered species to count their numbers, and even detecting the wildlife crimes happening heavily all throughout Africa.

One of our favorite channels, Great Big Story, gives us a look into how they got the job and make the magic happen. Take a look!

We’ve paired this video with thought-provoking discussion questions perfect for the classroom in this touchstone on our education platform, EWCed!

How awesome is that?!

If you’d like to watch more great content from Great Big Story, check out their website and YouTube channel, or give them a follow on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram!

It’s not always about us developing better technology. Sometimes (if not most of the time) it’s about looking around us and seeing who/what is ready for the job. It may be an old friend, sitting beside us, eagerly wagging their tail!

Amazing programs like WD4C, where we join forces with the other creatures on the planet, are what will help us progress most. Through their work, WD4C is not only helping conservation but saving the lives of dogs that work with them. That’s an immeasurable impact on the world if you ask me.

You can learn more about this brilliant program (and meet their pups!) by visiting their website. And stay up to date with what they’re up to by following along on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram! Tons of amazing publications have written about their work and done profiles on the pups. Check out their press archive to peruse those awesome pieces!

If you’d like to take a look at how an ordinary dog becomes a hero for wildlife conservation, check out this video! It’s a fascinating and fun look at the whole process.

Love dogs? Check out these articles about them!

This circle is full of great stories about these talented four-legged friends around the world. Have fun exploring!

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Stay open to new possibilities!

  • Sam

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” —Albert Einstein 

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  1. Great Big Story. “These Dogs Sniff Out Wildlife Crime.” YouTube, Great Big Story, 25 Mar. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3PFQGsxUwc. Accessed 18 July 2019.

Sam has written and edited hundreds of articles since joining the EWC team in 2016. She writes about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the EWC office, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and taster of cheeses.