When a once-abandoned dog rescued over 100 koalas that had become displaced by the Australian wildfires recently, it was what one animal welfare expert dubbed a “zero to hero” story, and an Australian Koolie named “Bear” enjoyed a moment of canine celebrity.
“He did not make a very good pet because of his obsessive-compulsive nature but those qualities make him the perfect detection dog,” Josey Sharrad of the International Fund for Animal Welfare told the BBC.
Bear’s success in rescuing dying koala bears, while inspirational, is just one of many services dogs perform in their role as humans’ oldest working animal.
As Ed Yong writes in a 2016 story in The Atlantic on the origins of humans’ best friend: “We raised puppies well before we raised kittens or chickens; before we herded cows, goats, pigs and sheep; before we planted rice, wheat, barley and corn; before we remade the world.”
In Dog Years, a Resume that is, Well, Really Long
In the 10,000 to 30,000 years since, we’ve used dogs to do so much that the geneticist and archeologist in Yong’s story says without them and the legacy of domesticated animals that began with them, the humans story would look much different.
“Remove domestication from the species and there’s probably a couple of million of us on the planet, max,” Greger Larson tells The Atlantic. “Domestication has influenced the entire earth. And dogs were the first.”
Today, dogs’ ability to detect very faint odors and slight differences in chemical composition has led to their use in a wide variety of critical jobs from police and military work that includes scouting for snipers and sniffing out land mines, narcotics and explosives, to civilian jobs like the scent detection and bird deterrent work our own dogs do at Wild Goose Chase. Our team of well-trained border collies provide humane harassment services that are a safe and effective way to manage Canada geese conflicts.
Our environmental K9 group also maintains teams of dogs on standby with a 24-hour hotline for rapid response to situations like pipeline leak detection. Our sister company, Canine Detection and Inspection Services, provides dog-led detection services that include:
• Bed bug detection
• Pipeline leak detection
• Endangered and invasive species detection
Canine Help with Coronavirus Tracking
The list of jobs that dogs can do continues to grow. Today, researchers are exploring whether dogs can be used to detect people infected with the coronavirus (Covid-19). The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s Working Dog Center has partnered with other organizations including Auburn University and Medical Detection Dogs UK to try to answer that question, the American Kennel Club reports.
At Wild Goose Chase Inc., our team of biologists and dog handlers know the contributions of canine co-workers first-hand and we are always proud to read about the incredible work that dogs do in so many capacities.
To learn more about the services our human and canine experts can provide for managing bird conflicts, give us a call or click on the link below.