Animal Signs Detection

Discover where species live, how many there are and other vital information. Our dogs detect data-rich animal signs to support your conservation research.

“The truth is: the natural world is changing. And we are totally dependent on that world. It provides our food, water and air. It is the most precious thing we have and we need to defend it.”

  • Sir David Attenborough

Passion for working dogs

Building upon techniques from drugs and explosives detection, we have pioneered ways to use dogs’ remarkable sense of smell to detect the signs of animals  – scat and other biological markers such as hair, urine, carcasses, nests, dens, ivory, skin and bone. The samples we identify can help researchers to answer some of the most pressing questions in conservation.

One of the biggest challenges for conservation researchers is the difficulty and cost of data collection. Detection dogs make quick work of this arduous task. Thanks to their finely trained noses, dogs can boost 40-fold the effectiveness and accuracy of your search without ever needing to disturb the animals.

ItAnd since dogs have no preconceptions about where the animal signs might be located, they work without bias, helping conservations identify species across much larger area.

What can a dog detect?

Dogs are capable of detecting anything that holds a scent. That includes pretty much everything. We’ve been in this business for 12 years and we have yet to encounter a scent that our dogs cannot handle. The possibilities are endless.

Perhaps more significantly, dogs are capable of working in any environment. We have trained dogs to work in arid desert conditions, hostile environments, wet jungles and damp British fog. Dogs can be trained to sniff out scents in heat, rain, mountains and wetlands, in avalanche conditions and in the aftermath of an earthquake – giving instant results with almost perfect accuracy.

Sound barking mad? It isn’t. We’re confident that our dogs can help you get a much fuller picture of your target species, all without seeing a hoof, feather or spot.

Training the handlers

It is not possible  for anyone to handle a detection dog. Handlers need the confidence and ability to read the dogs’ subtle response signals, and the patience to deal with such high-energy, supremely motivated animals day after day. Dog welfare, behaviour, psychology, handling and operations are essential tools in the handler’s belt.

We work with animals every day and can provide a fully trained dog and master handler to detect a particular scent. We can train a dog if your team is already experienced in handling working detection dogs. Or we can train the whole team from scratch – rigorously, with consults and refresher training where needed.

We’re also happy to oblige our clients with consultancy where required. For advice on dog section set up, centre evaluation, handler assessment and troubleshooting, please get in touch using our contact page.

How we can help

Hiring us is not a leap of faith. We have a proven track record for helping conservationists collect more and better samples, and a nose for what makes a great working dog. Contact us today, and let’s work together to find that elusive data.

Our services

  • Scat detection
  • Animal carcasses detection
  • Nest and den detection
  • Products of animal origin – ivory, bone, fur and skin
  • Endangered insects, amphibians and reptiles
  • Invasive animal detection (snails, ants, snakes, cats, goats, etc)
  • Feasibility studies for new potential projects
  • Canine evaluation and assessment
  • Illegal poison detection
  • Pest and bedbug detection
  • Development of in-house canine programs
  • Training dogs and staff
  • And more!