Press and Media

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"The researchers who work with these animals all have stories of their astonishing focus.

There's Sadie, now retired, whose owner put a ball on top of the refrigerator and came back nine hours later to find her still staring up at it. Another dog, working in Africa, sat by a pile of cheetah scat as a herd of gazelles stampeded around him. In Brazil, a dog named Gator was sitting next to a sample when he started hopping to one side, a few feet at a time. It turned out the tiny bit of scat he had found was being carried away by leaf-cutter ants."

— Sierra Magazine

"With just one whiff, a trained scat-detection dog can find feces from animals ranging from giant anteaters to Pacific pocket mice. And there’s one place responsible for more of these super-sniffers than anywhere else: The Conservation Canines program at the University of Washington."


"Reading the dogs is what the handlers of Conservation Canines do best.

Whether it is on a boat or on land searching out the pellets of endangered spotted owls in the Pacific Northwest, or the scent marks of cheetahs on the savannah, or the scat of jaguars in the jungles of Mexico, the handlers know when a dog is on a scent and must keep up with them as they zero in on the target." 

— Mother Nature Network

"The detection probability for northern spotted owls was 87 percent after three searches by the dogs compared to 59 percent after six vocalization surveys following U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service protocols, nearly 30 percent better."

— Science Daily


A small sampling of our press coverage:


National Wildlife Magazine: Sniff and Seek: Dogs’ amazing sense of smell helps scientists answer tough conservation questions


National Geographic Books: Loyal: 38 Inspiring Tales of Bravery, Heroism and the Devotion of Dogs

Science Daily: High pregnancy failure, nutritional stress in southern resident killer whales

Pet Connection Magazine: Conservation Canines: Hometown Heroes Make Worldwide Impact

1889 Washington's Magazine: Conservation Canines Gives Shelter Dogs A Second Chance


Washington Post: How dogs use smell to see — and save — the world

Smithsonian: Meet the dogs sniffing out whale poop for science

Mother Nature Network: These misfit shelter dogs find careers saving endangered species

Sierra Magazine: Conservation dogs sniff out endangered species

Mother Nature Network: 5 ways dogs are used for species conservation

Popular Mechanics- South Africa: Poop-Detecting Pooches aid Endangered Species

Mongabay Wild Tech: The tech-noses of the wildlife conservation world

Charlesbridge Publishing: Poop Detectives: Working Dogs in the Field


WIRED: Meet the poop-sniffing dogs that are saving endangered wildlife

The Spokesman-Review: Scat-sniffing dogs unleashing wildlife science

Forbes: How Poop-Sniffing Dogs Could Help Save Endangered Species

National Forest Foundation: Sniffing out Wolverine Dens on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

Smithsonian: How Elephant Poop is Helping Nab Ivory Poachers


The Wall Street Journal: Seafaring dog follows an elusive whale trail

HMH Books for Young Readers: Sniffer Dogs: How Dogs (and Their Noses) Save the World

The Wall Street Journal: Seafaring Dog Follows an Elusive Whale Trail

KRQE- New Mexico News: Dog sniffs out threatened salamander

San Juan Islander: Going to bat for the bats: a pilot study of the bats of the San Juan Islands


The Nature Conservancy: Shelter Dogs Come to the Rescue for Rare Salamanders

The Nature Conservancy: Conservation Canines

Healthy Pets: Dogs Help Scientists Monitor Endangered Species

The Verge: Fecal finders: how poop-sniffing dogs are helping killer whales

BBC Two: Killer Whale Sniffer Dog

Scientific American: Can Endangered Animals Coexist with Big Ag


Mother Nature Network: Rescue dogs sniff out endangered species

Science Daily: Detection dogs spot northern spotted owls, even those alarmed by barred owls

New York Times: Tracking a subtle scent, a dog may help save the whales

USDA: Rescue Dogs Sniff for Salamanders to Save Rare Species and Help People

Public Radio International: Scientists turn to dogs to track, protect endangered animals

NPR: Dog Trained As Ultimate Whale Pooper Snooper

Phys Org: Killer whale at risk due to inadequate prey population

Los Angeles Times: Canada responds to caribou decline with plan to kill wolves

The Bark: Conservation Dogs Work for Wildlife

The New York Times: Canine Conservationists on the Move



A program of the University of Washington's Center For Conservation Biology

Content © 2018 by Conservation Canines

Photos © Jaymi Heimbuch Photography, LLC. Contact directly for image licensing and permissions.