Mad Scientist – a specimen of the human variety. Typically seen hunched over a microscope donning a lab coat, glasses, and an unruly, yet elegantly disheveled haircut.

Dog Scientist – a specimen of the canine variety. Typically seen working with Conservation Canines with a nose to the ground, tail in the air and searching for scat.

Since 1997, the Center for Conservation Biology in Washington has been utilizing canines for scat detection all over the world. Initially, two questions pop into our minds: What is scat and why do we need to detect it?

What: Scat is… (you guessed it!) a term that describes the fecal-based hormone that is left behind by wildlife.

Why: Scat is an extremely accessible wildlife product that contains tremendous amounts of genetic, physiological, and dietary information. Conservation Canines uses the detection of Scat to build a comprehensive profile for endangered species around the word. As it turns out, a ball-obsessed canine is the perfect four-legged scat detector.

Scat samples!

Now that we’re all caught up on what Conservation Canines is all about, we’d like to share some photos of their hard work:

Grizzly Bear tracking in Montana
Finding a swimming hole during a Jaguar Study in Mexico. Not bad eh?
Mad scientists and Dog Scientists at work during a study of the Northern Spotted Owl in California.

When not hard at work, these dogs are loved and trained at a state-of-the-art training facility located on 4,300 acres at the University of Washington in Eatonville, WA. The site is perfect for training, playing, and real-life conditions. We say WOOF!

In the end, we’re happy to introduce the first of our spring highlights of proud Ruffwear Ambassadors – The Conservation Canines. Without the product testing help from this team, getting our gear put through the most extreme real life conditions wouldn’t be possible.

To read more on this team or to donate, click here.  To like them on Facebook, click here.

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