Unusual Sniffer Dogs and Blood Tracking with Lindsay Ware

In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla speaks with Lindsay Ware of Science Dogs of New England about breed selection for unique uses, big game tracking, and more!

Science Highlight: Effects of learning an increasing number of odors on olfactory learning, memory and generalization in detection dogs

  • Different dogs place different priorities that we really have to be aware of

How do you start training a dog for tracking?

  • Similar to the conservation world with hides, but instead they are mock trails using animal blood or animal hooves
  • The goal is to not be 100% realistic, but to be able to gradually increase the difficulty
  • Train alongside an experienced dog

Links Mentioned in the Episode: Last Track: Trailer – YouTubeUnited Blood TrackersTracking Dogs for Finding Wounded Deer

Where to find Lindsay Ware:  Website | Instagram | Facebook | Tracking Facebook

You can support the K9 Conservationists Podcast by joining our Patreon at patreon.com/k9conservationists

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Transcript (AI-Generated)

Kayla Fratt (KF) 0:01
Do you have your own passion projects that you’d like to turn into a podcast? Let me tell you a little bit about anchor anchor is what I use to produce this podcast. And it’s kind of amazing. It makes everything super easy. I am not the most tech savvy person and anchor makes everything running this podcast pretty seamless. It’s a free app that lets you edit, record, upload, produce, and distribute your podcast all from one place. You can do everything from adding an ads to make money to getting the podcast pushed out to all your different podcast apps like Apple podcasts, and Spotify. All right, with an anchor. You can also even add in music from Spotify, which is a new feature that I haven’t played around with with much and is very exciting. And again, it’s everything you need to make a podcast all in one place. So to learn a little bit more and to get started, download the free anchor app or go to anchor.fm to get started.

Kayla Fratt 1:06
Hello, and welcome to the canine conservationist podcast where we’re positively obsessed with conservation detection dogs. Join us every week to discuss ecology, odor dynamics, dog behavior, and everything in between. I’m your host, Kayla Fratt. And I run canine conservationists where I trained dogs to detect data for researchers, agencies and NGOs. Today, I have the pleasure of talking to Lindsay ware of science dogs and New England about breed selection for unique uses. Big Game tracking and much more. Lindsay and I do spend quite a bit of this episode talking about big game tracking. So if you are squeamish about discussions of blood, or minor discussions about you know, hunting types of organ wounds, those sorts of things, this might be a good episode to skip. But I do encourage you to stick around because Lindsey is knowledge is really deep. I really enjoyed this conversation. And again, I think it’s worth sticking around. I’m super excited to get to this interview. But before we get to it, we’re going to dive into our science highlight. So this week, we are talking about a paper that is hot off the presses published in February 2022. The title is effects of learning an increasing number of odors on olfactory learning memory, memory and generalization in detection dogs. This was published in applied animal behavior science by Paul Wagner at all. Their main question was how does the number of target odors impact learning memory and generalization. So what they did is they took nine dogs, all Labrador Retrievers, and train them to learn a bunch of new odors. And then the big thing to know is that the dogs rapidly learned new odors with no decrease and recall a previously trained odors. I’m going to quote from the abstracts now. So they were stuck. They found that allergic in relation to similar odors was unaffected by training on many odors, they trained the dogs to respond to up to 40 odors and an odor discrimination task. Over the span of 16 months. The odors were trained in sets of 10 every three months and recall a previously trained subsets was assessed at intervals of less than one month for months and 12 months since the last exposure and after learning 1020 30 and 40 cumulative odors. They assess the effects of training on these large number of target odors on generalization to untrained but related target odors, and dogs rapidly learn to do odor discrimination across the 4840 odors with litter little to no decrease in the recall of previously trained odors, or in generalization to related odors. Furthermore, the dogs recalled odors not experienced within 12 months with 100% accuracy and no increase in false alarm rate. These results indicate that the limits of odor identification recall capabilities were not challenged by training on a cumulative total of 40 odor discriminations, nor by up to a 12 month gap and exposure to these odors therefore establishing the robust capabilities of dogs for learning and remembering many target odor identifications. So in their different sets of target odors they included things so instead a was smokeless powder, ammonium nitrate, TN T c four safety fuse, etc. And then in set B they had tea bags nitrocellulose vinegar, baking powder a couple other things at three included things like tea tree oil, poppy seeds, butter, flavoring, ranch flavoring, butterscotch candy, asked aspirin then set D and all of these I’m not including all 10 Because I don’t want to read all 40 of these and then in set D they include an antibiotic cream concrete ready mix antacid tablets be flavoring cube sesame oil cran shavings, and again a couple other things and then for their generalization test odors. They used a couple that I gosh I’ve never heard of any of these pirate X Tannerite cast TNT flex X and and sugar and PW for really, really interesting study here again looking at the dog’s ability to learn a whole bunch of different odors and remember them going on forward. So really, really interesting stuff. Again, you can find that over in applied animal behavior science and without further Dude, let’s get to the interview with Lindsey where? Well, thanks so much for coming on the podcast. Lindsay, do you want to tell us a little bit about who you are and how you got into this field?

Lindsay Ware 5:09
Sure. So I guess, I guess depends on what you mean by field. So I’ve been in wildlife biology for a long time I started out studying wildlife biology for my bachelor’s and master’s degrees and kind of traveling all around as a technician in a variety of different places, working field jobs. As far as starting to incorporate dogs into conservation work, I guess you’d say that started back in about 2011. And that’s when I got really interested in using dogs to find or at least to track wounded game animals for hunters, I actually got into that because of a dog that I had. And I was looking for something to do with him that involves his nose, and wasn’t really looking to get into anything professionally, kind of looking into fun stuff. And I ended up learning about wounded game tracking, and realize that it was this thing that was legal in my State of Maine, but no one ever talked about it. And I had never heard of it, despite being involved in the hunting community. And I ended up cold calling, like, the one person I could find that was doing it in the stage is kind of out of nowhere. And it was like this, I was so nervous about it, because I was like a sloth, she was the most amazing woman running around, you know, tracking tracking thing. And, and begged her to come along with her and to learn what this was all about. And this whole idea of using dogs to, to find, you know, animals for hunters and just to use them in conservation in general. And she was really actually I can say this now, because we were best friends. She was really resistant to the idea at first. And then when I finally wore her down and started tracking alongside her, we just became instant best friends. She’s been one of my closest friends and mentors, and I just totally fell in love with this whole idea of of working together with dogs for conservation purposes. So that’s really how I got involved with tracking and then kind of snowballed from there of bringing back in the Wildlife Biology portion of my life from my past and, and getting into conservation detection.

Kayla Fratt 7:35
Wow, yeah, I’ve been really loving lately, how different so many people’s stories are of how they get into this field. That, you know, like so much of us have, you know, we either started out dog crazy, or we started out in the Wildlife Conservation Biology world. But then the exact path from how we get from there into this field is so interesting. I didn’t realize that you had done the big game stuff first.

Unknown Speaker 8:00
Yeah, that’s how that’s really how I learned about conservation detection. Because I was really, I really didn’t mean to get that much into tracking, I just started getting just loving it so much. It was like the first week of following Suzanna around and we were like in the middle of the night in the swamp. And you wouldn’t think that this is elicit this reaction, but how this is so awesome. Like, I’m just gonna do it casually. And I just was like, I have to do this all the time. And, and so it kind of went from there where I was started to become more aware of other conservation uses for dogs and the the fact that it kind of went back to what was my first love, which was wildlife biology, and I hadn’t I thought at the time I wasn’t working in that I was working in laboratory science, and I just desperately wanted to get back into wildlife biology. It worked out really well. And I just happened to also be be becoming dog crazy at that time, because I was so unsatisfied with the laboratory work that I was actually I had recently gotten hired as a dog trainer teaching, instructing training classes. And so I was doing that on my free time. Oh, and just like learning so it kind of all merged around the same time.

Kayla Fratt 9:12
It all kind of came together. Yeah. Oh, that’s cool. Yeah. So tell us a little bit about you know, because we’re here to talk not just about tracking versus detection because I think we haven’t talked about tracking at all on this show yet. I’ve never tracked I know nothing about it. But I also wanted to talk to you. Basically, I think I messaged you right after our last conservation dog, yappy hour, like oh my gosh, you have some interesting dog breeds and I want to talk to you about your dogs how you selected them talking about breed. So why don’t we start out Yeah, with with the dogs you’ve currently got and maybe also tell us about that first dog if he’s no longer with you.

Unknown Speaker 9:52
First dog gander. He is still with me. He’s he doesn’t work anymore. He’s very much retired. But yeah, he was here. You know, he’s a lab mix. And he, you know, there wasn’t really, because I wasn’t into any of this yet, there wasn’t really any selection that went to him I wanted, I was really into rescuing dogs at the time I had rescued dogs previously. And I just thought it would be so cool to rescue a dog, and then do something with him. And kind of, sort of I was really into hunting at the time. So I kind of was like, oh, maybe we could like do go duck hunting together. But I also want the dog to kind of dictate, you know, what we were going to do. And that’s sort of what Kendra dictated is this something that really suited him was was tracking. So yeah, that’s Gander, and use the original tracking dog. And then my next tracking dog was right next dog after that was Aldo. And it was a different situation. Because I wanted to do more tracking at this point, I was becoming completely obsessed with tracking. And so he was selected for that goal in mind. And although is a standard Wirehair dachshund, which it was so fun in the days where I was tracking both dogs, because you’d show up with like this big Labrador in the backseat. And people just expect like, oh, yeah, that’s the dog that she’s gonna pull out to go out on this track. And then if it was all those turn for a track, then I’d go to like the little side door and pull out this tiny 15 pound Doxon. You know, sometimes people will think I’m joking. But those of us in the blood tracking community, it’s actually a pretty solid choice for for tracking when you’re tracking lead, you’re tracking in super thick areas, we track a lot of bears here in Maine, and their habitat is insanely sick. And it’s really advantageous to have this little tiny dog that can kind of crawl under everything and through everything, as opposed to just kind of crashing through which is more of the gander technique.

Kayla Fratt 12:04
Yeah, that tracks with what I know about last night. Know, and it’s so cool, because, you know, I think we talk about this a fair bit on this show. But, you know, we’ve got some breeds where we still see them working. You know, I think people are broadly aware of, you know, labs or hunting dogs. And Border Collies are hurting dogs. But I think most people when they think, you know, they think wiener dog, they don’t think working dog they don’t think tracking, even though you know, they were they’re hunting dogs, right and like, so tell us a little bit about because you actually I’ve already forgotten what it was because again, this was a yappy hour now like six weeks ago, he’s kind of a subset of the breed or a specific kind of working lineage.

Unknown Speaker 12:50
Yeah, I would call him like a working line, just like we would we’d have breed splits here. He’s from European lines. And primarily, we get our tracking dogs when we are looking at dioxins from European lines, because it’s just like you said, like here, a lot of doctrines are geared more towards pet or show dogs, where in Europe kind of that tradition of hunting with Dawkins is, is very much alive. And they’ve never really, you know, made as such of a turn into pets as they have in the United States. And so we’d like to get our dogs from working lines over there. And some people might hear them referred to as tackles is kind of like a regional term for like the working line. European line dogs.

Kayla Fratt 13:43
Yeah, I think that was the term I was trying to remember.

Unknown Speaker 13:47
Yeah, and they’ve never stopped being hunting dogs like as far as their lineage goes, and they are tenacious little hunters. Dawson’s were originally bred to hunt badgers to go into a badger hole and basically fight with a badger right? So that tells you a lot of what you need to know about, about some of their temperament traits. They’re they’re tough little dogs and they we often it’s less so now that that that toxins are now that toxins are becoming more popular for blood tracking, but especially back in the beginning, it was like, I remember Suzanna who has been tracking with toxins forever, and all the looks and stories and things that she would, she would have people saying things about our dogs and people and mopping like, oh, goodness, I’ve had people tell me afterwards, like, I, I had this one track where the hunter was so quiet the whole time. And then we found the deer and he just was like his true personality just came out and he’s like, he’s like, I thought this was just going to be like, total, you know, Bs and you’re just taking your dog for a walk and, you know, just things that people tell you afterwards. After success

Kayla Fratt 14:58
Oh my gosh, yeah. Well, and I can imagine to, you know, depending on, you know, who has hired you, potentially, they’re not only like, alright, we’re bringing in the crazy dog person. And then we’re bringing in the young lady. And then now she’s pulled out this, this toy dog. You know, so you’ve got like, three levels of they’re like, how nuts Am I feeling right now? And how like Little do they trust you? So yeah, what has that experience been like?

Unknown Speaker 15:32
Well, so on top of that, like, what you what you just said, these people are, are in distress when they call me for tracking, right. So most hunters, they are so concerned about the welfare of the animal that they’ve wounded. And they’re, they’re upset. So it’s like, I tried to really put myself in their shoes a lot, because they’re set, you know, they’re very worried they are terrified of leaving a mortally wounded animal out there and not recover it. And then on top of that, you know, they’re feeling they’re like, you know, they’re putting their trust in either, you know, something they saw online, or a buddy that told them that they should call me or whatever it is. And so like, I can’t, really can’t imagine all that they’re feeling I see a lot of it, you know, with people and part of aside from all the dog work and the navigating and everything else that goes into to being a tracker, you really have to deal a lot with people when they’re, you know, being very upset and emotional. And it’s, it makes it all very interesting. But yeah, it’s a challenge for sure.

Kayla Fratt 16:42
Yeah. And then I think we derailed because you’ve got at least one other dog, right?

Unknown Speaker 16:47
Oh, yeah. So the mic I’ve actually. Yeah, so I also have two dogs that are dedicated to scent detection, so duck conservation detection, and a Australian shepherd named delta. And she’s working on Australian shepherd, and a feline Labrador Retriever named chili bean. And for their selection, I wanted to scent detection dogs that were very different from each other. That was kind of my goal. I wanted different styles and also to, you know, help me grow as a trainer to be able to have these different dogs to work with and to apply to different types of projects. So that’s kind of where their selection came in.

Kayla Fratt 17:33
Yeah, yeah. You really got quite the variety. And it’s although all those still working as well. So yeah, there’s the only one who’s retired

Unknown Speaker 17:41
again, there’s the only ones for tires I’ve basically got three young working dogs right now. So it’s, yeah, it’s a lot but yeah, gander. Allthough is just about to turn five. So he’s really Oh, yeah, yeah, so

Unknown Speaker 17:54
he started the ride. Yeah, he

Unknown Speaker 17:56
is so experienced, but still has all that, you know, young dog energy and ability to work a lot. So yeah,

Kayla Fratt 18:04
yeah. Yeah, I think five was probably my favorite age with Farley. He’s now about eight and eight and change. Like I feel like five was when he still had the most spunk but also knew the most stuff.

Unknown Speaker 18:19
That’s one of my favorite things about working with dogs is is how like, they just they’re always there’s like the US humans are always learning the dogs or Yeah, every year it’s it’s a little different and better and or maybe not always better, but it’s always different. And I was learning

Kayla Fratt 18:37
Yeah, yeah, I I found it really I don’t even want to say surprising because I’ve taught puppy kindergarten and whatnot before but living with niffler and watching you know, literally from like week to week, month to month how much he changed as and he’s still he’s only 15 or 16 months old right now. So he’s still got a lot of growing up to do but just how fast it goes is really it’s fun.

Unknown Speaker 19:04
Yeah

Kayla Fratt 19:06
yeah. So let’s kind of go back you know to to although and his selection so you said you did you go towards the the tackles towards the dash ends because of what Suzanne Susanna Suzanne. Yeah. Suzanne, because you said she ran some dashboards as well.

Unknown Speaker 19:26
Yeah. So she’s from Germany originally and so doc says are super common breed. They’re just in general, but especially for any type of hunting work. So she, she had toxins when I met her and I tried actually really hard to not be influenced by that. It’s like just because my mentor has this breed. I don’t know that this is going to be the right fit for me. So I went to some tracking events we have our blood tracking organization has training events where I get to watch a lot of different dogs work. I watched a lot of different breeds. There’s actually breeds out there that are more. dotson’s aren’t considered a blood tracking specialists there actually, as far as hunting breeds go supposed to be a versatile breed. And they are okay. There are actually breeds out there that were bred to be blood tracking specialists. So I looked into some of those and try to keep an open mind. But I also got to, you know, got to work really closely with his on his dogs and, and so really did decide that I wanted a dog son. And a lot of it was just my familiarity with their tracking style, you know, with blood tracking, blood tracking is such a misnomer, because we call it blood tracking. But, you know, we’re kind of doing the classic like throwing the trailing and the tracking terminology and kind of blurring them together. So some dogs do more like trailing whether they’re going to be using a bit more Arison. But the dogs really tend to stay really tight to the line, to really, really track in the footsteps of the animal. And for me as a tracker, I want to like be the little detective and find every little bit of evidence. Because honestly, with tracking most of the time, the animal actually isn’t mortally wounded. And it’s your job to kind of figure that out, and to know when to quit and just be able to say, hey, Hunter, like you can have peace of mind because this animal, this isn’t a mortal wound. But in order to make that determination, you need to have evidence, you just see the what the animals doing. As far as how they’re traveling, how often they’re resting or laying down, what type of evidence are leaving on the trail. And so I found with with kind of a slower working more closely tied to the line breed like dotson’s that that could be the kind of tracker that that I would want to be where we’re kind of, you know, getting every little bit of information that we can and and trying to make the best decision.

Kayla Fratt 21:52
Oh, wow, that is there’s that’s so fascinating. And already like, you know, again, I know so little about tracking, and I hadn’t? I don’t think I am sure I’ve read it before, but I don’t think I had fully solidified in my mind the difference between tracking and trailing. And so what are some of these other like blood specialist breeds or some of the other breeds you considered?

Unknown Speaker 22:14
So Bavarian mountain Hound is one that is considered more of a tracking specialist and use a lot in food to gain tracking. And I mean, we call it blood tracking. But because blood tracking really, I think it’s easier to explain what it is we’re doing. But really what we’re doing is we’re tracking one specific animal and often there’s no blood at all, which is the whole reason that we’re there. So these dogs have the variants have really cold noses, they can usually work with an older trail compared to some other breeds, including probably toxins. So that’s one there’s a there’s a breed I wasn’t really considering but there’s the other specialist breed I can think of as they all pine Doc sproc. Just as some of these are kind of really obscure kind of European baseball. Yeah. But yeah, the Bavarian was really the other one that was really thinking of it.

Kayla Fratt 23:12
Yeah, I just I just had to google them because like, even having worked in a shelter. I’m like, I’ve never heard of this, which is pretty unusual. I don’t run into dark rates I haven’t heard of before and yeah, so for anyone who’s at home, they’re kind of a stocky hound. I’ve got the huge ears they’ve got a it looks like generally kind of a coppery body but a much darker face. They almost kind of remind me of like go ahead

Unknown Speaker 23:36
of the scene. There’s a lot bread in the United States there’s there’s probably a lot of people haven’t really come upon them. Yeah, there’s

Kayla Fratt 23:43
remind me of like, if you had like a Rhodesian Ridgeback build body and then like a Coonhound like a

Unknown Speaker 23:52
Redbone Coonhound they sometimes get Yeah, get mistaken for it. Yeah, that there’s so much more so blood tracking has such a rich tradition and history in Europe. So that’s why you see so many more European breeds actually specializing it. It’s such a part of hunting over there and in some countries it’s a required like if you have a hunt and organize hunt, you must have tracking dogs and handlers on call where it’s quite different in the United States and it’s you know, more or less popular depending on where you go but it is so more ingrained over there that you see usually if you if you find a breed that’s kind of specifically for blood tracking, it’s a European breed

Kayla Fratt 24:38
Yeah, yeah, that that makes a lot of sense and yeah, I mean, I could imagine like if you said that you were looking for a tracking dog for for hunting, I would have been thinking yeah, like are Kuhn homes or some of our other kind of typical like southeastern US hound dogs. What? What are they bred for? If not for for blood tracking what What do they do more of?

Unknown Speaker 25:02
Like the other hound?

Kayla Fratt 25:04
Yeah breeds? What is what’s kind of what is kind of the difference? As far as like working style? If you know, now I’m throwing questions that you wouldn’t care for.

Unknown Speaker 25:13
I’m actually like, Yeah, I’m not super knowledgeable about different home breeds. But I do know that in terms of bringing it kind of back to blood tracking is that if you were to look at all the different breeds that we have, like, especially the group that I’m a part of United Blood trackers, we have all sorts of dogs. It’s really Yeah. And there are Coonhounds. And there are, you know, plot hounds and bloodhounds. And there’s all sorts of different hound breeds that people have and, and, and train with lots success. And the big reason for that is because tracking is really all about, you know, teaching the dog to keep on the thing that you start them on. Right. And a lot a lot of dogs are capable of that.

Kayla Fratt 26:00
Yeah, know that. Yeah, exactly. I mean, I know, plenty of dual purpose dogs that are what we think of as your traditional detection. Dogs also do tracking. Or trailing again, I’m not sure which one I’m talking about, because I haven’t seen how the dogs work, I guess. And, you know, I know, I’ve got a friend with a Rottweiler Chihuahua cross that she does, like tracking for fun with. So yeah, that that makes a lot of sense. You know, all dogs have noses. And while we might have like different genetic propensities that help us out a lot. I’m sure there are some like fabulous tracking, I don’t know, I’m trying to think of like the, like a Pekingese or something like you could teach a Pekingese how to do this. It just might not be the most what am I trying to think? Like, the dog might not have quite enough stamina, let’s say,

Unknown Speaker 26:55
hey, yeah, I mean, and it’s just a really also just depends on what your goals and priorities are, is kind of like this conversation could almost apply to a lot of other things. When you’re talking about, you know, choosing a dog or choosing a breed. It’s really, you know, what’s, what’s your goal? Are you going to be, you know, tracking every day, you’re going to be kind of crazy, like me and out there all the time all day long. Well, you know, you probably want to take that into consideration when, when choosing people might not think of, of working mind toxins that have a dog that could go go go all day, but they they really are very high energy dogs. So it’s just like another thing to take into consideration. We have a member and United Blood trackers got this dog, this rescue dog named Brutus. And he’s, she calls him a pug hound. And he’s this very small little dog, you know, with a with a little, you know, smushed in phase and cute little underbite. And he’s a great little tracking dog. Yeah, you know, especially for for the terrain that she has. And you know, the type of training schedule she keeps sees. He does great. So we find excellent tracking dogs and all sorts of shapes and sizes and breeds.

Unknown Speaker 28:09
Hey, I’m Taylor and I’m the handler for Kepler, a mini Ozzy and training for muscle detection work before canine conservationists. I didn’t even know about all the possibilities with dogs and conservation. Now I’ve jumped feet first into the training, I wouldn’t have been able to without the support I gained from being a part of the podcast, Patreon. My favorite support comes from the group called I’ve been able to get alert training help and felt completely welcome. Even though I’m a complete novice to this kind of training. The group calls also helped guide my questions for my one on ones with Kayla, the information is invaluable and the community is kind. I hope to see you there.

Kayla Fratt 28:39
Yeah, yeah, definitely. That’s funny. Um, where I grew up in northern Wisconsin, I think we must have had some backyard breeder who did a bunch of pug Beagle crosses, because like, half of my friends growing up had Puggles, which I’ve since realized is not like a popular designer breed. It’s not like Labradoodles were like everyone knows what they are. So it must have just been a local thing. But I had a bunch of friends who did you know, all sorts of fun stuff with their little pug Beagle crosses? So yeah, so I’m trying to think what else we wanted to talk about kind of within that breeds selection. So maybe we can pivot back towards detection then and talk about, you know, you said that when you were picking out your other two dogs, you wanted dogs that were going to work really differently. So what kind of drew you to, like, you know, we’ve got a herding breed and we’ve got a retriever what, what about their workstyles instead of doing like, I don’t know I’ll pointer and a German shepherd or a German Shepherd and a cocker spaniel or, you know, something else.

Unknown Speaker 29:42
Part of that probably ties into some of the things that had kind of already decided so I was, for sure interested in having a working line lab. I had kind of this, you know, I’m bringing in kind of my personal biases here where I grew up with labs really from earlier with, with them had worked a bit through dog training with some field line labs and just knew that I wanted one for, for one of my detection dogs. So from there, it was like, okay, so what breed or dog potentially is going to be a bit different than that and have a little bit of a different style. And so, again, kind of some biases of dogs that I’ve worked with or lived with working line herding dogs is something that I was really comfortable working with. And I, to me, it just felt so different. As far as new generally being less independent, a little bit more handler focused, you know, all the typical stuff. And I know, you know, in your other podcasts you’ve kind of talked about about this when it comes to herding dogs. So yeah, that’s really a kind of started, like, something that I knew and really knew I wanted to go into. They’re like, Oh, what’s different? And, you know, and then, of course, from there going into all the typical stuff, looking into to pedigrees and you know, what the dogs relatives are working in, things like that. But yeah, it’s been really, really interesting. I just was really attached to this idea of having dogs, two dogs with different styles and kind of going from there and really narrowing down maybe what the future would look like, as far as future dogs based on based on that.

Kayla Fratt 31:33
Yeah, no, I mean, I really love what you’ve done, because I think as far as an individual handler, or at least that I’ve spoken to, you’ve got the widest variety of breeds. And I think it’s like, it’s just, it’s so fascinating, because I know I have thought about, like, loving the idea of working with a bunch of these different breeds. But then when it comes down to it, and it comes down time to pick a dog, I’m so enamored with Border Collies that, you know, we’ll see, I’m not gonna say Never say never. But yeah, it’s, I think so many of us, we fall in love with our breeder or working style, or whatever. And I love that both, you know, I think it’s a smart business decision to be able to have really very dogs and also a really admirable choice, as far as pushing yourself as a trainer to, to learn how to work between all of these different I mean, I can’t imagine having with only four dogs having a much more varied set than what you’ve got.

Unknown Speaker 32:31
It definitely makes living with them, you know, very interesting as well, right. So you have one thing I noticed with the, between the Labrador and the, in the Ozzy is that, you know, the Labrador had never lived with herding dogs before and herding dogs, you know, communication wise, can be a little bit different than the bunch of labs that, you know, that chili bean had had lived with in her young life. So it’s just kind of interesting, to helps me learn more to, you know, kind of managing all that, and then you have the darks and, and to throw into the mix. And it keeps things really, really interesting. And I’m not saying I don’t have, you know, kind of preferences, and in the future, things might look really different. I definitely see the benefit to, you know, knowing of breed really well and instinct kind of sticking to something that you’re really knowledgeable and comfortable with. And there is so much of preference, like, you know, I think we all have to admit that preference plays into it a ton. And I think part of that is why I chose working like Ozzy, you know, as my not Labrador breed versus something else. And there’s a lot of different ways that are different than Labradors. Right. So, yeah, it’s been really interesting. It, I think it does create some interesting trading opportunities and learning opportunities.

Kayla Fratt 33:59
Yeah, what are some of the things? I mean, again, kind of let’s, let’s talk more in the detection realm, just because that’s a little bit more what I’m comfortable with, like, has does your handling style have to change dramatically from dog to dog if you’re working similar puzzles or? Yeah, can you tell us a little bit about what that’s like?

Unknown Speaker 34:17
So I’m with the with Delta, the Australian Shepherd, I have to remember to be so much more careful about my, my accidental cues, you know, with unintentionally, you know, giving her hands and just things that I might not notice that I’m doing so making sure that it’s, you know, not looking towards the hide or doing anything else intentionally that’s going to create problems. An example of this and some work that we were doing with her is we were we had some known targets out that had a radio telemetry units and We were having to be really careful about making sure that the telemetry receiver had the headphones on. So that delta couldn’t hear the cemetery beeps to know that we were close to a target, right? Yeah, so this is sort of the things that like with her that she’s gonna keep an eye on, she’s gonna use us everything available to her as far as information. Were not saying that, that chili bean, the Labrador won’t, but I can be when I’m working with her like, a little bit more ish, a little bit more forgiving. With with things like that. Yeah. So on the other hand, you know, like, not to kind of do like a negative on Delta and a positive on chili bean. But on the other hand, it’s like when I’m working with, with Delta, it’s kind of that close working, you know, handler oriented style, in some cases, especially with certain fields conditions is really nice. I don’t have to really worry about her. You know, yeah, I guess like, you know, going off the riverbank and things like that, that, that I find with with my Labrador, right. It’s like flinging yourself with with no holds barred, you know, abandon off of a steep bank or something like that. And I don’t know if that’s like kind of a general herding dog thing, or just kind of delta, but she just seems to have a little bit more sense of self preservation. And among those that I work with, with the field land Labradors, they kind of tend to agree with some of my sentiment about the lack of self preservation that some of these labs can have. And so, I don’t know, I just feel that my focus has to shift on, you know, depending on the dog as far as like, what, you know, as you know, you’re always it’s always surprised me how mentally taxing it is when you’re working with your dog, because you’re doing a million things at once, right? That look like the casual observer that you’re just kind of, you know, not doing as much mentally as we are, but we really are and it’s kind of like you shift to whatever needs to be shifted due for that dog. So do you agree with the Yeah, is that pretty common? That’s a border collies as well, like, they seem to be a little bit. Yeah, I would say in touch,

Unknown Speaker 37:18
I would say so.

Unknown Speaker 37:20
Not watching themselves. really steep and bank man or something like that.

Kayla Fratt 37:24
Yeah, yeah. They they seem to do a little bit more problem solving on the fly versus Yeah, the labs that I’ve worked with, I think, yeah, absolutely. We’ll just charge through things. And they’re fast workers. They’re really, really fun to work with. But yeah, I would say, a little bit less thoughtful. And you know, sometimes you don’t need or want thoughtful.

Unknown Speaker 37:49
Right, exactly. It’s

Kayla Fratt 37:52
I don’t think either one of us is saying that one is better than the other. But like, I know, for me, personally, I really like a really responsive dog in the field, probably because I’m a little bit of a control freak. So that’s partly where the border claws come through. But, you know, back when I was at working dogs for conservation, and I got to handle a variety of breeds barley, I mean, he was my favorite dog to handle because he was mine. But he wasn’t necessarily the easiest, even though he was mine. Like I There are a couple other dogs there that I found easier to work with, in a lot of ways. And, you know, it’s just it’s a little bit of give and take, and I know, again, at working dogs for conservation, they would say that they they generally taught the new handlers and kind of trained people up using more of the labs or even the Malinois before they worked with the Border Collies because especially the Border Collies and I would imagine Aussies are pretty similar actually haven’t worked with an Aussie. They are just so quick to pick up on patterns before you’ve even realized that you’ve made one. Yeah, and again, not that labs don’t pick up on patterns, but, but Border Collies are, you know, they’re, they’re pretty notorious for being like, preposterous ly sensitive to that sort of thing.

Unknown Speaker 39:06
It’s good, right? I mean, it keeps us on our toes to be aware of that. So but, yeah, it just shifts on what you have to be most aware of, I guess. And so different dogs kind of place different priorities on, on things that we really have to be on top of.

Kayla Fratt 39:24
Yeah, exactly. I mean, it reminds me, you know, one of the other experiences that I’ve had is working with one dog that has relatively significant prey drive and would actually take off after animals and another dog that never ever, I mean, she didn’t even look sideways at Prairie dogs that were scattered skittering under her feet, you know, she was just a really spectacular dog and that way but yeah, I mean, working in one of those dogs was a much more exhausting, she was a spectacular detection dog, but you really had to be so on top of everything that was going on in the environment. And so on top of watching her body language Just to tell that when she disappeared into the bushes, you know that last bit of her that you saw? Did it look like she was on scent? In which case, that’s great? Or did it look like she was after, you know, a critter in which case you need to call her back right now. So yeah, that’s, again, I think it’s just, it’s really cool to be able to switch back and forth. And I think, again, especially those of us, like myself, maybe like Laura holder, a couple of us who have fallen into our breeds. Or even though I have two dogs, and they do work differently, I don’t get as much day to day practice, switching as you must, and you know, that as a, you know, pivoting towards tracking and detection. So you don’t have any dogs that do both, you’ve just, you’ve got kind of specified, although versus chili bean Delta, right,

Unknown Speaker 40:48
right. Yeah. So at this, at this point, I don’t have dogs at cross train, I’m not against the idea. It’s just that I don’t currently do that. I think if I had started some production earlier, that Gander actually would have been a candidate for both. But I think he’s pretty unusual in that regard. And one of the biggest things, I think that would prevent me from cross training a dog is something that you just mentioned, prey drive. So with tracking dogs, we kind of, for blood tracking anyway, that prey drive is a really important piece of the reward system, because we are actually rewarding the dog with the thing that they are finding. And it keeps the training. And really simple. Because it’s, it’s basically they are being rewarded with the thing that they’re finding, they are allowed to interact with the animal, the deceased animal. So when you’re allowing a dog to do that, you’re allowing a dog to go over and put its mouth on, you know, and lick and smell and interact. You know, all the dogs on the little leg and things like that. You just have to be really careful about that. Because here’s two fields, despite all their similarities, it’s like, you know, we, the worst thing you can have is animals interacting with your target when you’re doing conservation detection in that way, so we just have to be really careful about that. Like I said, I think you could for sure there’s dogs out there that could do it. And I wouldn’t be opposed to it. But currently the dogs I have, there’s not going to be cross training.

Kayla Fratt 42:35
Yeah, yeah, that makes sense. Yeah. And that was something I’d always wondered about. You know, I, before I got into the conservation dog world, I joined a bunch of different search and rescue, learning groups and all sorts of stuff. And was always a little bit confused about the tracking and trailing dogs and being like, Wait, so they’re not ball driven, and you don’t reward them with food, like not understanding these other reinforcement contingencies that you could be using so so that if he finds something, you actually let although kind of go up and investigate it and kind of scratch that prey, drive it with whatever it is.

Unknown Speaker 43:12
Yeah, it keeps things really nice and simple, really. And it’s, it makes dogs selection, I think, nice and simplified. Because, you know, you can focus on finding dogs that are really prey driven and really motivated by, by the animal by by an animal, right. And the interesting thing too, is that, you know, more than half of the tracks that we do, the animal actually isn’t mortally wounded. So we don’t, it’s really intermittent reinforcement by nature of the entire field where they’re only finding 30 to 40%. But just the tracking down as something as wounded. So taking in that, that smell of the adrenaline smell that a wounded animal puts out and then you know, some once in a while you get some blood evidence and things like that having a dog that’s motivated by that. It’s nice and straightforward.

Kayla Fratt 44:09
Yeah, I mean, you can imagine, like these things on like a neurochemical level, it makes sense that they would be some some sort of like primary reinforcer like yeah, the animal isn’t getting something but just you know, like they’re not getting a piece of food they’re not getting a toy, but it makes sense you know, if you if you watch nature documentaries, like they’re tracking down, injured animals, they’re tracking down females and heats like this is all part of like the evolutionary history of like most predators, I would imagine that when we’ve got dogs that we’ve just bred for generations and generations to be even better at it are more specialized or whatever it makes, makes a ton of sense that we can kind of this simplest, cleanest training is just relying on that and not complicating it with with other reasons. for suckers.

Unknown Speaker 45:02
Yeah, and, you know, there’s we always have to be really careful to, you know, making sure the animal is, you know, doesn’t still need to be euthanized and things like that, right, the safety element of like allowing your dog to approach and an animal.

Unknown Speaker 45:18
Like, yeah, especially a bear.

Unknown Speaker 45:19
Yeah. Yeah. Various ones, but oh god.

Kayla Fratt 45:27
Yeah, yeah, I guess you’re too far east for elk, but they’re not great either. Really pretty much anything that you would try to track down? Honestly. Yeah, it’s probably something you don’t want your dog just running up to. And you said you work although on leash for tracking, right?

Unknown Speaker 45:41
Yes. So we are I would anyway due to his size, but really we’re required in Maine to track on leash. And that’s the case in all the northeastern states. There is some tradition of off leash tracking in some of the southern states. And I think maybe somewhere in the Midwest? Oh, yes. Yeah. For us. It’s all on leash. And that, that actually loops back to the whole breed selection thing where it’s like, that’s one thing that you consider when you are looking to breed selection, by tracking is if you’re on me, yeah, yeah.

Kayla Fratt 46:15
Again, because I imagine, you know, both if you’re watching old timey video movies, or even you know, I know, I’ve heard of some of the poaching tracking dogs in South Africa. Like those dogs, it’s a pack of dogs, they’re released, they work together. And I believe that they’ve, there’s a guy in South Africa, where they’re following the dogs and a helicopter, like they’re that hands off with letting the dogs do their work on their own. And they’re also again, they’re working in like a pack, which is really different from what you’re doing. And it just that it’s maybe it’s just because I know so little about it, but feels like the tracking trailing world has so many different variables and so much more to it. Like, I don’t think you would ever work multiple detection dogs at a time. I know, I’ve heard of people using them to confirm each other. But I don’t think generally people run multiple dogs at what’s it in the tracking world? That’s not a typical.

Unknown Speaker 47:15
Yeah, especially in the off leash states. I know some folks that will, you know, work more than one dog at a time or even on the states. Sometimes with training, they’ll have, you know, one dog and handler go ahead and then kind of like, a team, a leash team behind for like training purposes.

Unknown Speaker 47:35
Yeah. Oh, cool.

Unknown Speaker 47:37
I’ve never done that personally. But yeah, the thing you have to be careful of too is when you’re dealing with the reward being like this, this actual prey animal, then you have to worry about, you know, resource, guarding and competitiveness. Yeah, like that, like between two dogs, you don’t want there to be an issue. So

Kayla Fratt 47:55
yeah, yeah, I could imagine that definitely being a concern. And I mean, again, so my first thought when you’re talking about having one dog follow another and you said you haven’t done this, but wouldn’t that what if the first dog goes off track? Is there a chance that you’ve accidentally trained the second dog to follow the first dog instead of following the track or

Unknown Speaker 48:14
so I’m not super familiar with folks that that do it this way. But I think what it is, is you the second dog would be super experienced. And the time that goes ahead would be the inexperienced dog, and that’s almost like your, your backup almost like the because a lot of experienced tracking dogs are really used to like, people having searched around for it themselves. So there’s like a lot of force drag contamination. And then we’re also used to, even though it’s not legal in my state of like, people trying their personal dog first. So a really experienced tracking dog. Actually, I’ve learned that, you know, I’ll just ignore that other dogs and kind of a

Kayla Fratt 48:55
thing. Yeah, that makes sense. So it’s actually the more experienced dog that’s going second. Yeah. If anyone who’s listening knows, they can always write in and we will, we will amend. And maybe there are different, different exercises in which it maybe it could be both even. So how do you? How do you start a tracking dog for the sort of work that you’re doing? Because I know, when I’ve looked at, you know, like, fancy dog Sports Academy has an intro to tracking course they’re doing a lot of like cookie crumb trails, and then kind of learning teaching, teaching the dog by spacing out those cookies. But if you’re using the prey animal as the reward, you’re not doing that, I assume. Right?

Unknown Speaker 49:39
Right. So of course, like anything, there’s a lot of variability in how people train. But just like in the conservation detection world where we have like setups, we have a hide situation. We have these mock tracks that we do, especially for our young dogs, and we like to use actual animal material reels for this. So, step one is me, making sure if that if you live with someone that they’re very tolerant of, of your use of freezer space. So we would use, we would have frozen animal blood that we would use you to use, we would use. In the case of deer, we would use like a like a foot like a hoof, where we would attach to something a stick, or people even have these tracking shoes where the hoof actually attaches to the side of your foot and you just walk in, you’re kind of stamping off the interdigital glancing because there’s a gland in a deers foot that says that is responsible for a lot of this and that they’re tracking. So that’s really how we do it. And the goal is not to be 100% realistic, because these dogs know the difference between a training track and a real one. The idea is, you know, being able to gradually increase the difficulty, you know, putting in some turns, maybe laying this practice track over some fresh deer scent that you know is out there, something like that, so that they can have an opportunity to practice, especially the young dogs, we, with a young puppy, I’d take something really obvious like a piece of liver on a string with your liver and I would drag that along and make a training track and let it age for a few hours. And then even leave the liver chunk at the end, you know, and have the puppy track to that and then have that little chunk to kind of chew on a little bit as a reward. So that’s that’s kind of a training scenario, the things that I really like to do too, when you have an experienced dog is to take that young dog along when you go on tracks. And so if it’s a pretty short trousers, say that say the animal is found within two or 300 yards, you know, you can run back to the to the car while the hunter is is field dressing that animal, put your experienced dog away, take that pup out and have the pup you know, run that track just to kind of get a sense of like real what a real tracks smells like. And there’s so much sun profile that you can’t kind of mimic on a training track, there’s, you know, when places where the animal brushes up on vegetation, there’s just like that crushed vegetation that the animal is walking on. And there’s you know, we have a lot of reason to suspect that that’s a lot of what the tracking dogs are using. We’ve got the interdigital glands. And so, yeah, we’d like to do that if we are lucky enough to already have a an experienced dog that can find the animal first. And we even do what we suggest for people training their dogs, if they are a hunter, or they know hunters that have an animal doesn’t really need to be tracked because it’s a very obvious trail, you know, try and harvest amateurs. Exactly, to still give them a call and have them you know, practice with their, with their young dogs so that they can kind of just start putting things together and have like a really cool setup opportunity to be rewarded. And yeah, you know, your friend doesn’t mind if the dog kind of, you know, hangs around their their deer and sniff it and, and, you know, play with it a little bit. Yeah, that

Kayla Fratt 53:21
makes sense. Yeah, yeah, I grew up my dad is a is a big deer hunter. And I’ve just been the whole time we’ve been talking, I’m like, Oh my gosh, my dad would so love having this sort of help, and would also be the sort of person and he mostly hunts on his own property. If there’s anyone in northern Wisconsin who wants to get into this, my dad would absolutely be the sort of person who would let you run your dog out to practice even on like a known thing.

Unknown Speaker 53:46
It is legal and has some trackers? For sure. Yes, yeah.

Kayla Fratt 53:52
Yeah, good to double check that it’s illegal. Forgot about that. So kind of sick. I had one more question. Kind of on the tracking thing. Maybe maybe a couple more, but one that’s in my head right now. What are kind of your average distances? So you said a shorter one would be two or 300 meters something you could take a puppy on to test? Or to do some practice? But I would imagine sometimes it’s longer than that.

Unknown Speaker 54:18
Yeah. Yeah. So um, they can be up to, I guess, a recovery, like one of the longest recoveries we’ve had where it’s been close to six or seven miles. Wow. So this is where you start getting I’m trying not to delve into the weeds too much. But this is when you start getting into how the animals is wounded and if it needs to be humanely euthanized or not. So that sort of track like a really long one would be would be a devastating room that you the best strategy to to euthanize and recover that animal was to kind of the be going kind of hard on it and kind of pushing it in order to do what’s best for the animal. Just euthanize it. Most, most mortal hits are organ related. And those are things that really if left alone, that they should be expiring within a few 100 yards.

Kayla Fratt 55:14
Gotcha. So yeah, there you wouldn’t necessarily be pushing the the reason I will probably put a little content warning on this episode just really squeamish about that. But cuz now I’m curious. And we can dive into this now and again, warning, we’re about to get gross, it’s fine. What? What would be an example of like, would that be like, a you’ve hit it in the hunch? That yeah, where have you Where has the hunter hit it where animals not going to die very quickly, but still needs to be needs to be collected, because they’re not going to recover?

Unknown Speaker 55:50
It would be a leg wound on on Guillet. So not on there. Because bears are so ungulates are more like have to really lean on these broken limbs. And often with bears, we don’t recover like, like a limb wound, or like wound. But yeah, these long ones are leg wounds. And it’s where you start getting into like, yeah, that’s definitely content, warning things, because it’s not organic wounds. So the the animal, if left alone isn’t going to die on its own, it’s going to actually lay down and cloth that wound and actually be able to walk around on three legs. The problem with leg wounds is that that wound has then caused that animal to be susceptible, really susceptible to other things. And so the responsible thing is to try to euthanize that animal if we can. So that’s, that’s the only type of wound where we would go for miles and miles, that sort of thing, if a lot of the wounds that we get are non fatal muscle wounds, and yeah, we, we might track that animal for a mile or two. And then gather all the evidence that we found along the whole track, and then be like, yep, this seems like a muscle wound based on this evidence, we’re gonna give up the track. And often these are the animals that the hunter gets on trail cameras a couple of weeks later with a nice scabbed over wound. So the only other case where we would go a really long ways on a on a mortally hit animal that might be similar to some distances with leg wounds would be, there’s certain Oregon wounds that take a little bit of time before the animal expires. And sometimes hunters, they don’t know this, they don’t. They’re either inexperienced hunters that are still learning, or they haven’t identified that wound as one of these types of wounds as fatal wounds. So they just keep tracking and they keep tracking and they’re pushing that animal and they don’t realize that they are so they’re, they’re creating this like, very long track.

Unknown Speaker 57:48
We’re just left awaited. Yeah, yeah, it would have it would have

Unknown Speaker 57:53
laid down, you know, when it was comfortable and lay down and, and then expired at a

Unknown Speaker 57:58
short distance. Yes. So yeah, a

Unknown Speaker 58:00
lot of what we do is like, is is informing hunters about this?

Kayla Fratt 58:04
Yeah. I mean, it’s so fascinating. It’s so yeah, there’s so much to it. And I know, I remember my dad hunting. When I was a kid, I had it, he hit a deer and basically, and he was so mad about this. But, you know, this is the sort of thing that a more experienced hunter would recognize, this is what happened. He basically grazed across the, like the the point of the shoulder blades of the deer. So you know, if he’d been a couple inches further back, it would have been a really solid body cavity head. But I don’t know if the animal shifted or, you know, scope was off or whatever was missed and yeah, ended up with there was some blood some hair. And he tracked the animal for a little while, and then it was pretty clear to him at least, that it seemed like the animal was just gonna be fine.

Unknown Speaker 58:56
Yeah, there’s, there’s a lot of evidence that we can look at like hair, the type of wine, the amount of blood, if animals laying down or not, that helps us kind of determine those same things that that your dad probably did. And, and I was gonna say to you, you said the scope was off or something. But there’s lots of things that happen, like it could have defaulted on a branch or, you know, one of the things that we try to we, we do a lot of education with new trackers we do a lot of education with with hunters, but we also try to educate the public about, you know, that this a very small percentage of like, if you ask an experienced hunter, how often they’ve had recovering their animal, it’s very few. It’s just that in certain areas like here in Maine, we have a really big hunting heritage. And we have a lot of hunters. So it it keeps the few trackers out there are very busy but this is not a typical situation in hunting. Right. And so that’s part of what we try to educate folks about as well is that, you know, these people are concerned about the welfare of the animal. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be calling us. And, you know, they would just be like, Oh, wow, and call it a day, right. But they’re trying to do everything that they can to recover that animal. And, and so that’s, that’s kind of part of some of the information that we like to put out there like things go wrong. Yeah, no matter how hard people, you know, practice with their guns or sight in their guns or their you know, practice with their bow, things happen. And it’s really what you do after things are going wrong, that that really matters. So, no, so another big point that we’d like to make.

Kayla Fratt 1:00:37
Yeah, yeah, definitely. And I think, you know, this is probably, this is a really good example of how, you know, conservation and hunting are tied together. And I like you’re probably the best example of you’re like, Yeah, my income is split between the two, like you, you said that you, you get quite a bit of work at the fall. And that’s great, too, because I don’t know what your hunting season is in Maine. But, you know, peak hunting season in Wisconsin is kind of like Thanksgiving to New Year’s. And that’s not a time of year where you’re doing a lot of conservation detection dog stuff in general.

Unknown Speaker 1:01:14
Right, we start a little we have bear a pretty early bear season here. Okay, we have a few different deer season. So actually start at the end of August and go until mid December with tracking

Kayla Fratt 1:01:24
Wow. But there’s, I’m not sure when bear season is in Wisconsin.

Unknown Speaker 1:01:29
There’s various degrees of how busy those seasons are, though. Like I can certainly do it and do scent detection work. You know, while there’s tracking going on, it’s kind of it becomes a little nuanced as far as scheduling all that. But if I’m working with somebody in the fall, it’s like I might have to be answering my phone. Every once in a while. Yeah, in the field, because I have to talk to hunters about taking a track after this. And like little although, as you know, coming with me sometimes on scent detection projects to, you know, be in a in a crate off to the side in the shade to maybe go tracking afterwards.

Kayla Fratt 1:02:10
Right. Wow. Oh my gosh, you must be exhausted.

Unknown Speaker 1:02:13
It’s pretty tiring. Yeah. Yeah, I can. I can talk a lot about sleep deprivation in the fall. But that’s the nature of any on call thing where you can’t predict you know, exactly

Kayla Fratt 1:02:24
right. Yeah, you can. Yeah, you can’t say like, oh, yeah, I’m gonna have two tracks next week. I’ll plan around that. Yeah. So I think, you know, we’re kind of wrapping up here. This was fascinating. And, you know, an interesting diversion for a lot of people. But I think before we wrap it up, I did want to talk a little bit about more of your the science talks of New England. Just make sure people know where to find you tell us if you’ve got any upside exciting projects there to bring it back to the conservation dog specific detection dog specific stuff. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 1:02:57
so for science dogs. Right now our big project is working with with turtles, and with turtle nests in Maine, and they’re with turtles are a big concern as they are in a lot of places. And so, really excited to be doing with turtle work with the dogs, we are starting kind of a new piece of that, where we’ll be doing some with turtle nest detection, which is really exciting. Kind of a neat, new level of challenging because these nests are not visible. You know, as a turtle would be right so the dog might point out a turtle and then go and confirm that so kind of a really neat thing we have some suspicion that would turtles might be you know, nesting in places where we wouldn’t necessarily expect them to. So we want to we want to try to figure some of that out and really enjoyed been working on a project in partnership with the Center for Wildlife studies. And they’re doing some really amazing with turtle work in the state. Oh, cool. Yeah, yeah, we’re gonna be continuing that we’ve got hopefully some additional work doing some scat detection coming up which is completely official yet so unfortunately can’t can’t know too much about that as you know how it is but yeah, just really, really exciting stuff. I try to post as much as many updates as I can. On our Facebook page. The problem with with turtle work for those of you that are familiar with with these turtles is that there’s quite a bit of confidentiality that goes around talking about their locations and their research. So I am limited to how many fun pictures and stories and things like that that I can get out there. So um, they don’t they’re not a target species that lends themselves to like a lot of really fun updates, unfortunately. Because we just have to be very careful about, you know, making sure that that we keep their locations under wraps.

Unknown Speaker 1:05:19
Yeah, yeah, that makes sense.

Unknown Speaker 1:05:21
There’s, you know, the one of the major problems is black market, pet trade for them. So,

Unknown Speaker 1:05:27
yeah. So my cat can’t go posted about it. So it’s not

Unknown Speaker 1:05:31
so fun for the social media. But it’s a really fun project. It’s a extremely rewarding project. And it’s been a great, a great partnership where that we’ve been participating in for three years now. So

Kayla Fratt 1:05:49
that’s great. Yeah, yeah. And where so where can people find you online? For both? I don’t know, if you’ve got the same website for both businesses, and especially if people are interested in learning more about blood tracking? Do you have any, anywhere you’d like to point them?

Unknown Speaker 1:06:01
Yes, so for scent detection work, the science dogs of New Zealand website, which is science dogs, any.com. And then we are on Facebook and Instagram as well, we, for the sake of people that prefer not to see photos of Dead game animals. And just because I realized that there’s a lot of sensitivity around those issues, I do keep the tracking piece a little bit separated. So I have a separate Facebook page. For tracking that’s just called Lindsey where large game tracking so you can get lots of tracking, I love talking about tracking stories on that page, if you’re interested in that, in general, for learning more about blood tracking. United Blood trackers is the national organization that I belong to. And it’s a great organization, there’s lots of free articles on there, you can see an interactive map where you can click on your state and get contact information for trackers that are in your area. There’s United Blood trackers is great if you think you want to get into tracking we’re super supportive bunch that really loves mentoring new trackers and, and helping out as much as possible. And then finally, the the best book to look into is a book called tracking dogs for finding wounded deer, which is by John John and a it’s a great book all about training and breed selection and introductions to this whole like detective side of tracking how to determine what kind of food you’re dealing with. What kind of evidence means, you know, different types of heads. It’s just really, really good.

Kayla Fratt 1:07:48
Ya know, I can see myself actually really, really enjoying this. I’m loving it, you know, these concepts of the detective work and figuring all that out. It just sounds it just sounds fascinating. So I’m really grateful for you sharing all that all that knowledge with us, and we’ll make sure all those links are in the show notes. So thanks again for coming on the podcast. Lindsay. This was awesome.

Unknown Speaker 1:08:08
Thanks so much for having me.

Kayla Fratt 1:08:10
Thank you so much for listening. I hope you learned a lot and are feeling inspired to get outside and be a canine conservationist in whatever way suits your passions and skill set. You can find shownotes donate to Canine conservationists and join Patreon over at Canine conservationists dot bark until next time.

Kayla Fratt 1:08:42
Are you on Patreon yet? If you love this podcast and want to support it in the long term, Patreon is the way to go. I spend hours per episode researching guests writing out questions, recording interviews, posting on Patreon to engage with our patrons about all of those, cleaning up the audio and putting together all of the promotional materials. Even with the help of volunteers. This is an enormous task that takes up a ton of my time. And right now I’m not paid for it. For just $3 a month you can support the show while also gaining access to our exclusive detection dog training video help calls which happened once a month, our learning club calls which are currently quarterly but I’m hoping to move to monthly and a lot more. You can join the fun over at patreon.com/canine conservationist or using the link in our show notes. You also may want to share this with anyone else you know who is interested in getting involved in the field of conservation detection dogs, because this is hands down the lowest cost way to get as much mentoring and assistance and joining the community of other professional and aspiring conservation detection dog handlers. And you’re gonna really enjoy it. See you there.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai