How to be a K9 Conservationist

In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla discusses the ins and outs of becoming a K9 Conservationist! 

Episode suggestion: It’s okay to not finish a book if you aren’t liking it. 

Call to action: Check out our new merch!! 

Suggested by Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, create a 3-way Venn diagram of how to get involved.

  • Top circle is “what you love.”
  • Circle off to the left of what you’re good at
  • Lastly, a circle to the right of what the world needs. 
  • In the center could be some ways you can help save the planet, save some dogs, or be a k9 conservationist. 

Smaller ways to help:

  • Be a more eco friendly dog owner by supporting local, reducing your carbon footprint during travel, etc.
  • Volunteer with organizations that protect the land or start your own

Getting in the field of conservation detection:

  • Your first 2 steps no matter what are similar if you want to be a handler: learn scentwork/handling/dog behavior and familiarize yourself with field biology and survey techniques
  • Volunteer to start to see if its something you’d be interested in
  • Education
    • Grad school is one option
    • Getting hired with a bigger organization is another
      • Working Dogs for Conservation
      • Rogue Detection Teams
      • Science Dogs of New England
      • Conservation Dogs Collective
      • WEST Inc
        • Summer gigs for wind and solar farms
        • You get hired with your dog
      • Other abroad organizations
    • Taking courses in person and online, such as Fenzi Dog Sport Academy for Nosework, Rogue Detection Teams, Conservation K9 Consultancy in Australia
    • K9 Conservationist podcast and patreon

Being a handler isn’t your only option, and it’s not for everyone. Other ways to get involved:

  • Volunteer with us: course creation, social media, website maintenance – you probably have a skill we need!
  • Work in another role like fundraising at another organization
  • Biologists can hire us
  • Shelter workers can help us find other dogs
  • Donations, of course
  • Get involved in your local community with the shelter, trail building, PlayCleanGo, wildlife rehab, or just pick up some extra dog poo bags.

Links Mentioned in the Episode:

You can support the K9 Conservationists Podcast by joining our Patreon at

K9 Conservationists Website | Merch | Support Our Work | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok