These dogs become heroes that would have been killed if not placed in projects like sniffing out arms and ammunition used by Zambian poachers to detec ting invasive weeds before they break the surface. Megan Parker and her fellows choose dogs which show an outstanding desire to play with a toy; high-energy dogs that would do anything to fetch or tug.
In order to train the dogs to identify specific scents – for example ivory, invasive weeds or ammunition – Parker links the scent with a reward, usually a ball or a tug toy. Parker’s key: positive training, meaning that everything Parker’s team wants the dogs to find is linked with what they love.
The dogs they train get placed in countries as far away as Zambia. These animals are trained to identify things such as gunpowder, illegal ammunition, elephant ivory, rhino horn, illegal bush meat species, leopard skins and lion.