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Coolest Job Description Ever

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My company is listing for a professional dog handler. This isn't unique to collies, but partly this post is because I just think this is the coolest job description ever for dog lovers and people like many of us who just love training dogs. BTW Odin was evaluated to be a scent dog and scored high as a prospect, but there's no way I'm letting him live with another person :) What they were looking for seemed to me to be quintessential BC traits though - strong toy drive, high energy level, biddability. The other reason I posted here is that I know so many people on here are excellent trainers, and we're casting a wide net to find this person. Maybe someone here meets the requirements and has interest! I've been working with my company to increase our use and projects' use of dogs for a variety of things, including this scent dog work and working livestock used in vegetation management activities. If your own dog is trained as a scent dog or could be trained there's definite potential for him/her to be one of our scent dogs. My company already owns a couple but have been looking for more good prospects.


I've redacted the company info because this is a public message board and I've just never been super comfortable being widely non-anonymous on the internet. But if you are interested and think you could qualify, send me a pm.




Company X is a premier ecological consulting firm based in California and Hawai'i. For over 40 years, Company X has created ecologically sound solutions to our clients' complex resource challenges.



We currently have an opening for a field biologist who is also an experienced wildlife detection dog handler. Responsibilities include housing, caring for, and training program detection dogs; handling trained detection dogs on wildlife surveys; identifying avian species; managing project data; and preparing reports. The position will sometimes require a person to navigate varying and rugged terrain safely and potentially alone with the dog. It may require occasional overnight travel and weekend work. Good general communication skills and an ability to work well with a field team and with diverse personnel also are important.



Applicants should have a strong field background performing a variety of wildlife detection dog surveys. The ideal candidate will have experience managing detection dog field projects and training other dog handlers. Applicants with experience/expertise in bird identification are preferred.



Degree in Wildlife Biology, Ecology, or similar field.


Hiring Location: Mojave Desert Region

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I know, me too :) Not as much as Odin would like it, I'm sure, though he does get to come out with me to certain project sites. I'm a botanist and entomologist, so avian and mammalian surveys are not my specialty. The dogs search for bird carcasses and scat of endangered species. When the scat is found and alerted on by the dog we do genetic analysis to confirm the species.



I am interested to find out if there really is a pool of wildlife scent dog handlers out there - I'd imagine it's pretty rare. I'm encouraging them to open it up to people with relevant degrees and different types of dog training, like search and rescue or other nosework stuff.

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Pips was a young ACD picked up as a stray here at the local shelter. I remember him well. He was one of the coolest dogs I ever met--very intense, very driven. He was returned twice to the shelter--just too much dog and too high maintenance for the average person to handle.


UAF, the local all breed rescue I volunteer with pulled Pips and he was adopted out 3 more times and returned each time. There wasn't a seasoned foster for him so he ended up being boarded at a local kennel. Despite being taken out for frequent trail hikes, he began to deteriorate and became dog aggressive so he didn't show well at the weekly adoption events. He languished in rescue. One of our chief administrators had heard about the Conservation Canines project and contacted them about Pips. They agreed to give him a shot. She and her husband flew with him up to Washington where he was given a 3 week trial period and subsequenlty enthusiastically accepted into their program. The dog aggressive behavior resolved nearly immediately when they started his training program. That was in 2011. One of the best success stories ever.


If you scroll down about half way down, you'll find the profile of Pips.



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Sounds like a really cool job!


I am interested to find out if there really is a pool of wildlife scent dog handlers out there - I'd imagine it's pretty rare. I'm encouraging them to open it up to people with relevant degrees and different types of dog training, like search and rescue or other nosework stuff.


I'd strongly encourage them to open up the requirements just a bit! Or maybe they need to look into recruiting a team - one with the wildlife biology background and one with a dog handling background. Detection all works on the same principles and detection dog trainers/handlers are used to working in a wide variety of environments but I imagine that combined specialties would be pretty rare.

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If your company is looking for dogs, I might have one that would work. He is three years old, neutered, mostly Border Collie ( with some Kelpie, possibly a bit of Heeler)


I'm in Napa County and would bring him in for evaluation if there is interest. PM or email if there is interest.


Email ( take out spaces) neff @ dzm . com

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Nancy, your story about Pipps really made me smile. I love success stories like that. My opinion: 99.9% of dogs would be successes if they only had the right environment for them. Wish it could always happen that way.


And I think that sounds like a dream job. You even get to live in the desert.

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