This is how a well trained detection dog performs. He doesn’t need ongoing commands, or a handler to show him where to look, he’s not held back by a handler’s limited beliefs of where the scent is, he just knows what he has to do to get that ball!

Notice that this dog is not on a lead. In my opinion all conservation detection dogs must be able to work freely off lead with the handler maintaining complete control. I use three different whistle sounds for commands. One for stop, one to change direction and another one to come when called.

Conner is a 15 months old working English Springer Spaniel back in training to add a new scent, which is alligator weed. Alligator weed is a noxious weed and very detrimental to habitat because it is invasive and spreads at a rapid rate.
Conner’s task in this video is to locate a 1 inch piece of the Alligator weed on this vast lawn!

It is almost incomprehensible when you think how humans would even begin to look for it. But you’ll see Conner locates it quite easily.

So having Conner is going to be an enormous benefit to NSW Parks & Wildlife.