Questions for ‘Conservation is going to the dogs’

German shepherd

Jax, here, is a canine with Working Dogs for Conservation (WD4C). He helps search for black-footed ferrets.

Working Dogs for Conservation

To accompany feature “Conservation is going to the dogs


Before Reading:

1.  How is a dog trained? What are some of the things that a dog can be trained to do?

2.  Imagine that you want to find a rare antelope in Central Asia. What are three signs that such an animal might have been in the area where you are searching?

During Reading:

1.  Why are people worried about zebra mussels showing up in waterways?

2.  What is a “ball-crazy” dog, and why do these dogs make great detection dogs?

3.  What is Chinese bushclover?

4.  What kind of information can Samuel Wasser get from an animal’s poop?

5.  What did Samuel Wasser learn about orcas?

6.  What types of animals did the Chesapeake Bay retriever Train help Karen DeMatteo find evidence of in Argentina?

7.  Why was Train perfect for the Argentina job?

8.  Why is it important to use many different samples when training a dog? List three types of variation that handlers might include in the samples they used in training.

9.  What are some of the traits that a human handler needs to be a good partner to a detection dog?

10.  What are three ways that dogs can be a problem in the wild?

After Reading:

1.  Detection dogs can be useful in a conservation project when searching for rare species. But why might you decide not to use a dog, even if an appropriate one was available? Use evidence from the story to explain your answer.

2.  You are searching for a dog for a conservation project. The dog will need to search for a rare plant in a warm climate, with tall grass, a few thorny bushes and muddy soil. Describe the type of dog you would look for. What type of behavior would you want this dog to have? Use evidence from the story to explain your answer.