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Scout the dog flushing a female sage grouse in sagebrush
Buddy the dog sniffing the air in sagebrush trying to find a sage grouse
  • History of Working dogs

    • Dogs have been used for grouse detection and data collection in Europe since the 1950’s

    • Data from dogs used to determine animal populations, distributions, and demographics (age & sex)

    • Dogs can be used to find species of concern that either have small populations or are hard to find

  • Choosing Dogs for Working

    • Certain breeds do better than others with bird detection and livestock.

    • Setters and pointers are best for distance sampling and finding hens with their broods

    • Livestock protection dogs (LPD) live with livestock and protect them. Offers non-lethal predator control

      • Ranchers in the Western US use sheep dogs to protect their sheep flocks grazing in the mountains during the summer

    • LPD have been used for almost 5,000 years, the Great Pyrenees is the most common breed used

  • Using Dogs for Birds

    • When dogs are used to find nests and broods, the entire brood can usually be found within 10 minutes after the hen or first chick is found. Chicks up to 4 weeks old can be handled

    • When dogs are not used, the brood size can be underestimated greatly by human researchers

    • Dogs can be used to find unknown lekking locations. The dogs flush out a large number of male grouse in a small area during the day then the site is revisited during display times (this is normally in the morning)

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