Why is a conservation dog an efficient tool?

Dogs are amazing creatures. No man-made instrument has ever been able to replicate their scenting power and efficiency. We see their natural ability in action every day. And we're passionate about working with them to collect data that matters. Working together, we are an efficient, practical method for obtaining research-quality data with minimal ecological impact.


What do dogs have that humans don't? For one thing, their noses have up to 300 million olfactory receptors, compared to about six million in humans. The part of a dog's brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is, proportionally speaking, 40 times greater than ours.



A dog's nose is an amazing design. It has slit nostrils, which allow it to smell continuously on both the inhale and exhale. Using its superb olfactory system, it can determine which nostril an odor arrived in first. This helps it locate a scent in space and trace it back to the source.


A dog's eagerness to work paired with its odor-finding expertise makes these animals a natural fit for professional detection work. It's no wonder their scenting abilities can help us collect more and better data.

The Midwest Conservation Dogs canines can:

  • Detect plants and animals on land and in water that people cannot.

  • Conduct efficient searches in a matter of minutes that would take a human hours.

  • Give results instantly with professional accuracy.

  • Search for multiple target scents simultaneously.

Image © Hannah Stonehouse Hudson

Learn more about what our canines are sniffing out in our project portfolio, and if you're interested in reading more about the incredible canine olfactory system, check out some of our favorite books:




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Midwest Conservation Dogs

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