Happy Tails — Working Dog Fern is Off to Serve for WD4C!

March 4, 2020

A KHS shelter dog with special skills has been selected for training to protect endangered wildlife and plants with Working Dogs for Conservation (WD4C).


Fern, a 1-year-old Lab/Shepherd mix, arrived at KHS as a stray and no one claimed her. Our canine behavior & training department discovered that while she was not a good candidate for adoption, she had other skills that made her a wonderful candidate as a working detection dog.


Before being accepted by Working Dogs for Conservation, Fern underwent a training evaluation to assess her ability to focus on, search for, and retrieve tennis balls under various conditions and with numerous obstacles. She passed with flying colors, scoring 33 out of 36 possible points!


Montana-based Working Dogs for Conservation is the world’s leading conservation detection dog organization. WD4C specializes in canine training techniques that utilize working dogs heightened sense of smell to prevent illegal poaching and smuggling of wildlife and protecting against biological threats such as invasive species of plants, animals, and diseases.


“We’re really proud to find a dog that’s a good candidate for WD4C,” says Samantha Fairweather, KHS assistant director of animal welfare. “And it’s exciting that a dog from our shelter gets to be a part of this program because it shows that any dog, not just a specific breed of dogs, can protect against threats.”


Fern is now in Montana undergoing training. We wish her the best of luck in her new journey as a working dog!