UCR assist award-winning detection dog specialists with vital project
It was a pleasure to welcome the international, multi-award-winning company Wagtail onto campus this year, to assist them with a vital project they are currently working on involving training scent dogs.
Wagtail is an international specialist in detection dogs and dog handler training which was established in 2003. They provide detection dogs and related services for government agencies such as UK Border Force, HM Revenue & Customs, Police, Trading Standards and Armed Forces.
One of their latest projects involves training scent dogs to detect import and export of wildlife, particularly species like Pangolin, who are a primary candidate for being sold on the black market, both live and dead.
We assisted Wagtail with this valuable project by inviting them to our on-site mini zoo to conduct some of their training. They used a variety of animal species we have at the zoo for the dogs to start working on ‘live’ searches, where they were checking suitcases and boxes for those animals.
The dogs never have contact with the animals, and everything is done via ‘passive’ indication, before the dog gets rewarded for a positive find. Wagtail found the day spent with us instrumental in their dog’s training.
As we are highly industry focused here at University Centre Reaseheath, and are passionate about animal welfare, we were thrilled to play a part in such a worthwhile project.