“Super sniffer” dogs scent scat on land and at sea for scientific research.
This examination of scat-detection dogs, who sniff out the feces of different creatures scientists study, begins with a fictional story based in reality. “Freddie” is saved from certain death in a shelter because he exemplifies two qualities essential in scat-detection dogs: high energy and the ability to focus. Beginning with the science behind what makes dogs such great sniffers, the book offers detailed text with lots of color photographs on glossy paper and sidebar photos with additional information. Background on how dogs began working in scat detection is followed up with information on training. Everything about these dogs is impressive. The stories of individual dogs (who often specialize in certain kinds of scat) are chronicled next, encouraging readers to connect to them as individuals. These dogs’ stories take readers from mountain to ocean, desert, forest, and everglade. Readers are sure to come away with a deep fascination with and appreciation for scat-detection dogs’ essential contributions to conservation work. Why Wadworth makes assumptions about the knowledge and feelings of students outside the U.S. who meet scat dogs and their handlers (perhaps a chance for a teachable moment) is questionable and perplexing, however.
Cultural misstep aside, this is a great choice for dog and science lovers alike. (introduction, author’s note, glossary, resources, sources, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 8-14)