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The Best Bone Detectors
When the dogs aren’t nosing for bones at a work site, they’re practice training with them at home.
“We work on human teeth and small pieces of bone,” Peabody explains, referring to her 12-year-old Belgian Malinois, Legend.
“Starting out, you get the dogs interested by putting pieces of bone on the floor,” Peabody says. “When they go over to it, you praise them and give them a treat, so they figure out that they receive a treat when they identify a particular scent.”
Peabody then makes the bones more difficult to find by putting them behind or under something. “I’ll dig a shallow hole outside and then cover it with leaves and branches. Dogs’ olfactory abilities are amazing.”
According to Peabody, a good dog for this type of work is one who is methodical.
“This work is about longevity, so no biting and no jumping around,” she says, but adds that enthusiasm for finding a scent is key. “Legend is hyper for her job. I show her the ball that I give her as a reward, and she goes, ‘I can find anything.’ ”
As long as there are no snakes.
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