These tiny creatures can do damage that could cost millions of dollars to repair. They can be sneaky wood-munchers and could even bring down a house. Termite dogs are the modern ghost-busters. They can rid a house of an unseen entity. Woofers are able to detect the pests and then send exterminators to remove them from the home. Do you want to see termite dogs in action, then?
Signs a Dog Can Hear Termites
We are fortunate to have discovered how amazing dogs can be in all things. Dogs have a keen sense of smell and are able to pick out the oddest things. It would be amazing to think that a dog could sense a DVD and stacks of money. We are still amazed at their amazing abilities and friendly nature. If you’re a dog lover, you might be amazed at your Spaniel or Beagle when termites attack.
Termite damage is a key factor to consider when renovating an old house. It can make the difference between renovating a house or buying another one. Termites are destroying homes all over the globe, and homeowners don’t even notice their destructive roommates.
Ex-police dog trainer found out how termites can terrorize homes. Although his new home was declared free of termites, he discovered a nest that required further investigation. It turned out that the original inspector who gave the “termite-free” certificate could not be held responsible as the area of concern wasn’t accessible.
The result was TADD, or (Termite and Ant Detection Dogs), which became a new company. The dog of choice was the Beagle, who is trained to detect termites in homes, boats and buildings.
The Beagle is a classic scent hound, with excellent tracking skills and is small enough to fit under houses and get into tight spaces. Robert Outman, an animal behaviorist who is also the creator of this innovative business, said that the Beagles love what they do and are excited when they discover a termite infestation.
You will likely see a termite beagle running around the house, from one room to another. As they listen to the rustling, rattling sound, their heads will turn sideways. As they sniff for termites, all their senses are alert. They move around the area looking for them. When they spot an ant or termite nest, their tails wag with delight and Beagles sniff in their blood. You can reward them with anything, from a roll of white paper (K9’s reward), a favorite toy or an edible treat. Beagles are great at this type of work because they love to please.
History of Beagles being Termite Detector Dogs
Beagles have a cool history as dedicated detector dogs and owners of a masterful sense of smell. Those long, floppy ears not only look cute, but they can trap a scent and pass it on up to their nose.
The first ancient Beagles were discovered in Greece more than a thousand years back. They were used primarily for their hunting skills. These hare-sniffing dogs were first known as the “St Hare Hound” in the 8 th century. They were then selectively bred to become the Talbot Hound.
This shows you how involved humans were in the evolution of the dog breed. As we move forward a few centuries, William the Conqueror takes a look at the Beagle’s past and transports them back to England. King William donned his scientist’s cap, and began to work on DNA. He bred the Talbot Hound with an English Greyhound to increase speed.
The Southern Hound was created and lived until the 19 th century, when it was extinct. The same fate was dealt to Pocket Beagles. They were a favourite of British royalty. Because they were small, they were easy to fit in the pockets of hunters. Then, they were free to chase prey through bushland, where larger mutts couldn’t. All hunting dogs were called Beagles to add confusion.
Mankind wanted to find the best dog to hunt rabbits and hares, so the South Hound and North Country Beagle were created. Their paths crossed as foxhunting became a sport for the aristocracy.
To create the ultimate hunting mutt, these dogs were bred with Foxhounds. Mankind wasn’t satisfied with these two extinctions. A myriad of interbreeding was then started to create the Honeywood’s Beagle. This dog eventually became extinct in 1960.
There was more breeding, and Beagle lovers were determined to prevent extinctions in the late 1800s. This is probably why the Beagle club formed in 1890. As the world fell in love this friendly, floppy-eared dog, there was more breeding. Finally, a certificate was issued to officially recognize the Beagle breed.
Beagle is a popular detector dog with exceptional sniffing abilities. It was born from wild wolves. Their evolution from ancient times to the present has been a remarkable genetic adventure. Their ability to smell termites through walls is their greatest asset.
Science of Dogs Detects Termites
Beagles are renowned for their sniffing savvy and have more scent receptors than other breeds of dog. According to Pet Helpful, Beagles have around 225 million receptors while the larger German Shepherd has the same. Both woofers are beaten out by the infamous Bloodhound, that walks through the kennel door with a proud 300 million. Still, the Beagle is up there with the world’s best sniffers.
They also have exceptional hearing abilities. Mutts have an average hearing range of 40 to 60,000 Hertz. They can also move their ears to pick up the direction and sound from outside. Woofers are able to hear the distinctive termite banging sound with a huge hearing range. The Beagle can see through walls and ceilings to find termites.
How to train a dog to detect termites
Training a Beagle to hear and sense termites starts at eight weeks of age. By the time they are 8-10 months, they are beginning their jobs as “Termite Dogs.”
The Los Angeles Times tells the story of Daryll who has been sniffing out creepy crawlers for more than 4 years. He has never failed to detect one. Daryll has been trained by TADD and has inspected over 3,500 properties. This Californian Beagle will retire to his handler when he reaches eight years old.
You can start your own termite-detector dog business by following a variety of training programs. They will show potential clients how to select the right dog for them and how to spot a particular odor. K9-University offers classes that teach pest controllers how they can bring a dog into their business.
A termite detector dog is generally trained using classical conditioning with boxes and cans. Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov discovered that dogs salivate before being given food, and realized this could be used as a way to change a dog’s behavior. Pavlov’s study dogs would eat when he rang a bell. The dog is now rewarded with food when he gets the task right.