Why we love the APU dogs

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It is said that dog and man initiated their relationship between 10 000 and 20 000 years ago when dog ancestors followed man throughout his migrations. Dogs are known as man’s best friend, our closest companions, our protectors and even lifesavers. Numerous accounts testify of this, from treating mental illness and depression to even halting death. This seems to be something that dogs are well equipped to do, as they halt death in more ways than one.

Rhinos are poached in South Africa at a rate of three per day. In a 24-hour cycle that is one rhino every eight hours. Fortunately, the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) has taken precautionary steps to ensure the safety of their rhinos and they involve – you guessed it – DOGS!

Dogs can be trained to do specific work. A dog’s sense of smell and hearing are far better than their human counterparts. Although difficult to quantify, some scientists believe dogs can detect most odours at concentration of parts per trillion. Dogs can, in general, hear four times the distance of human hearing capabilities. HESC has the facilities and knowledge to take care of injured rhinos who were victims of attempted poaching, as well as orphaned baby rhinos. All these rhinos need protection and as an addition to the current security upgrade, the centre decided to add a dog unit to help protect their rhinos.

Meet our dogs:

Name: Zee
Breed:  Malinois (F)
Status: Fully trained APU dog
Trained in: obedience, bite work, exceptional human tracker
Loves: Her trainer

Zee-and-Bullet

Name: Bullet
Breed:  Malinois (M)
Status: Puppy in training,
Trained in: speed, human tracking, bite-work, obedient
Loves: His ball

Name: Jessie
Breed:  Malinois (F)
Status: Dog in training, eager to learn
Trained in: patrol, bite work

Jessie-and-Nicor2

Name: Nicor
Breed:  Malinois (M)
Status: Puppy in training
Trained in: Will be trained in obedience, area searches and bite-work
Characteristics: Self-assured and confident
Axe-and-David

Name: Axe
Breed:  Malinois (M)
Status: Fully trained
Trained in: Detection, bite-work
Characteristics: Strong

Name: David
Breed:  Anatolian Shepherd (M)
Status: Rhino protector
Trained in: None – David is already at home between the grass- and animal smells and keeps Esme, the baby rhino, company. David won’t receive much training.

Keeping and training these dogs will not be possible without your contributions. Please donate to them and their handlers here:

https://help.hesc.co.za/

Sources:
https://a-z-animals.com/animals/dog/
http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/dog-facts-sense-of-smell
http://www.puppyplaygroundindy.com/dog-senses-versus-human-senses-how-do-they-compare/

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