Center for Conservation Biology

Grey and black cattle dog sits on bow of boat looking back at camera


Since arriving in early August, Dio dove head…. I mean, nose first into his work. Arriving at an extremely busy time for us we decided to deploy him directly into one of our active field sites. A common misconception that we have accidentally perpetuated over the years is that training a new working dog requires a huge amount of time. In actuality it is the handler that we focus on training more than the dog. Dio is a natural and he picked up on the game immediately. For an experienced handler all Dio needed was some basic tweaking of his natural, rambunctious behavior as well as some basic work to improve communication. It is key that the handler and dog respond to one another well and creating a trusting relationship takes time. It wasn’t all rainbows though and on his second day Dio tore a pad. While he was convinced that just the thrill of the chase was worth the pain, we decided he needed to let things heal a bit before getting back to work. He was placed last in line for a few days. While these days were nail bitingly excruciating for our new head-banging hound it wasn’t long before he was back out in the field shattering records.