Intro

Animal Damage Control (ADC) utilizes professional Service Dogs for a variety of wildlife management functions. Each dog is trained utilizing its individual strengths to assist our field teams in managing predator conflict security, migratory birds conflict mitigation, urban coyote conflict mitigation and any problem pest situation which benefits from service dog use. The dogs perform many tasks, using their keen sense of smell, natural hunting instinct and ability to take precise direction, ADC has developed a series of procedures which act to manage conflict humanely and without lethal intervention. Below is a list highlighting some of the many jobs ADC service dogs perform on a daily basis.

  • Identify active dens, nests, and travel routes used by wildlife
  • Engage aggressive predators (coyotes, wolves, bears, fox) and notify dog handler of impending threat
  • Simulate residential pets in public parks and greenspaces, allowing dog handlers to engage aggressive coyotes with non-lethal deterrents
  • Sweep active nesting areas and deter protected birds from nesting in conflict areas such as: pipeline ROW’s, construction sites, roadside ditches, sump ponds, tailings ponds, contaminated water
  • Provide early detection of large predators such as Grizzly bear, Black bear, Cougar and Wolves
  • Sweep the access, trials, and edges of remote sites, leases and workspaces for dens, aggressive predators
  • Aid in the removal of geese nests in permitted areas under Federal CWS Migratory Bird Damage Permit

The Service Dog Advantage

ADC’s team of service dogs is comprised of many breeds of dog. Each with its own handler and set of skills. The relationship between handler and dog is key. Our dogs are raised from puppies, developing their skills at an early age. As they mature, they gain the skill and experience, making the dog/handler bond the foundation of the working team in the field. The main advantage of using working/hunting bred and trained dogs in the field is that due to their behavior, wildlife immediately regard them as being on a par with other wild canines and not family pets. Thus, the reaction is very different and predators’ sense immediately that they are being hunted and maneuvered by the dog and handler team.

ADC capitalizes on this instinctive reaction by wildlife which ranges from curiosity to wariness, threatened and sometimes territorial or aggressive behavior to manipulate or discourage habitation, and de-escalate conflict behavior and potential conflict situations. Often our dogs remain passive and on leash in order to initiate and attract aggressive behavior from predators so aversive conditioning techniques can be deployed by the handlers. Teams will often work in tandem either in alternating roles or to provide an overwhelming force when dealing with particularly aggressive animals.

Field Capability:

Coyotes

Coyotes are much more likely to become aggressive with a pet rather than the pet’s handler. So, by using a trained service dog to simulate a pet on a leash, we can draw aggressive coyotes in to our handlers, and utilize not lethal deterrents such as paintball marker gun or air horn to re-educate coyotes to avoid pets and their handlers along public pathways or in any space used by local residents. As well, service dogs are able to detect coyote activity in around dens in pubic spaces. If there is a den in a location which will surely cause conflict, a service dog can sniff out and “mark” the den, often causing the coyotes to move den locations and therefore avoid future conflict. This reaction to the dog is much stronger than to a person, so the result is achieved passively.

Birds

Birds are another species which has a strong reaction to service dogs. ADC uses service dogs to passively push conflict birds from an area where they may endanger themselves or their nests. The reaction from the bird to the canine, which is a natural predator, is much stronger than to humans. Meaning the birds will avoid any area where they think the dogs may be working. This is especially apparent with migratory waterfowl, such as ducks, geese and shorebirds. These birds will learn to avoid laying nests as well as feed anywhere a service dog is working. The dogs can cover 10x the area and distance of a person, and can sweep areas consistently with little to no conflict with birds or nests. This allows industry to work through the summer nesting season and avoid conflict with protected birds.

Large Predators

Large predators often live within the workspaces of ADC’s clients. Bears, wolves, and cougar are the 3 species ADC consistently works with. The absolute safest way to avoid conflict with these animals, to know they are there! Most negative encounters with large predators occur because they are surprised or disturbed by unassuming human activity. ADC’s service dogs are used for early detection. Essentially, by utilizing the wind, and the dog’s keen sense of smell, ADC can detect any predator activity much sooner and further away than workers. The dogs will sweep an area, clear it of any danger and then stand guard for any predators who may be passing through. Any predator who is alerted will avoid the dog 99% of the time. In the off chance that the predator is aggressive, it will focus on the dog and allow workers to depart from danger.

Den locating and identification

Identifying active dens is another useful tool in avoiding conflict with predators. Often, workplaces must sweep for active dens in the fall prior to freeze up. Any area which is cleared of active vegetation must be swept throughout denning season. Any active bear den within a workspace must be marked and a buffer established. The service dogs perform two essential tasks in avoiding active dens. The first, if they are sweeping an area of concern consistently, the predator will avoid denning in this area in fear of compromising the den. The second, the dog will smell and alert of any active den within a workspace much more consistently than any tool workers have. Their nose misses nothing, meaning workers can sweep a large area very quickly and confirm any dens which may cause conflict.

Bill and Wallace

Strengths

  • very disciplined for a high energy dog
  • takes both verbal and hand calls very well
  • a well learned sense of smell, able to indicate on multiple species and alert for each one
  • 10 years of experience in working with all wildlife including birds, bears, cougar, and coyotes
  • A large, physically superior male lab, able to deter predator aggression and protect workers at any cost

Birds

  • Classically trained bird dog, able to search out nests, flush pest birds and alert on protected birds
  • Can work in all environments, swims very well, not sensitive to the cold
  • Can still cover a large area in a sweeping formation, allowing handler to clear large areas
  • Uses his nose more than any other sense, does not miss a nearby bird

Coyotes

  • Has worked with coyotes for 10 years
  • Can draw coyotes to handler, sniff out fresh sign and alert on active dens
  • Maintains composure if confronted with aggressive coyotes, will protect handler but stay in control
  • Physically superior to most dogs, has a presence which draws a strong reaction from coyotes

Bears

  • Wallace remains calm around large predators, but will indicate immediately on a bear in close proximity
  • Able to work a large area and search out active den locations or recent sign
  • Has worked mainly with black bears, but can provide early detection security on Grizzly bears as well

Physical Characteristics:

Breed: Pure bread Black Labrador Retriever

Height: 70.00 cm

Weight: 45kgs, 100bs

DOB: January, 2007

Status: Environmental Service dog

Peter and Sora

Peter and Sora have been the cornerstone of the ADC team for 4 years. Sora is a very disciplined dog, who acts immediately on command and is extremely responsive to Peter at all times. Peter and Sora have worked across Western Canada, on a wide range of worksites including pipelines, oil sands sites, large urban centres, remote worksites and residential neighbourhoods. Sora’s strengths and roles within the company are outlined below:

Strengths:

  • Excellent conditioning and athletic abilities
  • Very responsive to commands, showing discipline in sensitive situations with bears, or vulnerable wildlife
  • Protective of owner and property, will notify of potential danger immediately
  • Passive and well mannered with children and members of the public

Birds:

  • Used to push geese and other pest birds off their nests in locations ADC is permitted to remove nests
  • Sweeps workspaces, ROW’s flushing birds form conflict areas to avoid nests or contact with chicks
  • Locates active nests for handler so buffer can be established
  • Intercepts aggressive pest birds and pushes from conflict area (aggressive geese in public parks)

Coyotes:

  • Simulates a pet well and draws coyotes’ aggressive coyotes to close proximity with handler
  • Not afraid to engage coyotes and potentially endure contact with aggressive coyotes
  • Will stay under control while off-leash
  • Used to verify active dens and indicate on fresh activity
  • Utilized in urban environments where dogs must be under control and obedient at all times

Bears

  • Has experience with both black bears and grizzly bears
  • Will immediately indicate on the presence of a bear
  • Used for early detection and general deterrent purposes in a variety of settings
  • Sweeps for active dens

 

Cougar

  • Used to push cougars in areas where we don’t want the cougar to retreat to a tree
  • Will not bark or show aggression on cats if instructed to do so
  • Utilized for cougar sweeps in urban areas

Physical Characteristics:

Breed: Belgian Malinois X Black Labrador Retriever

Height: 68.58 cm

Weight: 32kgs, 71lbs

DOB: July 23, 2016

Status: Environmental Service dog

Duncan and Keetah + Bear

Duncan and Keetah have been the backbone of our southern Alberta operations for 3 years. Bear, his second dog, is also used in certain circumstances. The main role of the service dogs in southern Alberta is ADC’s role in the city of Calgary’s Urban Coyote Management Program. Both Keetah and Bear were the first service dogs to begin working with coyotes in the Calgary. Keetah is extremely dedicated, and can work long hours in any weather conditions. She is fearless, and willing to put her body on the line to engage very aggressive coyotes within the city. Both Keetah and Bear have extensive experience with coyotes and are the cornerstone of the program. Their Strengths and roles with ADC are detailed below:

Strengths:

Keetah

  • Extremely energetic and willing to work long hours in any environment
  • Excellent sense of smell
  • Extremely agile, fast and physically strong
  • A veteran of coyote management, with keen understanding of protocol and procedure for deterring coyotes
  • Very family oriented, passive with children and affectionate with the public

Birds

  • Used to push pest birds (geese) in areas permitted for nest removal
  • Deters birds from nesting in conflict areas
  • Navigates water and wet conditions well, can smell birds in marginal conditions
  • Sweeps large areas with ease, engaging birds but never making contact

Coyotes

  • A journeyman coyote dog, well trained and keen on all coyote work
  • Utilized in urban areas and parks
  • Keen sense of smell for identifying active dens
  • Will recall back to handler on command in tight areas
  • Willing to enter dangerous situations with multiple aggressive coyotes
  • Experienced in all landscapes including urban parks, green spaces, residential neighbourhoods and construction sites

Bears

  • Has experience with both back bears and grizzly bears
  • Will sweep workspaces and alert on any fresh activity or bear sign
  • Worked in Western Alberta on pipelines with high density of bears
  • Will work the wind in a sweeping fashion to pick up smell of any potential threat
  • Alerts on active dens in any environment

Bear

  • Large, strong dog with durable physicality
  • Keen nose
  • Experienced with coyotes and able to be a team player when put in group setting
  • Will engage aggressive predators and alert of danger immediately

Birds

  • Flushes geese and other pest birds from conflict areas
  • Keen sense of smell and diligent in sweeping for nesting habitat
  • Some experience on ROW sweeps

Coyotes

  • Lot’s of experience in urban areas with coyotes
  • Works as a team with other service dogs
  • Covers a large area and brings aggressive coyotes back to handler
  • Alerts on active dens or fresh activity

Physical Characteristics:

Keetah

Breed: Black Labrador Retriever

Height: 72.25 cm

Weight: 29kgs, 65lbs

DOB: May, 2017

Status: Environmental Service dog

Bear

Breed: Irish Wolf Hound, Black Shepard

Height:78 cm

Weight: 34kgs, 75lbs

DOB: May, 2017

Status: Environmental Service dog

Malcolm and Richard

Richard has been a member of the ADC team since 2018. Richards strengths lie in his size and physical ability. Malcolm and Richard work particularly well with birds. Richard leaves no stone unturned, covering large areas with his nose meticulously. Richard is very kind in nature and a devoted family dog at home. He interacts with other pets and members of public well, never showing signs of aggression. Richard is very protective, and will put himself in harms way to protect anyone. Richards strengths and roles within the company are outlined below:

Strengths:

  • excellent sense of smell, will alert on a variety of findings including active den, bird nest, fresh scat or urine
  • protective of people and property
  • enthusiastic to work, understands when its time to engage
  • will always return when called
  • gentle with small animals and pets, never sprayed by skunk, or had a porcupine quill
  • has worked in a variety of worksites hazing birds and coyotes, including city parks, industrial worksites, pipeline ROW’s and remote locations

Birds

  • is one of the most effective dogs we use in keeping birds from conflict locations
  • misses nothing with his nose
  • will not injure or engage chicks or fledgling’s
  • can cover large distances for a big dog

Coyotes

  • a journeyman with coyotes, working across central Alberta
  • will alert on active dens
  • will draw coyotes out to handler or push coyotes from conflict locations
  • willing to defend anyone from serious aggression
  • can interact with members of the public while working

Bears

  • has worked in areas with both Grizzly and Black bear
  • will alert of danger and immediately point to direction of threat
  • can search out active dens and deter bears from denning in conflict locations
  • fine to work alongside other crews while standing guard

 

Physical Characteristics:

Breed: Newfoundlander

Height: 75 cm

Weight: 50kgs, 112lbs

DOB: June, 2017

Status: Environmental Service dog

Brett and Ammo

Ammo is a veteran hunting dog. She is an older lab, with mild temperament and excellent discipline. Brett and Ammo have worked across Western Canada, deterring birds from workspaces and ROW’s in multiple provinces. In the last year, Brett and Ammo have been working with bears in several locations. Ammo maintains composer when working in close proximity to bears, alerting workers and handler of potential danger while obeying commands. Ammo is excellent with the public and can work in any environment. Ammo’s strengths and current role within ADC are listed below:

Strengths

  • Versatile in her abilities, proficient with a variety of species
  • Excellent hunting instinct
  • Uses her nose, can alert on fresh sign
  • Easy to work around, very friendly and passive with other workers or the public

Birds

  • Highly experienced in flushing birds, locating nests and pushing pest species from conflict areas (geese)
  • Works well in busy construction areas sweeping for birds and obeying commands
  • Able to navigate water and rough terrain very well
  • Will not make contact with birds, shows composure in tight areas around sensitive species

Coyotes

  • Ammo has worked in large urban areas with coyotes for several years
  • She works well in busy parks where pets and people are a concern
  • Ammo can bring coyotes to handlers, as well as protect the public from aggressive coyotes
  • Very calm when encountering multiple coyotes, able to alert and await instruction

Bears

  • Ammo has worked with both Grizzly and Black bears
  • Ammo sweep tight areas or bushed areas well, alerting on sign
  • Will search out dens and has found several active dens in fall and spring
  • Remains focussed when encountering bears, will obey instruction and point to danger

 

 

 

Physical Characteristics:

Breed: Shepard x Black Labrador Retriever

Height: 75.00 cm

Weight: 30kgs, 65bs

DOB: April, 2013

Status: Environmental Service dog

Mark and Shadow

Mark and Shadow are the newest addition to the southern Alberta Service dog crew. Shadow is in his second year of service. Quickly, the dog showed sign of an instinctual hunter. His nose is beyond any capability we have seen in a service dog. The dog has the ability to pickup coyote scent and alert on a coyote’s from inside a vehicle, or cross wind at 100 yards plus. Mark and Shadow are gaining experience in the urban landscapes of Calgary, AB, we look forward to utilizing Shadow in other regions as his training continues. Shadow’s strengths and current role within the company are listed below:

Strengths:

  • Extremely enthusiastic to work
  • Agile, fast and able to work for long hours
  • A nose for coyotes like no other
  • Can draw aggressive coyotes in to handler

Birds

  • Effective on deterring pest birds such as geese and pigeons
  • Will cover huge areas, sweeping for multiple bird species
  • Alerts on nests or possible foraging
  • Obeys commands when sweeping

Coyotes

  • Gaining a lot of experience tracking and flushing coyotes within urban areas
  • Can smell coyotes at distances passed 100 yards
  • Can simulate pets and bring aggressive coyotes to handler
  • Alerts on all coyote sign, including scat, urine, scratching or territorial markings
  • Works in all weather across all landscapes with ease
  • Work well in a team environment, learning from the other service dogs

 

 

 

 

 

Physical Characteristics:

Breed: Collie x Black Labrador retriever

Height: 65.00 cm

Weight: 27kgs, 60bs

DOB: August, 2017

Status: Environmental Service dog

Caleb and Nova

Caleb had previously been working with his dog Tansie, but she sustained a permanent injury and ADC was forced to retire her in her prime. Fortunately, Caleb found Nova. Nova is a young, energetic shepherd. Nova is very eager and effective in the field. Her energy, combined with natural hunting instinct has made her an early surprise to the season. Nova is able to cover large areas, obeying commands and working long hours. Nova is mainly working with birds for her first season. ADC will be slowly working Nova into situations with coyotes as she matures. Caleb and Nova are very dedicated and will become a key unit in our team. Nova’s strengths and role within the company are listed below:

Strengths:

  • Young and energetic, eager to work and prove herself
  • Responds to commands in field, both verbal and signal commands
  • Excellent nose, able to alert on multiple species
  • Can sniff out active dens and nests
  • Very protective of owner, willing to put herself in danger

Birds

  • Excellent instincts with birds, able to flush but never make contact
  • Works a sweeping pattern, alerting on possible nests and using her nose to guide her
  • Deters pest birds, can cover a lot of ground quickly, obeying field commands
  • Wil work hard all day in all weather

Coyotes

  • Maintains composure with aggressive coyotes
  • Sniffs out dens and alerts on fresh sign
  • Will draw coyotes to handler
  • Is gaining experience in the field, able to work in a team

 

Physical Characteristics:

Breed: Belgian Malinois x Dutch Shepherd

Height: 65.00 cm

Weight: 25kgs, 52bs

DOB: June, 2019

Status: Environmental Service dog

Contact Us

Contact Animal Damage Control

Animal Damage Control

21061A Wye Road
Sherwood Park, AB T8G 1C7
info@animaldamagecontrol.ca
Office (780) 998-0074
Toll Free (877) 446-0204
Fax (780) 998-0091

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