When a Dog Toy is also a Paycheck...

Posted July 27, 2011

Together with our retailers and customers we are pleased to support Working Dogs for Conservation (WDC) with a specially packaged Huck ball. For every specially packaged toy sold, $1 will go to WDC to help advance their conservation programs.

Since 2000 the Montana-based non-profit organization has been using canine-human teams to benefit science and conservation around the world. WDC's team of wildlife biologists spends years training specially selected dogs using techniques similar to those used to train forensic, narcotic and search and rescue dogs.

From working to eradicate invasive weeds in Montana to helping identify population and disease parameters of the world's most endangered ape in Cameroon, WDC's impressive list of conservation projects spans the globe. The teams work together to collect information-rich wildlife and plant samples in a non-invasive manner in order to increase the information available for conservation.

Dogs are selected for their ability and willingness to work, and, with training, to maintain focus when subjected to a variety of stressful or tempting distractions. The team initially looks for extremely high energy dogs that have an obsessive play drive and an unrelenting toy focus, making these dogs difficult, if not impossible, to keep in a family home. In fact, many of the dogs used for conservation work by WDC are rescued from shelters. Selected dogs are at least one-year-old, and they must have a balance of proper hunt and prey drives, easily adapt to new environments and distractions, and be willing to work intimately with their handlers.

The West Paw Design team is extremely proud to know that our Zogoflex toys are frequenly used by the WDC team to train and reward WDC's working dogs. Because the dogs have an unrelenting toy focus, we know that it takes a truly durable toy to make it in this organization. We're tickled pink knowing that our toys accompany working dogs around the world, and we're happy to make the "paychecks" that bring the dogs joy after a day's work.




Pepin in the field with a Huck that he's had for nearly five years


Seamus - A Working Dog with Bumi

Seamus engaging in a game of tug-o-war with the Bumi following a day of invasive weed detection in Missoula, Montana


Tia receives a reward (the Hurley) for work well done


Pepin enjoying a day off with his beloved Bumi!

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