119 episodes

Welcome to the K9 Conservationists podcast, where we’re positively obsessed with conservation detection dogs! Join us every week as we discuss detection dogs, ecology, conservation, dog behavior, training, and much more.

K9 Conservationists is hosted by Kayla Fratt, CDBC and co-founder of K9 Conservationists. Along with her two co-founders, she trains dogs to detect data. Support the work we do at patreon.com/k9conservationists.

K9 Conservationists Kayla Fratt

    • Science
    • 4.8 • 75 Ratings

Welcome to the K9 Conservationists podcast, where we’re positively obsessed with conservation detection dogs! Join us every week as we discuss detection dogs, ecology, conservation, dog behavior, training, and much more.

K9 Conservationists is hosted by Kayla Fratt, CDBC and co-founder of K9 Conservationists. Along with her two co-founders, she trains dogs to detect data. Support the work we do at patreon.com/k9conservationists.

    Combining a Love of Dogs with Conservation with Co-Founder Heather Nootbaar

    Combining a Love of Dogs with Conservation with Co-Founder Heather Nootbaar

    In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla interviews co-founder Heather. They discuss how Heather got into the world of conservation detection dogs, her experience before K9 Conservationists, and how she met Kayla. 

    Science Highlight: Using Scent Detection Dogs in Conservation Settings: A Review of Scientific Literature Regarding Their Selection

    We Discuss:


    Heather's dad, who showed bearded collies when she was a kid
    Heather's history as a zoology major in college, then working in zoos and wolf sanctuaries
    How diving way into animal behavior and dog training landed Heather a job with conservation dogs
    K9 Ellie's temperament and how that challenged Heather to grow
    How Heather made money and survived financially through unpaid internships
    How Heather selected Ellie for work - and what she'll do differently next time
    The pros and cons of working with a dog who's more food-driven than toy-driven
    What Heather learned in a K9 Nosework class that helped (and didn't help) as a working dog handler
    The hiccups Ellie and Heather experienced during their first wind farm job
    How Kayla and Heather met and joined forces
    Where Heather is excited to see the field progress in the future

    Links Mentioned in the Episode:
    Ep. 15: Puppy Temperament Tests Aren’t That Predictive With Dr. James Ha

    You can support the K9 Conservationists Podcast by joining our Patreon at patreon.com/k9conservationists.

    K9 Conservationists Website | Merch | Support Our Work | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok

    • 53 min
    Get to Know K9 Conservationists Co-Founder Rachel Hamre

    Get to Know K9 Conservationists Co-Founder Rachel Hamre

    In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla interviews co-founder Rachel Hamre. They discuss how Rachel first got into dog training, her many jobs as a field tech, how she and Kayla met, Rachel’s season handling Barley, and her journey with her new dog Suki. Science Highlight: Why Sniff Fast? The Relationship Between Sniff Frequency, Odor Discrimination, and Receptor Neuron Activation in the Rat (https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/jn.90981.2008) 

    Links Mentioned in the Episode: 

    You can support the K9 Conservationists Podcast by joining our Patreon at patreon.com/k9conservationists.

    K9 Conservationists Website | Merch | Support Our Work | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok

    • 41 min
    Detection Puppy Raising Questions with Meg Barnes from Detection for Good

    Detection Puppy Raising Questions with Meg Barnes from Detection for Good

    In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla answers some questions from Patron Meg! We discuss when and how to introduce alerts, target odors, and a variety of life skills. We also talk about whether or not sports and other "hobbies" may harm your detection K9's performance and much more.

    Science Highlight: Search strategies for conservation detection dogs

    Links Mentioned in the Episode:

    Playlist of all of Niffler's training sessions

    @detectionforgood on Instagram

    You can support the K9 Conservationists Podcast by joining our Patreon at patreon.com/k9conservationists.

    K9 Conservationists Website | Merch | Support Our Work | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok

    • 59 min
    Safe Animal Interactions with Skylos Ecology Team

    Safe Animal Interactions with Skylos Ecology Team

    In this bonus episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla speaks with the Skylos Ecology Team, Tracey Lyten and Fiona Jackson, to discuss how to work safely around wildlife and livestock. 

    What are your expectations/goals around detection dogs and wildlife? Safety is top priority! Teaching the dog that the animal is there, they can acknowledge them, but not disturb them We don’t just want the dogs to bother wildlife, but we want them to be able to work around them as well It’s important for the handlers to be prepared for any and all hazards that you may come across 

    Why is appropriate behavior around wildlife important? Safety for the dogs and wildlife. Ensuring the job can get done and proper data can be collected. To give clients confidence in the method and remain professional and ethical in the business.

     How do you select a dog that would be able to learn these skills? Testing dogs natural instinct around other animals; it takes a lot of work to teach a dog to not chase if they have the drive for it, but it is possible. Their life at home will have an impact on work.

    What are skills taught to dogs to work in the conservation detection line of work? Emergency stops and recalls. Wait, out of sight stays. All skills from a distance. Car/road safety. Good manners around other domesticated animals. General wildlife interaction training, aka just existing with them and not chasing, etc.

    Links Mentioned in the Episode:  

    Where to find Sylos Ecology Team: Website | Facebook | Instagram | ACDN Conference

    You can support the K9 Conservationists Podcast by joining our Patreon at patreon.com/k9conservationists.

    K9 Conservationists Website | Merch | Support Our Work | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok

    • 1 hr 13 min
    Growing as a Handler with Edwin Kimutai from Action for Cheetahs in Kenya

    Growing as a Handler with Edwin Kimutai from Action for Cheetahs in Kenya

    In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla speaks with Edwin, a conservation dog handler at Actions for Cheetahs in Kenya. Kayla spent 6 weeks with Edwin and Naomi helping move the program forward before Heather and Rachel (also from K9 Conservationists) arrived to spend about a month each with the program. Stay tuned for more updates!

    Links Mentioned in the Episode:

    Where to find ACK: Website | Facebook | Vaccination Facebook Page | Go Fund Me

    You can support the K9 Conservationists Podcast by joining our Patreon at patreon.com/k9conservationists.

    K9 Conservationists Website | Merch | Support Our Work | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok

    • 22 min
    Learning and Laughing with Naomi Kung'u from Action for Cheetahs in Kenya

    Learning and Laughing with Naomi Kung'u from Action for Cheetahs in Kenya

    In this bonus episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla speaks with Naomi, one of the conservation dog handlers at Actions for Cheetahs in Kenya that she spent 6 weeks with before Heather and Rachel arrived in Kenya..

    Links Mentioned in the Episode:

    Where to find ACK: Website | Facebook | Vaccination Facebook Page | Go Fund Me

    You can support the K9 Conservationists Podcast by joining our Patreon at patreon.com/k9conservationists.

    K9 Conservationists Website | Merch | Support Our Work | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
75 Ratings

75 Ratings

Maria120809 ,

A fun and informative listen!

Kayla and her guests are so generous in sharing their knowledge about ecology, dog behavior, and scentwork. I really appreciate how their conversations span from theory to practical applications. My favorite part may be Kayla’s thoughtful focus on the behavioral health of working dogs. Thanks for making such a fun podcast!

JPinCB ,

Not “JUST” about dogs detecting data!

Kayla’s authentic, enthusiastic interest in all of her guests and topics, paired with her knowledge in a variety of scientific fields makes this podcast fun, interesting and informative. If you have any interest in dogs, nature, travel, science….even pursuing your dreams, you will love this podcast.

Twilightfan123xyz ,

One of My Favorites!

I found this podcast while browsing a while back. Binged all the episodes in about a week! It’s super great to learn about the field of conservation canines. As a dog trainer trying to find my training passions, this podcast has inspired me to chase conservation training for a while! Even when technically heavy, Kayla finds a way to make the information easy to understand!

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