Nosing Out Bedbugs

Photo:  Scott Orr / Daily Courier
Photo: Scott Orr / Daily Courier
Prescott, AZ Daily Courier: When Willie was abandoned by his family, he landed on the streets of Phoenix and was caught by animal control officers. They took him to Circle L Dog Rescue Ranch in Prescott Valley. So far, it’s sounding like his day couldn’t have been worse, right?

Little did he know it was the start of a new career! Enter Sonny Henegar, a part-time dog trainer who works with an exterminator to eliminate bedbugs from people’s homes. Sonny asked the shelter to point him in the direction of a dog with a high prey drive who was obsessed with toys, and the shelter staff led him to Willie.

Henegar adopted Willie and began teaching him to seek out the odor bedbugs make. When Willie finds the bugs, he simply sits down to indicate he’s ready for his reward. Henegar uses Willie’s love of toys and play time to motivate the dog to find the bedbugs. After a hard few minutes of work to locate the scent, Willie is rewarded with play time.

Those who train dogs to locate the scent of bedbugs…or explosives, illegally imported fruit, or whatever, known that there’s no need to get a purebred or any certain breed. You simply need a dog who loves to play more than anything else.

What a great use for a dog who would otherwise languish in a shelter or even be euthanized. Kudos to Sonny Henegar for seeing Willie’s potential and training him for a productive life.

And congratulations to Willie on his new career!

Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!

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