“Cooper” was trained because of a requirement TWK in Piet Retief had for the Shiselweni Forest Company (SFC) in Swaziland. The main purpose of the dog’s ability is to detect honey as part of precautionary measures during the fire season in gumtree and pine plantations which is of economical value to owners and wood farmers of the North. Louis Joubert, Cooper’s handler and trainer delivered the dog on the 23rd August 2012 to the SFC in Nhlangano in Swaziland. Long live Cooper, the first known “Honey Sniffer Dog” in South Africa. May you collect pots and pots full off honey. Well done Louis!
Not too long ago, we were approach by a Forestry Company situated external to the boarders of South Africa. On an annual basis that reported huge monetary losses due to a large number of forests burning down to the ground. They reported that this events is not due to arson, negligence or anything alike. After close contact and detail analysis, we came to the conclusion that most of such events that occurs, is due to young boys that wanders in the forest in search of nature’s sweetness, honey. Yes honey and nothing else. These young boys starts small fires to smoke the bees from its nests. They retrieve the honey and unfortunately leaves the fires unattended, burning down large amounts of forests. We knew from the start that this problem would never be solved in isolation, but with the help of the local foresters and local communities in the areas. We also knew that the bees and honey will always be there. After detail thought, and taking the risk factor into consideration; We trained a young German Shepherd dog, “Cooper”, to detect honey. We trained the foresters to employ this dog as part of a community project during searches for honey. Too great success, honey is collected on a daily basis and fires remains under control, and the boys are taught the importance and value of the forests. To them it surely matters, as the treasure is so much sweeter, and searches is so much shorter.
Dogs and All – Training Centre
24 August 2012
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