Dogs protecting wildlife  

Specially trained dogs have become a successful tool for conservation. The main purpose is to prevent wildlife crime – to stop the killing before it even happens. Each dog is valuable and takes years to train. They are a critical investment in the fight against wildlife crime and we are seeing the results of their work.

Support a dog

To keep a dog in the field requires food, daily training, equipment, toys and tugs, medicine, first aid kit and veterinary care.


Dogs exceptional ability to detect human and animal tracks, pick up suspicious sounds and movements, localize snares and sniff out weapons, ammunition or parts of wild animals act as a serious deterrent to poachers. A reason for the success is that dogs do not see color or money and they do not take bribes. They do what they’ve been trained for and they are their ranger’s best friend. We have six dogs that have been trained and are now deployed working with rangers at strategic hotspots around southern Africa.


Patrol: dog with team is dopped in the bush to look for and remove snares that poachers hide in trees to catch animals. The team also look for injured animals or suspected activity linked to poaching. Dogs help rangers pick up sounds and movement of potential threats and they act as a serious deterrent when patrolling fence lines or gates to reserves or parks, making the environment aware of their presence.

Detection: dogs sniff out specific scents such as weapons, ammunition or parts of wild animals such as rhino horns, ivory or pangolin scales. Detection dogs are mainly used for targeted operations at gates, road blocks or when searching homes or suspected crime scenes. 

Tracking: dogs help rangers to track humans or animals in the bush. When rangers use their eyes to track, dogs use their nose which will make the tracking much faster. Dogs can also track rhinos or other animals for monitoring, protection or veterinary care.


Our dogs Bandit, Kali, Chiwa, Zigge, Taku and Blake are the breeds Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherds, working dogs who both need and like to work. However dogs are living material which needs constant re-training and follow-up. Wildhood support their food, training, equipment and veterinary care so they can stay healthy and continue work and develop. Their health and well being is our priority one.

Each dog is valuable. Each dog takes years to train and they are a critical investment in the fight against wildlife crime. We are proud that all our dogs have, after years of training, moved to permanent on-duty locations. This is where the time and money put into training is now being turned into action on the ground.    


Local partner

Kilo9 Kennels is a committed group of certified dog handlers specialized in training working dogs to assist in the battle against poaching. Their animal friendly and cruelty free approach to training methods, always putting the dogs potential and interest first, is something we believe in and encourage. Wildhood Foundation partnered with Kilo9 Kennels in 2017 to support the establishment of a working dog kennel near the Greater Kruger Park in South Africa. The purpose was to train a number of dogs for conservation. We are the kennel’s main sponsor and we support the team with funds to train and deploy our dogs where it’s most needed and to continuously develop their work for conservation. 

Dogs wish list 

  • Quality dog food
  • Leashes
  • Collars
  • Harnesses
  • Training equipment 
  • Brushes
  • Toys & balls
  • Flea & tick treatment 
  • Medicine & veterinary care 
  • First aid kits