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How Dogs Help Sniff the Dry Rot in Your Home

Find out how dogs help sniff the dry rot in your home. You can train your dogs to help you maintain your home and preserve its structural integrity.

Dog owners already know that their canine companions are amazing. Dogs think in different ways than humans, and while you know Max isn’t quite as smart as you, dogs can do things you simply cannot. Dogs have more than 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, and their brains are 40 times more devoted to analyzing smells than a human’s brain. Dogs use their sense of smell like we use our sense of sight. This is how dogs help sniff the dry rot in your home.

People can train dogs to pick up just about any scent, whether it’s drugs, bombs, or people, so it’s no wonder they can detect dry rot.

How Dogs Help Sniff the Dry Rot in Your Home

What Is Dry Rot?

First, let’s discuss what dogs look for when they sniff out dry rot. Most buildings and houses risk developing dry rot, which is a fungus that grows in moist wood. This may appear as wood beams and structures that become soft or emit a smell. Other signs of dry rot are a white or gray fuzz growing on the wood or even a mushroom head if the problem has gone on long enough. As important as it is to know how to fix dry rot, you should know how to detect it early so you can prevent it from becoming a larger problem.

What Is a Rothound?

Dogs trained to sniff out dry rot are known as “rothounds.” People use rothounds to detect dry rot in old, historic buildings. In the United Kingdom, people have trained Labradors for several years to help detect the source of dry rot in National Trust properties, such as Wimpole Hall at Cambridge and Windsor Castle. Finding the source of dry rot in these buildings is essential to preserving them.

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Training a Rothound

People can train most dogs to detect any scent in a couple of months. Training your dog to sniff out dry rot may take six months or longer depending on the method you use. This type of training does not revolve around food and treats, but rather search, play, and praise. Introduce the smell of dry rot to your dog’s favorite toy and then slowly remove the toy until you’re only working with the dry rot. Remember that this is a slow process. The final step of training is a dry run where you allow your dog to search for dry rot without aid.

Dogs can identify the mushroom smell of dry rot before humans can. Once you detect the smell, the problem has likely gone too far. A well-trained rothound will stop dead in its tracks when it detects the scent of dry rot and immediately put its nose to the ground to identify the source. If you know anything about dogs and their noses, you can understand how dogs help sniff the dry rot in your home.

Do you have a dog with an unusual job?  We would love to hear about it in the comments, or join our Pet Parent group on Facebook and share your story!

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