Search Dogs: New Business Ideas
By Steve Gillman
Perhaps my favorite example of what search dogs are capable
of is the true story I once read about a treasure hunter who
trained his dog to find United States currency. Apparently our
bills have a unique enough odor that the dog was able to point
out where cash was hidden. The man's biggest haul was a stash
of old bills that the dog located in the seat cushion of an old
car as he and his owner walked through a junkyard one day. The
bills were damaged and had to be turned into the department of
treasury for replacement, but the man got back over $8,000 for
the tattered currency.
This immediately suggests the money-making possibilities with
search dogs (also called detection dogs or sniffer dogs). To
start with it reminds me of all the hidden cash that remains
undiscovered by family when a person dies. many people hide bills
under the house, in books, in the garage, and so on, without
telling anyone where the stash is, which creates a problem for
heirs. That currency-sniffing dog is the solution. If you had
such an animal you might do these jobs for a percentage of cash
But the fact that a dog can detect buried or hidden cash reminds
us of the versatility of these animals, and hints at the many
as-yet untried money-making applications. As it is dogs are already
used to detect bedbugs (about 100 do this in our country according
to Wikipedia), to detect cancer, to locate people in buildings
after earthquakes, to find drugs, and more. Dogs have even been
trained to detect the Quagga Mussel on boats at public boat ramps
in California, and to detect illicit cell phones in prison.
So lets make a quick list of new ideas for using search dogs
to make money...
- Pet locator business: If they can find humans, wouldn't
people pay to have a dog find their lost pets?
- Stolen car locator: It isn't as crazy as it sounds, and
there is at least one case where the odors from in a car lead
to a man's arrest after a dog was used to track him along several
- Gold detector: Gold itself may not have a distinct odor
that a dog can track, but minerals that are associated with gold
- Worm finder: Ever dig for fishing worms without finding
any? A dog might make a worm business more profitable.
How Much Can You Make?
There is no way to say what you might make. This page is part
of the Money Making Ideas section, meaning it has unproven concepts
that may or may not work when tried.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
If you find a niche that works, you can start training and
selling the dogs to other people who want to be in the business
but do not want to do prepare their own search dogs.
Qualifications / Requirements
A dog, and the patience to work with it over long periods
of time doing tedious training exercises.
Get a dog that can be trained as a search dog, study up on
conditioning techniques, and start training.
- A Wikipedia entry on search dogs (or "detection dogs")
and the various uses they are put to.