Photo Above: Fox terrier mix searching a vehicle

CDH is seeking a dog to become a part of our rodent detection program. Hawaii’s remote islands are home to a variety of native seabirds and other flora and fauna. Unfortunately these islands occasionally get invaded by invasive rodents, which negatively impacts the island’s ecosystem. Conservation agencies around the world use significant resources to eradicate rodents in offshore islands. Detection dogs are often used to help confirm rodent eradication. Our goal is to train a dog that can eventually conduct this type of work in the Pacific islands.


  • AGE: 1-3 years old
  • GENDER & ALTERED STATUS: Male or female, preferably spayed or neutered
  • SIZE: Medium size approximately 20-35 lbs, with long or standard legs. Short legged dogs such as Dachshund will not be suitable for working in tall vegetation, and large dogs will not be suitable for working in areas with seabird burrows that may collapse more easily from the weight of the dog.
  • SNOUT: Standard or long snout (brachycephalic dogs are not suitable for detection work in warm environments)
  • TEMPERAMENT: Comfortable with strangers (men, women, children), environmentally confident (surfaces, noises, novel environments, etc),  tolerant of other dogs.
  • REACTION TO BIRDS: The dog will work amidst hundreds of ground-nesting and burrowing seabirds, therefore must be uninterested in birds such as chickens, egrets, peacocks, ducks and geese.
  • REACTION TO RODENTS: The dog does not necessarily have to have a known interest in live rodents. CDH will do an assessment of candidates, and if suitable, will train the selected dog.
    • Highly food-motivated. The dog will wear a muzzle when working, so a food-motivated dog is better suited than a toy-motivated dog.
    • Crate trained and is comfortable with travel.
    • Enjoys exploring outdoor environments.
    • Has good physical stamina, and is tolerant of the heat and humidity.


CDH is open to one of two arrangements: 1) CDH will adopt the dog from a rescue group, shelter, or from an owner who is re-homing their dog, or 2) CDH will borrow an owned dog for training and work purposes (more details will be provided upon request).


Please email with questions or to submit details about a candidate dog.