A GROUP of Wrexham dog trainers have been praised for their approach to protecting endangered species using dogs.

Conservation K9 Consultancy, based in Erddig, trains dogs to detect wildlife in the same way the police dogs are trained to detect bombs and drugs, allowing people to protect wildlife, ecology and biodiversity.

Managing Director Louise Wilson recently showcased her dog training on BBC’s One Show, having previously been featured on Countryfile and in the National Geographic magazine.

Louise said: “We may just be a small business, but we have big ideas for detection dogs for conservation. 18 years of passion and experience in this arena we won’t get crushed by the pandemic so we are coming back bigger and better.

“We have a brand-new venue working in partnership with National Trust Erddig as well as newly accredited conservation dog handler courses and expert training right here in Wrexham.”

Conservationist organisations get in touch with Conservation K9 Consultancy to discuss ways of finding a species of plant or animal in a particular area which they would like to protect.

The team at Erddig then work with these partners either to provide specialist dogs or to train them for their partners to detect scents left by those species. Conservation groups can then go about ensuring that they remain unharmed by other humans.

Like many small businesses, they had a difficult year during the pandemic, with many training classes cancelled and trips to train dogs overseas made impossible.

Things were made even more difficult with regulations being different on either side of the England-Wales border, with the firm having clients on both sides.

As people used the first lockdown to explore the great outdoors, conservation groups have found it more important than ever to preserve the wildlife we have.

Reflecting on a visit to the centre, Conservative MP for Wrexham Sarah Atherton said: “It was wonderful to come to Conservation K9 Consultancy and see the tremendous work that they do in training dogs to protect other species.

“I could see that while focusing on those endangered plants and animals, what is also paramount to Louise and the team is the welfare of the dogs being trained.

"Lots of rewards for good behaviour and jobs well done!”