Dog uses unique talent to help property owners

It’s no secret that dogs have a special talent when it comes to locating certain things for police forces and security teams, but Sam the Labrador has amazed people around the country with his skill for uncovering dry rot.

The seven-year-old is high in demand for his ability to use his sensitive nose to unmask homes that have fungal timber decay. Dry rot occurs as a result of poor ventilation and with Sam’s help, homeowners can avoid the potential problems associated with structural damage.

Sam’s knack for sniffing out things went unnoticed in the past, with the golden Lab’s previous owners abandoning him because of his boisterous and mischievous attitude.

However, handler and trainer Peter Monaghan encourages Sam to use his sense of smell by rewarding him with affection and treats. Speaking about his companion, Mr Monaghan said:

“Sam lives for the joy of working, praise from me – and the occasional doughnut.”

Although helping property owners is merely a game for Sam, it is actually a meaningful business for the National Trust. This charitable group protects all kinds of historic gardens, houses, monuments and mills. More than £51.8m has been spent on property renovation in the last year, proving how Sam could save the trust a big slice of money.

The well-travelled canine is known as a ‘rothound’ and he recently sniffed out the mushroom-like odour at 17th Century Wimpole Hall, which is situated south of Cambridge. Sam foraged through the 300-year-old basement to determine how much the dry rot had expanded.