Welcome to Montana Black Dog Services, the home of AIS-detection canines Ismay and Rosebud.  These talented, friendly and hard-working black Labrador sisters are trained to detect both zebra and quagga mussels.

Whether you could use some canine assistance inspecting watercraft for invasive mussels, would like help conducting shoreline surveys to pinpoint areas for further analysis, or if you would simply like to add a little interest to AIS educational programs, we can help!  Contact us for more information.

We are located in western Montana, just west of Missoula, but we are happy to come to your location.  Have paws will travel!  We are available for short and long-term contracts, intermittent work and special occasions, all at affordable rates!

Watercraft Inspections

Canines add another dimension to watercraft inspection.  Studies have shown that properly trained dogs are capable of detecting all life stages of Dressinid mussels, including the microscopic veliger stage, making them a valuable resource that complements the work of their human counterparts.  We can typically provide multiple canines, adding to the available time the dogs can work.  Rosebud and Ismay are veteran inspectors with years of experience and enthusiasm to spare. 

Education and Outreach

Educating the public is crucial to stopping the spread of invasive mussels and the sisters are veteran presenters for groups of all ages.  They can easily pair with talks on AIS and can add interest to any event.  Montana Black Dog Services has participated in campfire talks, the Flathead Lake Biological Station’s Open House, summer camps and classes, the Flathead Mussel Walk, the Blackfoot Challenge’s Swan Release and many other events.  Presentations can be easily customized to suit any audience. Contact us for more details!

Shoreline Surveys

Thanks to hours of prior training, Rosebud and Ismay excel at both on and off-lead shoreline surveys for zebra and/or Quagga mussels.  Our dogs are trained to independently search areas such as shorelines, docks, and marinas as a “hasty search.”  Because the dogs can cover large areas fairly quickly, they can be used to identify areas for closer inspection, including eDNA testing.  In the case of a rapid response, these skills are invaluable!