Gold sniffing dogs?

Have you heard of gold sniffing dogs?

While out prospecting for gold one hot day I was watching our cattle dog rowdy play with the kids. He was diving to the bottom of a pool of water and fetching rocks. Right when I thought he was going to get hit by a big heavy 3 incher I saw something else… He was acting like those gold sniffing dogs.

While I was watching my kids send our dog Rowdy to the bottom of this 5 foot deep swimming hole  again and again, something caught my eye.  I noticed that Rowdy was picking up the same rock over and over!  No, this wasn’t just any rock that looked like the one that the kids tossed in the pool.  It was the same rock!

Rowdy had repeatedly found the same cobble among tens of thousands similar to it on the bottom of the pool.  This was a 3 inch diameter cobble that looked like so many of the others below.  This rock was heavy and looked like a nice piece of quartz gold ore.  How could he find that specimen underwater? Could he be trained to find gold sulphides like gold sniffing dogs are?

How could rowdy find a rock, the same rock, at the bottom of five feet water over and over

Then it hit me, maybe he smells the rock like he smells a chew toy on land.  I know he has great sense of sight but nothing like his sense of smell.  He could smell his toys that 100 yards and find a minute matter of seconds.  Over and over again.

That got me to thinking.  What if I could train rowdy smell the sulfide ores that surround gold and point to that gold? So I set out to research gold sniffing dogs.

Gold sniffing dogs
Book on how to train your dog to find gold! Gold sniffing dogs
Book: How to train your dog to find gold! Gold sniffing dogs!

Then Rowdy one of the gold sniffing dogs!  Olfactory metal detector…

Perhaps even better than a metal detector because he could detect the scent of gold even when it’s widely dispersed; or maybe especially when it’s widely dispersed.

That’s a pretty exciting thought, so I set out to think about how to train him and ran into the following cool book on gold locating dog training.

Great Amazon book on how to train your dog to find gold  is found right here –>   How to train your dog to find gold: training your dog to find precious metals

What would you do with your gold sniffing dog?    Let me hear in your comments below.

Mining industry works on training: Gold sniffing dogs to sniff out gold & metal sulphide ore here

Rowdy one of thegold sniffing dogs in action:

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  1. Todd says

    I’m pretty sure gold has no odor!!! Not sure on the sulfides yet would assume each sulfide is like a snow flake, which will only occur one time because each are unique. Different chemical compounds with different ratios. As far as smelling something under water… This is the only believable fact I see here. Dogs are trained nation wide to find drowned victims. They are called cadaver dogs

  2. Jackie Prinsloo says

    I had the privilege to meet Peter Bergman and his dog, Rex, the goldsniff dog. Peter thank you for explaining what Rex’s job is. What a treat to see Peter and Rex. I really hope Rex and the Wolfs stay away from each other.
    Jackie Prinsloo
    Worcester Dierekliniek

  3. Ray Austin says

    Hello- I,m Ray Austin and I am the fellow who wrote the book- How to train your dog to find gold- Now for any of you people who do not think it is possible, come along with me to hunt next spring ( bandit stash) bring your dog and if he finds it before mine does, you keep it all! The locate IS narrowed down!! Willing to except 2-3 Qualified partners (with dogs) and outdoor experience- no wana be,s-

    • HALREY says



    • Jennifer Sheeran says

      Hello Mr. Austin,

      My name is Jennifer Sheeran, I am an Associate Producer for Travel Channel’s original series, EXPEDITION UNKNOWN. I am contacting you because our team is filming a story on Fenn’s Treasure this June. I came across your book in my research. We are currently looking for someone who has a gold sniffing dog in the Taos New Mexico area. If you know of anyone that would be a good fit for our program please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience at

      I look forward to hearing from you soon.

      Thank you,

  4. Kim says

    I purchased that book last year and was able to train my dog to search for any item I instructed him to find. I haven’t put it to the test as far as searching the river or mountain side for gold yet. Hope to do so soon. He is able to find gold when I hide it in the house and have him search for it. Using that book and following the instructions carefully, this method has worked great, but I don’t recall it saying anything about searching underwater.

    • Prospector Jess says

      Yeah, maybe its a bit far fetched, but he did pull the same rock again and again. His sights good, but I doubt its that great under water either. How do you think he found it? His keen sense of smell on land is great, so land based sulphide gold ore detection is a very reasonable skill.

      • Prospector Jess says

        Interesting article. I can see how dogs could smell sulfide gold ore underwater, because of it’s rich smell… (pun intended).

  5. Joel Brenner says

    Hi Fellow Prospectors ,
    How nice Jess has got this wonderful Site Up .
    I thought Id introduce Myself .My Friends call me Iowajoey ,for obvious Reasons ,Im From Iowa .
    Ididnt stick around the State Long ,Mainly cause there was Not Alot of Precious Minerals Here . WELL ,Check that ,its the Richest Topsoil in ,I Think ,The World .
    Im A 30 YR. Practicing Professional Devining Dowser . If You would find The Genuine Need to Tap into These Ancient Arts of Search and Location ,Please feel Free to Contact Me . I can Promise you Broader Horizons on Finding What your Looking For .
    all the Best

    • Bill Winchester says

      Well Iowajoey, What you got to offer to some one that has a like interest in dowsing? I’m an 83 year old prospector and always had a hanker to learn how to dowse. I’ve tried a few times never but never had any one that could help me.

      • fred woodend says

        hay” bill dowsing i can help ask any Q i can help you im fred.w i’ve been dowsing for over 40yr’s my e-mail [above] a old timer showed me how whan i was about 30yr”s old he was helping my Co . to find water so fast i spend a lot of time with him in the field & he told me some outher ways to it works too

    • Gary J. Cross says

      This friend of mine , a.k.a Joey Joel Brenner, did some dowsing for me and we went out in the field together and found a abandoned silver mine. We took some ore out of there and both took our share . This was in 2012,
      He has since then dowsed several cache’s for me that we plan to go go after when the weather permits.
      I couldn’t go last year because I was to busy. Hopefuuly we can make it this year.
      Anyway what he is saying is true, at least it worked when he dowsed for me.
      Thanks Joey and I hope we get to go out again this year, it was a pleasure.
      Gary J. Cross
      Lakewood Co.

      • says

        Glad it works for you… I have no problem with folks trying stuff. I just like to explain it with physical properties we can all measure.

  6. Prospector Jess says

    Go ahead, just include a reference link to this site & of course don’t copy the entire article.
    Send a link to the finished article, I’d love to see it too.

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