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Turtle Sniffing Dogs

This video shows turtle dogs, which are retrievers bred and trained to hunt turtles.

Possible Guiding, Compelling and/or Anchoring Questions

  • How do dogs inherit different traits?
  • Why are these dogs different from other breeds?
  • What technologies can humans use to influence the inheritance of traits in dogs?

Classroom Suggestions

Students could:

  • Discuss observations/characteristics of the dog.
  • View photos of dogs in pairs to compare and contrast features.
  • Discuss the variety of features observed.
  • Investigate the Dog Breeding Simulator (Legends of Learning) to investigate how dogs can have different traits.
  • Discuss the simulation as a class of observations and the struggles they encountered .
  • Review Punnett Squares.
  • Research technologies for selective breeding, in their search students could pick a breed of dog and describe the potential health problems that the breed has when humans are selecting for certain traits.

Related Resources

PBS: Nature: This resource highlights the problems that can be encountered when we selectively breed dogs. “Genetics of Dog Breeding”: This resource could provide background information for teachers and explains how so many characteristics can exist among canines.
Legends of Learning: Dog Breeding Center: This is a simulation showing how different breeds of dogs can come about through artificial selection.
World’s First Domesticated Foxes: Foxes in Russia were selectively bred for “friendliness” to show how we have domesticated dogs.

Iowa Core Alignment


Gather and synthesize information about the technologies that have changed the way humans influence the inheritance of desired traits in organisms

Credit Info

Media produced for Iowa Outdoors by Iowa PBS.
Submitted by Dan Voss and Madison Beeler as part of their Iowa STEM Teacher Externship experience at Iowa PBS.

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