Pepin is no ordinary working dog. His main job- to sniff out scat.
He's one of Montana's Working Dogs for Conservation, an non-profit organization founded on a dog's ability to use its nose.
"We were looking for a better to to find things, which are endangered species or invasive weeds. They're usually really hard for people to find. They're either nocturnal, they're cryptic or they're so rare that they're just really hard to see. Even a grizzly bear has a huge range or a wolverine. But they do leave poop and where they leave poop, we can find it without disturbing the animal," says Working Dogs for Conservation Research Director Megan Parker.
Parker says a dog's nose is a low-tech alternative to tracking animals using radio collars.
"We can often find similar information, much less expensively by putting a dog out on the landscape and finding poop, then sending that poop to a genetic lab or hormone lab or disease lab and getting all sorts of information about that population in a shorter time, less expensively and with less risks to both wildlife and to the biologists collecting information," explains Parker.
Most of the dogs come from animal shelters throughout Montana, but it takes a certain kind of canine to be a "Working Dog for Conservation".
"We look at maybe 1500 dogs before we find one that will make it to the field to do what these dogs can do. They're incredible athletes, they have incredible focus and work ethic and so, they're actually quite rare even though, in a shelter, they're probably the least likely dogs to get adopted," says Parker.
They have a wide range, from searches for invasive weeds on Mount Sentinel outside Missoula to endangered gorilla dung in Cameroon.
"We take them from Montana, put them on a plane, there they are in Cameroon, willing to work, ignoring everything else that's so interesting out there, just to work for the hope of getting their toy," says Parker.
Pepin's next destination is Africa to find cheetah, lion and African wild dog scat.
Yet, as much as he loves to work, Pepin is also a family dog who loves to play.