Meet Riley, the Boston Museum of Fine Art's Bug-Sniffing Dog

How this incredible Weimaraner puppy is helping save priceless artifacts.
By: Aly Semigran
Riley the dog

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is a historic, important facility that’s home to thousands of pieces of timeless work, including art, literature, jewelry, and photography. Now joining the ranks of these priceless artifacts: a puppy named Riley.  

Riley is a Weimaraner puppy who is currently being trained to sniff out bugs and pests that could pose a potential threat to the building and all of the treasured pieces that live there. 

“Objects are frequently coming in and out of the building, and those made of wood or textiles can come in with bugs,” says Katie Getchell, the chief brand officer and deputy director of the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA). “We do not currently have a problem with pests, but are always developing and exploring new protocols and to prevent them from entering the museum.” 

That form of protection is now coming in the form of a smart, helpful and very cute puppy. 


Riley, who belongs to Nicki Luongo, the museum’s director of protective services, is currently undergoing basic puppy training and developing his scent detection skills. The latter should not be an issue for the Weimaraner, which are known to be a highly-intelligent breed with an incredible sense of smell. 

When he is ready for the task at hand, Riley will help the staff detect pests in current and incoming artworks at the museum. 

Sadly, for those who want to get a glimpse of Riley, Getchell says that the pup will be working behind-the-scenes for the time being.

So, until this Very Good Boy is fully trained and ready to sniff out bugs, you’ll just have to admire all of the museum’s amazing artifacts and know he’s going to be the one to help preserve them for generations to come. 

Images via The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston