Ecology often faces the problem that many threatened species are highly elusive but also conflict-laden. Thus, proper monitoring data are inevitable for their conservation and management. Indirect monitoring through scats is frequently used for such species, but scats of related species or species with similar diet are often visually indistinguishable. Since genetic methods for species identification are time-consuming and cost-intensive, a verification of the target species beforehand would be extremely beneficial in reducing effort to the analysis of the target species only. Such species discrimination could be provided through species-specific scat detection dogs. Therefore, we evaluated the reliability of species-specific scat detection dogs for two mustelid species feeding on identical diets: the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) and the American mink (Neovison vison), both of which are conflict-laden and increasing their populations and distribution ranges in central Europe. Their scats resemble each other in morphology and odour, exacerbating the differentiation even for experts. To evaluate whether detection dogs can reliably discriminate between related species feeding on similar diets and if their use would be beneficial, we tested their abilities against those of humans. We first proved that scat characteristics are not statistically different between species. Likewise, visual species identification through people with different experience levels was only partly successful. Experts showed higher average accuracy (0.89) than non-experts (0.72 and below), but detection dogs (4 dogs) were able to discriminate otter and mink scats under laboratory conditions with an accuracy of 0.95. Moreover, otter scat detection dogs found up to four times more scat samples in the field, were twice as fast as human searchers and found an almost equal number of scats with different characteristics, while humans mostly found older and larger scats placed on hotspots. We conclude that using detection dogs for species identity will allow subsequent laboratory analyses to be species-specific and avoid spending time and money on laboratory work of the wrong species. It also provides more precise and unbiased information about the target species.