Nightly News   |  July 06, 2013

Dogs make a splash at Chicago aquarium

The newest additions to the aquarium in Chicago don't have fins or water-soaked torsos, but they know how to steal the show. And it turns out, they have something to teach us, too. NBC's Kevin Tibbles reports.

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>>> finally tonight, the newest editi addition of the aquarium in chicago don't have fins, but they steal the show and have something to teach us too. kevin tibbles tonight.

>> reporter: shedd aquarium is world renowned for it's 650 different species and crowd wowing quatic show. now it's bow-wowing the crowds. the shedd is going to the dogs. bruce has been with the shedd about five months. and chief animal trainer ken ramirez is convinced his arrival along with two other dogs, adds to the learning experience.

>> they hope it helps people connect to the exotic animals here.

>> reporter: bruce hanging with beluga buddies, no way special or smarter, they are all rescue dogs that come from local shelters.

>> according to his file, he bite marks, teeth marks on his head.

>> reporter: the same training techniques used to train a dolphin or whale are used to train the dogs. all about positive enforcement.

>> we use a clicker, with dolphins we use a whistle. oh, click is a good thing.

>> reporter: here, it's all about the love, whether you wag your tail or your fins. the shedd assists in 500 to 600 animal rescues each year. providing a new home to lost or injured otters or sea lions who have lost their sight. and now dogs.

>> i like the dog, the penguin and the dolphin jumps.

>> next time i look for a dog, i had probably find a shelter dog.

>> reporter: and that is what it's all about.

>> what i want people to know, you can train your dog. you can rescue an animal from a shelter.

>> reporter: all you need is some patience and love and treats, be it a fish or some kibble, or in this case -- tibbles with the kibbles. kevin tibbles, nbc news, chicago.