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sniffer dog training

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    in an attempt to maybe get some discussions going…
    have been watching dog squad on sky real lives, not that there much footage of dogs mind (but that not the point)
    It is about airport sniffer dogs. I watched one where they were screening mail, dog indicated on a parcel (never got rewarded) the parcel was taken away, opened and found to have drugs in, so they resealed and placed it back in room for dog to indicate on, dog did again evetually – then it was rewarded.

    Now i cant decide if this seems the right way to do it or not? the dog seemed to quickly identify the item 1st time, which it got no reward for then took a little longer the 2nd time, I know that you cant reward a dog if it indicates and there is nothing there, but if it was trained correctly, then it shouldnt indicate when there is nothing there? not to mention the fact of how sensitive a dogs nose is and just because nothing is found doesnt mean there has been no contamination from elsewhere

    other thoughts and opinions??


    Not seen the programme so cannot comment; the trouble is that often these programmes are edited so much that a lot of crucial info is left out so one does not get the whole picture


    Gracie. I am new to this site and read your comment re sniffer dog training and what was seen on the TV.  I train search dogs for a profession and will give the reasons why you saw what you saw. Firstly the dogs have a very sensitive nose and will if allowed indicate on residual scent if any is available. If something else present was noticed by the dog and the dog was rewarded, that scent would form part of the scent picture, having been rewarded, the dog would indicate on that same scent if presented again and you end up with a dog indicating falsely. It did happen with a bush meat dog also indicating on plantain bananas as both were constantly hidden in African flights. So thats why no delivery. Re the second where the pack was put back for reward, as the pack had been tampered with and opened, the scent picture and disturbance would have been greatly enlarged, this does cause a small problem for the dog as it is trying to indicate on source and as the scent is every where it makes it slightly harder.  I trust this explains what happened and why.
    Ken.  Borstal barker. :ok:


    Thanks, Ken,

    What you said makes sense, so when the pack put back, this ensures that dog indicating on only what was in pack, and not getting a second pic, but are you not teaching the dog to indicate on only reallt saturated scents? and by not rewarding the first time are you teaching the dog to ignore well consealed scents?
    I guess ongoing training is essential.

    I just find it all fascinating


    Gracie. When any dog comes in for refresher training they are trained on bulk, more than 1 gram (up to 2 kg) in some cases and what we call filter papers, that is a piece of cut paper the size of thumb nail and left in pack of drugs overnight, this is then tapped clean and placed out for dogs, so seams and tight hides can be searched for. The dogs static indication is actually what we teach should the handler not recognise the indication, or the precursors when the dog is in the scent picture, we as placers of hides can see it because we know where the hide is and recognise the subtle changes in behaviour when dog is on periphery of scent picture.  The only reason no reward comes in for a non-known indication is the dogs are so quick to learn a false indication and have handlers over, especially cockers. We constantly try to have the dogs over because if we can, then you can bet the users on the street will be able to, training as much as we can.
    Ken :educated:


    Interesting topic  :agree:


    yes very interesting indeed!

    Thanks for taking the time to explain Ken.

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