Sniffer dogs – How they are trained and why they are different?
Sniffer dogs are the dogs that are trained to detect explosives, drugs, detonators etc by means of their senses. The sense here we are talking about is the smell. As in our previous article, I have discussed the strongest sense of the dogs among which the sense of smelling has ruled the charts. As we all are familiar with the word sniff which means to depict up air perceptibly through the nose to detect a smell. Hence, this is the reason the dogs that use their sense of smell to detect the destructive elements are on the whole known as sniffer dogs. The very famous sniffer dogs are Labrador, German Shepherd, Golden retrievers etc.
HOW SNIFFER DOGS ARE TRAINED –
First of all sniffer dogs not only sniffs bombs or explosives. But apart from these, there are a lot of things. So how they are trained to sense so many different smells is the question?
- Basically, the training depends on which environment the particular dog is going to work on. For example; if the dog is going to work in bomb squad then the dog will be trained to smell the elements of bombs.
- The second thing to consider are the target scents. A particular listing is made of target scents. And the list goes on.
- The method of training yet again depends on the environment the dog is going to work.
- Then comes rewarding the dog. The fundamental rule that is followed on for every dog is accepted here as well. But here are some additional rules as well. Initially, the rewards are being given when the sniffer dog shows some form of detection. But with the ongoing training process, the rewards are reduced and are only given when the dog shows some characteristic achievement or a conditioned response. The response given here by the trainers are always passive and not- aggressive.
HOW DO THEY SNIFF –
As we have discussed the sniffer dogs. Now how they work is also an interesting fact to be discussed. Sniffer dogs have a separate superiority of identifying the scents individually. This means once a dog sniffs it takes the scents individually even if there are a dozen of scents in the region.
- The dog takes the sniffs and odor hit the odor receptors of the dog nose. Subsequent to this, the signal then moves from the nose to the sensory cortex which is responsible for processing sensations and smells. Following this, the sniffer dogs then interpret the smell and indicate accordingly to the handler regarding the detection.
Related article – Dog’s nose – Understanding the incredible sense of smelling
We acknowledge the work and the distinct quality of sniffer dogs. They are our proud soldiers who have saved lives of many and undoubtedly takes no credit.