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Question Regarding Explosives/drug Detecting K-9's

Tue Sep 12, 2006 12:39 pm

My question is in regards to K-9's used by law enforcement such as police, Customs, Department of Agriculture, etc. I'm aware K-9's have a sense of smell hundreds or thousands of times more sensitive than a humans, and different agencies use them to their advantage in aiding their find of drugs, explosives, agricultural products.

My question is are the dogs used by these agencies cross-trained in alerting to different scents? For example, are the dogs used by police and customs in airports generally only trained to search for explosives? Or are these K-9's usually cross-trained so that they can be used to recognize other scents as well, such as drugs and agricultural products?
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Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2001 3:45 am

RE: Question Regarding Explosives/drug Detecting K-9's

Wed Sep 13, 2006 5:03 am

I can be corrected if I'm wrong, but as far as I know when it comes to training these dogs, they are trained in one and only one discipline. Whether it be drugs, explosives, or even arson/accelerants, they are trained to recognize one type and master it. Also, the breeds vary by type as well. Law enforcement tends to use the german sheperd type as it can be aggressive enough to use in that field. I know the US Dept. of Agriculture uses beagles in some airports. Fire services throughout the country are starting to use dogs to detect accelerants at fires and I know they've stuck with labradors. Regardless of what they're finding, these dogs are excellent at what they do.

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