Did you know that there are around 15,000 police dogs in the United States? While these dogs can be used for all kinds of reasons, such as looking for missing people or controlling a crowd, many of these canines are used as drug sniffing dogs.
K9 drug detection is one of the best ways to find illegal drugs on a person. But it takes a lot of work to get these dogs to a level where they can successfully find such substances. So if you’d like to learn more, then keep on reading, and we’ll show you how drug sniffing dogs are trained.
Start by Playing
The first step to training drug sniffing dogs is to play with them. Give them a toy that they can grow to love and play around with.
This toy is usually just a white towel with no odor. The dog will get used to playing with this toy and is going to constantly seek it out.
Once the dog is accustomed to the towel, the trainer will roll drugs up in the object. The dog will now associate the smell of drugs with the toy.
Once the dog is used to this, the trainer is going to hide the towel in different places. Using its sense of smell, the dog will get better and better at sniffing out the drugs. Every time the dog is successful, she’ll be rewarded with a tasty treat.
As time goes on, the trainer will hide the drugs in harder and harder places. They might hide it in someone’s clothes, bury it under the ground, or sneak it away in a container.
This method of training is known as a positive feedback loop. Each time the dog does the right thing, it will get rewarded with positive feedback, like a treat or pat on the head.
The Shape Signal Method
Another technique for k9 training is the shape signal method. In this method, the dog learns a simple command, such as “sit.” They’re taught using a clicker or a hand signal.
That dog is then exposed to a scent while being given the signal. Each time the dog performs the action after smelling the scent, they get rewarded. You can start with peanut butter or meat and then move on to drugs.
Eventually, in the real world, when the dog senses drugs, it will perform the action, like sitting or barking.
Drug sniffing dogs can be very helpful in places like airports. If you want to learn more then you can check it out here.
The Benefits of Drug Sniffing Dogs
Thanks to drug sniffing dogs, police units now have an effective and non-invasive way to catch criminals and keep the public safe. By knowing more about k9 detection services, you can be more informed and have a greater appreciation the next time you see a dog on the job.
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