Scent

How Accurate are Search Dogs? – Part 2: Scent Discrimination Dogs

This is the second part of a series on the accuracy of search dogs.  Part 1 looked at Area Detection Dogs. Types of Scent Discrimination Dogs A scent discrimination dog is trained to follow and/or identify the scent of an individual person or animal.  These dogs are described as scent-specific.  In most cases the search …

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How Accurate are Search Dogs? – Part 1: Area Detection Dogs

“The canine sense of smell is legendary and, as with many legends, it is sometimes hard to find the sources and separate scientific facts from urban legends”  – Goldblatt et al. (2009) A well trained search dog should not make frequent mistakes, but how accurate are they?  How often do search dogs miss locating what …

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Pugs Outperform German Shepherds at Scent Detection Test

Dogs breeds commonly used in scent detection work include Labrador Retrievers, Bloodhounds, German Shepherds, Malinois, Beagles and several other hounds and spaniels.  These breeds have traditionally been used as hunting dogs, search and rescue dogs, police dogs and military dogs.  There is a common assumption (in part supported by their large number of scent receptors) …

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When NOT to Use a Tracking Dog to Find a Lost Dog

The idea of using a tracking dog to find a lost dog is very compelling, but most people who pursue this option do not have a good understanding of how a tracking (or trailing) dog works.  In some cases a tracking dog CAN provide useful information for locating a lost dog such as confirming sightings or …

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Using a Search Dog to Track a Lost Outdoor-Access Cat

Many people with a lost pet think that a search dog is the best method for finding their pet.  However, most people tend to have unrealistic expectations and a lack of understanding of how a search dog works.  I previously wrote an article on considerations for Using a Search Dog, and in this series of articles, I …

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