It is thought that a dog’s nose is up to 10,000 times more sensitive to smells than an average human nose. The sense of smell is a dog’s most dominant sense, followed by hearing and sight. This makes them extremely effective for drug detection purposes in large crowds, where people may be trying to conceal illegal substances that would otherwise be undetectable to security/police.

How does a sniffer dog detect drugs?

Sniffer dogs have absolutely no interest in the drugs themselves. What they’re actually searching for is their favourite toy. The way they are trained means that they associate a certain toy with the small of drugs – Their natural instinct is to hunt and seek out whatever they’ve been trained to find.

If well managed and trained sniffer dogs are intensely loyal, creating strong bonds with their handlers. They are obedient, respond well to training and can work in intensely stressful environments.

While a sniffer dog is on a drug search, he can cover a large area very quickly. It would take human officers 10 times as long, if not longer, to search the same area. Even still, they wouldn’t find what a sniffer dog would find if the drugs were well hidden (which they typically are!)

As an example of how great sniffer dogs are at detecting drugs, back in 2002, a drugs dog foiled a woman’s attempt to smuggle marijuana into a prison in Brisbane, Australia. The marijuana had been inserted into a balloon, which was smeared with coffee, pepper, and petroleum jelly and then placed in her bra.

How are sniffer dogs trained?

Sniffer dogs are excellent at their jobs but they do take some training to get to this high level of accuracy. During the early stages of training a sniffer dog will receive a reward when it displays any form of recognition of the target scent. As the dog’s skills progress the reward will only be given when the dog responds with the correct reaction (e.g. sit, stand, stare, down, bark, etc…).

Canine Sniffer dogs and their handlers undergo extensive training for months in order to be certified and are successful because of their ability to work as a team. They will carry out testing and retraining throughout their entire careers to ensure their skills are reliable and up to standard. (Dogs typically stay assigned to the handler they were trained with and the team get re-tested together)

Drug detection dogs can be used for a range of operations and assignments including but not limited to; Airports, Marine applications, Media solutions, Hospitals and mental health facilities together with schools, colleges and universities, events, prisons, businesses and homes, who all see the benefits of using sniffer dogs for tighter security measures. They can be used to detect drugs on individuals, within buildings, open areas and vehicles.

County Security UK

County UK are specialists in providing sniffer dogs for all of your security needs. By utilising County you are ensuring that you have SIA licensed sniffer dog handlers with expert knowledge and experience in handling large crowds. Our sniffer dog services are provided at a fixed fee competitive rate.

If you’d like to learn more about our search and detection dog services, get in touch with our team today.


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