Well, that's weird, but actually, yes. Dogs, with their powerful noses, are able to sniff out what you want them to through just about anything. That's why so many government and enforcement organizations have specially-trained dog fleets to help them with drug detection.
Want to learn more? We thought you might! Check out our guide below for details on dogs that can sniff drugs through the stickiest of situations - that's right, even situations as sticky as peanut butter.
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The Signs of Drug-Sniffing Doggos
The first sign is typically when your pup starts to ignore the situation around them and focus on a particular area. They might even zero in and set off toward something without any consideration for what's going on. They'll likely have their nose in the air, to the ground, or be twitching around like crazy. They'll also likely ignore people, other dogs, or things happening around them to get to the area they're sniffing out.
A specially trained dog will investigate the area they're sniffing and then give a specific signal to their handler once they've picked up on the odor they've been trained to look for. This often includes barking, jumping, scratching, howling, or even just sitting down.
- Tail up
- Ears up
- Panting and head turning
- Scratching or pawing
- Chasing or running toward something
- Ignoring people and other animals
- Twitching nose
History of Detection Dogs
Some of the earliest detection dogs were also used in North Africa during World War II to help detect German mines as well. By the late 1980s, using dogs to sniff out drugs like heroin, concaine, and marijuana, as well as explosives and other devices, was common practice!
The Science Behind Smelling Through Things
One route delivers air to the dog's lungs and the other route is purely for smelling. This works hand in hand with a dog's olfactory cortex to help analyze and separate which smells are occurring. So, while a peanut butter scent might mask drug smells for us, dogs are able to smell each particular scent and separate them.
Training Your Dog to Use Their Nose to Detect
First, associate a specific toy with playtime. Use this toy as a reward for basic obedience commands to get your dog used to the idea of play as a reward. Next, hide that specific toy from your dog and teach your pup to find it. Progressively make this more difficult.
Then, hide the toy with whichever scent you're hoping to train your dog to detect. Repeat this process and continue using play as a reward. Gradually make these spots a little bit more complex and slowly but surely remove the toy from the hiding process. Soon, your dog will be hunting down just the scent and getting his or her toy as the reward.
How to React to Your Dog Smelling Something:
Don't ignore your dog's cries for your attention. They're probably trying to let you know they smell something funny
Follow your pup to where they lead.
If they find something illegal, tell the local authorities.