A sniffer dog is used by law enforcement and authorities to locate illegal drugs, blood, explosives, and other substances. These dogs may be employed at crime scenes, public places or gatherings, or at national borders or security checkpoints, to aid authorities in locating hazards and criminal activity. Sniffer dogs locate substances with their powerful noses, which are hundreds of times more sensitive than our own, and able to detect even small amounts of substances they are trained to target for. The sniffer dog then gives a signal to handlers, to indicate they have detected the substance. Signals can either be aggressive, such as pawing, or passive, such as sitting. Which signal is appropriate to teach a sniffer dog depends on what and where they are detecting.
Beagles are especially adept at being sniffer dogs, due to their very strong sense of smell and their motivation to use and work with their nose. However, because a dog that has a strong sense of smell can also easily be distracted by the same sense that makes them good at their job, training a Beagle to be a sniffer dog also involves teaching them discipline and direction so that they will be a useful tool to their handlers.
Sniffer dogs are usually motivated and rewarded for their sniffing behaviors by play. Successful sniffer dog aren't just good with their noses, they love to play ball, or tug of war. Beagles are both great sniffers and great players! This makes them ideal for learning this task. Toys are predominantly used to reinforce successful targeting of a scent and signaling to indicate location.
In addition, Beagle sniffer dogs also need to be trained to behave appropriately in public; they need to be calm around distractions, such as in crowded airports or at crime scenes, where lots of different people and activity is present, and focused on their job, sniffing and locating a target substance, such as blood, drugs, or banned substances such as illegal agricultural products and explosives. A mature Beagle with experience and good obedience and recall is required in these complex work situations. Also, sniffer dogs are trained to signal the location of their targeted substances. Signals may be aggressive such as pawing or passive such as sitting. A Beagle trained to detect explosives will usually indicate a location with a passive signal, as an aggressive sign could set off explosives. Sniffer Beagles used in public settings such as airports may be trained to use more passive signals so as not to damage private property or create alarm in a public situation.
Beagle sniffer dogs are usually motivated by play, so a favorite toy such as a ball or towel they can play tug of war with is employed. Play with the toy frequently to establish a strong motivation and desire for the toy so it becomes an incentive prior to sniffer training. Strong obedience should also be established in a sniffer Beagle that will be taken into a variety of public situations and will need to respond well to handlers. Exposing your Beagle to different situations is also useful, so your dog will be calm when working, and not excited by varying sights and sounds.
Not so playful
Some dogs are naturally more playful than others. Additionally, some breeds are also generally more sociable than other dog breeds. If you’re dog seems bored, lonely, or unhappy, there are many ways you can try to address their malaise. In order to make your dog more playful, it’s important to play with your dog regularly, bond with your dog, and pay attention to your dog’s needs. Making your dog more playful will make both you and your pet happier in your relationship. Play fetch or other retrieving exercises with your dog. Dogs like to chase and retrieve items, including bones and balls. If you can, try to train your dog to come to you before you throw the item and then bring it back to you once they retrieve it. Say “come” and get your dog to approach you. Get your dog to sit by putting the ball on their forehead and stating “sit” When you throw the ball, tell your dog to “get it”. After they retrieve it, tell them “bring it here” to have them take it back to you to throw again. Get or make dog toys for a variety of activities. Show off the toy to your dog, but don’t play with it immediately. Try tug toys or braided rope toys that you can play back and forth with them. You can also try teething or training toys that can strengthen your dog’s teeth. Talk excitedly to your dog about the toy by saying things like “Where is it?” in reference to the dog toy. If your dog wants to play, they should begin wagging their tale and get excited. When you take out the dog toy, play with it first before you start playing with the dog. Use the toy to play with the dog for a brief amount of time before they get tired with it. This will help build their excitement for the next time you break out the dog toys. Play hunting and hiding games with your dog. Dogs like finding people and objects that are hidden. These types of games can stimulate your dog’s mind and their senses. While your dog is in the other room, hide in another room. Call them to come and find you. When they do, give them treats and dog toys to reward them. You can also hide doggie treats somewhere in the yard or in a room. When your dog comes into the room, they should sniff around in search of the treat. Give them encouragement when they get closer or farther away from finding the treat.
Was this experience helpful?
How can teach my dog to be a sniffer dog
Hello Leago, First, any sniffer dog will need thorough obedience training so that they can work with you on the job later. Pursue Basic obedience and intermediate obedience, until pup can reliably obey commands like Heel, Sit, Down, Stay, and Come, and has a good working relationship with you whey there respond well to you, and trust and respect you due to your calm, clear, and kind leadership. Second, learning to track often starts with fun games that teach a dog how to use their nose to locate something. The various methods from the article you commented on, go over some ways that pup can learn how to use their nose to track - which should help with the more formal training later. Play all three games from the article linked below, starting with just one method at a time, such as the Find a Toy method, and moving onto the next game once pup has mastered the first one. https://wagwalking.com/training/be-a-sniffer-dog/ Third, where you go from here depends a lot on what you want pup to sniff for. Do you want to help with explosive or drug detection, do it for fun with clubs and gain titles, track humans, track animals, help with disease alerting, ect...Depending on what you want to do, you will need access to things that the average person doesn't have access to - like certain elements of explosives to train the scent, or plasma samples for cancer detection, ect...Reach out to clubs and groups that work in the scent detection area you are interested, and start asking questions there to work with a group to have access to the right tools and training for more formal training. http://dogscouts.org/base/tonto-site/uploads/2014/10/TRAIN_Scent_Detection.pdf Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Was this experience helpful?