Drug dogs help authorities detect and locate illegal drugs at borders, airports and crime scenes, and have become invaluable tools to law enforcement. These talented canines can detect even small amounts of scent given off by drugs, even when drugs are cleverly disguised in layers of other, scented materials.
One drug-detecting dog, a Springer spaniel with an exceptionally sensitive nose, discovered cocaine worth nearly $40 million (485 pounds of it) at Gatwick airport, just before her retirement. She had been 7 years on the job and the record drug find was her 100th instance of drugs located in her distinguished career. Quite the achievement!
Drug detecting dogs need to learn basic on and off-leash obedience, control, and be able to focus on their task in distracting environments.Training this ability takes weeks to months of practice, to establish strong responses to obedience commands and the ability to tune out distractions that are often present in public environments where a drug dog needs to work, like bus terminals, airports and border crossings. Drug dogs are also taught a signal or alert to perform and indicate they have located drugs. This behavior is often taught separately at first, and then associated later with detecting the drug scent. The signal to the dog's handler that the drug scent has been located may be a ‘sit and look’ at the handler, or another behavior that has been taught. Drug-detecting dogs are allowed to investigate an area, usually on-leash, but sometimes off-leash, such as a storage or luggage facility or hub. When the dog locates a drug scent they immediately signal their handler by performing the target behavior, such as sitting and looking at their handler, and are immediately rewarded with a toy and play time. Drug dogs are usually taught to be completely obsessed with their toy and playing with their handler, so they will work hard to detect drug scent for the opportunity to play.
Dogs that are going to be used for drug detection need to be taught basic obedience commands that can be used in public places.
To train a dog to detect drug scents, trainers need to use samples of the drugs. This will require licensing and certification by law enforcement agencies to have access to samples, or trainers can use commercially available substitutes that mimic the smell of various drugs.
Most drug detection dogs are taught to detect with the use of a toy that they get to frequently play with. A toy that will stand up, like a Kong, or can be easily replaced, like a white towel, is appropriate.
it is always jumpy when ever i try to train it. it keeps jumping on me.
Hello Cephas, Has pup ever shown any form of aggression toward you? If so, this is something I recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues and comes well recommended by previous clients, to help with in person, as the jumping can be a sign of pup protesting and trying to control your movements or mount you. If pup is simply getting excited by the training or just enjoys your reacts to their jumping, but has never shown any form of aggression toward you, I one of the methods from the jumping article I have linked below. I wouldn't use either of those methods without pup wearing a basket muzzle if there is aggression present though. Jumping methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I want to train my dog from basic to professional through your site
and I want to teach my dog about drugs and incendiaries
Hello Ali, After Basic obedience comes, intermediate, then advanced finally. To progress to intermediate obedience, you will gradually work up to distractions and pup developing the skills to obey in those situations too - at first the distraction might be someone walking through the room, a squirrel in the yard, a leaf blowing by, ect...Start with less distracting environments, then gradually move onto harder environments and spend intentional time practicing in each of those new environments until pup can focus there too. For example, in your home without others around is easiest, your backyard is a bit harder, your front yard is even harder, your neighborhood is even hard, your home with guests present is even harder, a pet store is even harder, ect...Go out of your way to practice at the current level pup needs to learn at and to create the distractions pup is ready to learn to overcome during training sessions when you can control things - so that pup can also respond when things are more out of your control in every day life, but keep the distraction level what pup is ready for at that point in the training so pup can still succeed with your help - the goal is to guide pup and provide consistent, calm boundaries at this point. Be patient with pup and know that a 3 month old puppy is skill developing their attention span and ability to learn so I wouldn't be too strict at this point - keep things more positive and very gradually transition to intermediate methods for commands over the next 4 months - especially as you near 5-6 months. Sit: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-sit Reel In method for Come: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Turns method for Heel: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel The Leash Pressure method for down: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-lay-down If pup doesn't know these commands really well already, start by using the treat luring methods with each command, then you can transition to other methods if needed after also. Right now you can also keep a drag leash without a handle (for safety reasons to get caught less around the house) on pup while you are home. That way when you give a command like Come and pup ignores you, you can calmly walk over to them and lead them back to where you were - gently teaching them that they need to listen in every day life too. Playing scent games, like treat hiding and hiding seek come can be good ways to introduce drug detection skills with young puppies. You can find a lot of individual articles for teaching specific commands at www.wagwalking.com/training if you haven't already visited that part of the website. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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