How are Sniffer Dogs Trained?

An image of a fully trained dog handler with a trained security dog, on patrol at a commercial premises.

There are many breeds of dog which are used to help security officers and the police detect prohibited substances, including drugs, explosives, dead bodies and alcohol. Some of the breeds most widely used for searching a premises or person are German Shepherds and Malinois. However, Dobermanns, Springer Spaniels and Border Collies also often play an integral part in any search force.

What Can Sniffer Dogs Detect?

A dogs nose is around 2,000 more sensitive than that of a human, meaning they are naturally gifted when it comes to sniffing out a wide variety of things. Some examples of what a sniffer dog may be trained to detect include, but are not limited to:

Drugs

Explosives

Dead bodies

Money

Firearms

Each sniffer dog will be trained to detect certain things and in some cases, two dogs with different skills may be used to search a property, site or person.

How Are Sniffer Dogs Trained?

In order to ensure they have complete control over the dog, a specially trained dog handler will carry out obedience training until the dog obeys commands without hesitation. Obedience training is especially important to ensure that the handler can control how much force the dog uses at any given time. Trained sniffer dogs will only take commands from their handler and not from anyone else, ensuring the dog will never turn on its handler should a command be given by a suspect.

Further to obedience training, sniffer dogs are trained in agility, evidence searches, tracking, open area and building searches. Sniffer dogs may also be trained to carry out discrimination based searches where they can match up a potential suspect to a weapon used in a crime.

Passive and Aggressive Alerts

It is important for the safety of the dog and everyone else that a sniffer dog knows how to alert an officer to a detected scent in both passive and aggressive ways. When detecting explosives a dog will need to alert its handler in a passive way, such as by sitting or lying down close to the scent, as pawing or scratching could cause an explosion.

When a dog is alerted to the scent of drugs, a dead body or other prohibited substances, it may bark or paw at the area of the scent.

Umbrella Security Services – Dog Handlers

Here at Umbrella Security Services, we offer a comprehensive canine protection service so you can be sure that your premises is kept safe. If you would like more information on our dog handler services, please call our dedicated team today on 0121 554 2761 or send your enquiry through to our online contact form.