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Drug Sniffing Dogs And…DVD Sniffing Dogs?

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Drug Sniffing Dog

I’ve heard of drug sniffing dogs and I’ve actually been thinking about enrolling Stetson, my black lab, in a Scent Tracking – Nose Works dog training class. Afterall, we like to call Stetson Mr. Sniffers as he seems to be tracking all the dogs in the neighborhood.

I started to do my normal research and came across some unusual dog careers and thought to myself maybe Derby could put that dog nose to good use and change careers to a dog sniffer.  The only problem is Derby has trouble focusing and probably would have issues as a certified sniffer.

Sniffing Dogs

Anyhow, back to dog sniffers…dog’s have great noses and as mentioned earlier they can work with police officers as drug sniffing dogs.  However, did you know they can also sniff out a DVD?  Here are a few other strange and not so strange things a dog can sniff out:

  • DVD’s
  • Explosives
  • Cancer
  • Accelerant, Flammable Liquid, Lighter Fluid – Arson Dogs
  • Underwater drowning victims
  • Cadavers
  • Missing People

DVD Sniffing Dogs

DVD Sniffer dogs now…that just sounds crazy.  How can a dog find a DVD? and even if it did, how would the dog know if that DVD was a pirated copy?

First of all a dog can be trained to sniff out the polycarbonate used in DVD’s.  However, as mentioned in the Wired article: “The dogs cannot decipher the difference between pirated and authentic DVDs.” The article does mention: “…Some day, he might be able to train his dogs to alert on subtle chemical differences between authorized DVDs and the cheaper knockoffs produced by crooks.” Now that would be amazing. Then again the recent Oprah article says that “the average canine can detect scents 10,000 to 100,000 times better than the average human.”

Cancer Sniffing Dogs

A second article I read today was on Cancer Sniffing Dogs which led to my earlier statement about Derby and a possible career in sniffing.

The dog in this story named Tessy was destined to be a Guide Dog…just like Derby.  However, her plans were sidetracked when an infection left her blind in one eye ending any chances for a career as a Guide Dog.  Lucky for Tessy she still had her nose leading her to her second career as an Ovarian Cancer Sniffing Dog.

How does it work?  Tumors release tiny amounts of chemicals different than those of healthy tissue.   It is this subtle difference that a dog can detect.

Check out the entire article on Dogs Who Can Sniff Out Cancer.

Stetson AKA “Mr. Sniffers”

Some of our friends including Nexxus and Nadia are already taking scenting classes and we think that Stetson would enjoy a sniffing career of his own.  Hopefully this summer we can enroll Mr Sniffers in training and see if he has the stuff to be a true scenting dog.  I’ll keep everyone informed and do my best to chronicle his journey in the world of sniffing!

Do you know of any unual dog careers?  Have you taken your dog to scenting class?  I’d love to hear about it in the coments below.

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  1. Wow, ima try to get my dog to sniff out my lost DVDs! lol, seriously, that’s actually pretty interesting. Idk what to think of that information, but it’s all cool. I’m also in high school and thought of the same thing.

  2. I’m in high school and occasionally a gorgeous black lab graces our campus to make sure that no kids have drugs. This thread just made me think of that. Have a great day!

    Sammy and Westin

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