How Bomb Detection Dogs Are Training to Protect You

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With the threat posed by international terror groups increasing by the day, bomb detection has become an important part of many institutions security arrangements. You may wish to employ a bomb detection dog in your mail room so they can sniff out any suspect packages or you may wish to have them out in the public areas of your building so they can alert your security teams to potential suicide bombers. However, before you hire a bomb detection dog and handler, it is important that you have some understanding of how they are trained.

Phase One

Bomb dogs are selected and trained from a very young age. The puppy will be assigned to a handler who will become the dog's owner, taking him home at night so that they form a very strong bond. The training begins with the dog being exposed to a number of different scents. Some of these scents will not be related to bombs or bomb making. For example, the dog may be allowed to sniff a piece of wood, some ketchup or a flower. However, the dog will also periodically be exposed to the piece of explosive material so it can sniff its scent. Each time that the dog is exposed to the explosives it is verbally praised and given a dog treat as a reward. When the dog sniffs a non-bomb related item such as the flower, it is not praised or rewarded. This begins the process of association in the dog's mind as it comes to understand that certain smells result in a reward and others do not.

Phase Two

As the dog gets a little older, it will no longer be given the material to smell. Instead, it will have to sniff it out to get its reward. At first, the tasks that the dog are asked to do will be relatively straightforward. A single piece of explosive material will be placed somewhere low to the ground, so it is easy to find. When the dog finds the material, it will become excited as it will know that a treat is just around the corner. The dog's excitement will cause its tail to wag which is how the handler knows that the dog has located a piece of explosive material. Over the next few months, the explosive material will be hidden in more complex locations, and other scents will be introduced to make the dog work harder to earn his treat and verbal praise. Finally, the dog will be ready to operate in the real world.

If you would like to find out more, you should contact a security company which specialises in bomb detection dogs.