In the recent past, terrorism has become a significant threat. So with the rising cases of terrorist attacks, the need to train animals which can sniff out terrorist threats has also risen. Sniffer dogs and bomb detection dogs have on many occasions saved situations which could have ended in disaster by detecting an explosive object in time. However, for a dog to get to such a level of proficiency in its work, a lot of training has to be done. The dog also needs to meet certain basic physical qualifications.
For a dog to be picked up for training as a sniffer dog, it has to be free of any health conditions which are seen as unacceptable by an animal vet. The dog must also not have greater than level one of hip dysplasia. The condition will be tested clinically or by use of X-rays. The animal must also be fully grown and immunised against all health conditions and risks.
There are also certain behavioural standards that are seen as an added advantage for a sniffer dog. For instance, an ideal sniffer dog candidate is supposed to possess an inquisitiveness which is coupled with a desire to explore the environment. The animal should be an eager eater and should neither be too aggressive nor too shy of other people. The dog should be highly interested in new people and situations and easy to play with and pet.
Ability to adjust to different environments
Another condition that a prospective sniffer dog must meet is an ability to adapt to new environments with ease. The dog will typically be taken into a room with a number of strangers and then left in there. The interaction between the animal and the strangers will let the people testing the dog know whether it has the needed balance of temperament to pick out things which seem out of the ordinary without necessarily antagonising everyone on site.
Normally, when a dog is taken in for observation, it will be given ten days to adjust to the new environment. During this time, the animal will be taken through the clinical tests by a vet and the social observation processes by a trainer. Note that trainers want to pick a dog whose physique and behaviour make them easy to train and easy to reward so that they can be conditioned to look for explosives.Share