Drug detecting dogs are amazing, highly-trained canines. Learn more in this guide featuring 10 fascinating drug sniffing dog facts.

Have you ever been to the airport and had to walk through line with drug sniffing dogs?

It’s quite intimidating. Yet, amazing how these dogs can become so highly trained.

Keep reading to learn fun and interesting drug-sniffing dog facts!

1. Toys and Drugs

Have you ever wondered how drug-sniffing dogs detect drugs? Or why they bark at certain people?

Drug-sniffing dogs are looking for their favorite toy! They have been trained by associating their favorite toy with the smell of drugs.

During training, trainers usually train with a white towel. The dogs love to play tug-of-war, so they begin to associate finding their toy with the reward of playing their favorite game!

2. Dogs Smell in Layers

Different from humans, dogs smell in layers. They can tell the different ingredients and layers of smells apart to discern if there is a drug in an area with other smells.

This allows the trained dogs to sniff for specific ingredients that are found within drugs.

3. Training Length

On average, it takes a few months for a drug-detecting dog to be trained to sniff out drugs. There are many articles to learn how these dogs get trained!

Within their training, they are taught on how to alert for the smell of drugs. They can alert with either a passive or aggressive alert.

If they sniff an explosive, they will use a passive approach. If there are drugs, many dogs will use an aggressive approach where they scratch and dig at the person or bag.

4. Quick Search Times

Dogs can search a specific area four times faster than the average human can. By using drug-detecting dogs, police can save time and energy!

5. Great Sense of Smell

It’s known that dogs have great senses of smell? But how great are they really?

Dogs’ sense of smell is 10,000 times more acute than ours. Coupled with the fact they are better at detecting specific smells, they make great drug sniffing dogs.

6. Drug-Sniffing Dogs Are in History

Using drug-sniffing dogs at airports and high-security areas is not a new thing!

Greeks, Persians, and Babylonians used dogs for security and search and rescue for their great sense of smell.

7. Bomb Detectors

With a ton of research done on how to detect bombs, dogs are still the best at the job. Even with new research, this fact has not changed.

8. Nose Detection

As humans, we identify most things visually. Dogs, however, detect most things through their sense of smell.

Detection dogs are able to tell apart identical twins because of their scents.

Since they are already great at detecting smells through their nose, they are great at being drug-sniffing dogs!

9. Guide Dog or Detection Dog?

Most detection dogs were actually first trained to be guide dogs. After seeing how distracted they were by smells, training quickly switched over to be for sniffing dogs.

10. Target Specific Smells

Drug-sniffing dogs are trained to target very specific smells. They are able to not only sniff for drugs, but criminal evidence, firearms, cash, and other contraband. 

Did You Enjoy These Drug-Sniffing Dog Facts?

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