Did you know that drug-sniffing dogs can smell each individual odor in a bag? This means they can pick up scents that are seemingly masked by other odors.
As well as being a man’s best friend, service dogs are an essential tool for the authorities. They can track criminals, sniff out drugs, and search buildings quicker and more effectively than humans.
Continue reading to learn about the accuracy of these expertly trained dogs to sniff out drugs.
Why Dogs are Used to Sniff Out Drugs
Dogs are renowned for their superior sense of smell, and this comes in very handy for authorities that want to cut down on the smuggling of illegal substances. Boasting around 300 million olfactory receptors in their nose, a dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times more acute than humans.
Authorities train detection dogs to identify specific scents, including drugs, explosives, firearms, cash, blood, and contraband.
Drug detection dogs are often seen in airports, and there are many reasons why they’re considered incredibly useful in this environment. Get more info on how airports benefit from sniffer dogs.
The Accuracy of Drug-Sniffing Dogs
There are plenty of factors to take into account when it comes to understanding their effectiveness. The efficacy of drug detection dogs varies according to their breed, level of training, type of drug, and search environment. Some studies suggest that drug dog services are only accurate around 50% of the time.
Yet, one 2014 study in Poland recorded all the results of 1219 experimental searching tests. On average, hidden drug samples were found by dogs after 64 seconds of searching, and they were accurate at detecting drugs 87.7% of the time. The study found that German Shepherds were the best breed for finding drugs, with Terriers the least accurate.
When it comes to the accuracy of sniffing out drugs, it depends on the dog and the situation it encounters. These statistics show that they are a valuable and effective tool for the authorities.
Drugs Most Commonly Found
Police train detection dogs to detect target scents and alert their handlers. They can be trained to sniff out any type of scent but are often used to detect drugs.
In the Australian state of New South Wales, cannabis was the drug most commonly detected by their sniffer dogs, located in almost 84% of incidents where drugs were found. Trained dogs are also helpful for sniffing out cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, methamphetamine, and opioids.
The majority of these positive indications were made on public transport.
Police Officers’ Best Friend
While the numbers may vary in different studies, it appears that drug detection dogs can be very accurate when searching for illicit substances. Some dogs may indeed be better than others. Nonetheless, their incredible sense of smell continues to be a fantastic tool for authorities all around the world.
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