Security Tips for Dog Owners: A Security Blog

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Clearing Up Some Common Misconceptions About Detector Dogs

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Bomb detection dogs can easily add security to any type of shipyard, dock, or other receiving area that you own or manage, or they can also be used if your company has received a bomb threat of any sort. These dogs can also do checks around your company property to search for drugs and other contraband. Whatever your reason for needing the services of a detector dog, note a few common misconceptions about how they work, so you know what to expect and are sure to hire the right company for your needs.

Dogs won't detect every substance

Keep in mind that it takes hundreds of hours of training to teach a dog how to recognize certain scents, so detector dogs aren't typically trained to find every illicit substance. For example, drug detection dogs may not be trained to find bomb-making materials, and dogs that are trained for search and rescue operations aren't typically trained to find drugs and bomb-making materials.

Even dogs that are trained to detect certain substances may not find everything; certain drugs, such as LSD, can be easily ingested or inhaled, so trainers may not cover this substance when working with drug-detecting dogs. This is why it's good to discuss with a trainer the details of why you need a detector dog, so you can ensure you get one that is trained for your needs, or even use more than one dog if necessary.

Trainers are important

The trainer that works with a dog is just as important as the dog itself; a good trainer won't lead a dog and risk a false positive alert, but also won't let a dog get distracted by wildlife, traffic, and the like. When looking to hire a dog, you should ask about the trainer's qualifications and what type of classes they've taken themselves, so you know you'll have a quality team working for your detection needs.


Some breeds of dogs do have better abilities to pick up scents, but the breed of a dog alone isn't always an indicator of how well it will detect certain smells. For example, a German shepherd may be very easy to train to find someone lost in the woods, whereas some bloodhounds may resist their training, get easily distracted, or simply not have a nose that works as well as another dog's! Don't assume that one breed or another is the best at detection, but work with a trainer and let them choose the right dog for your needs.