Dr. Lauryn DeGreeff, a NRL chemist studies volatile compounds that make up odors to develop training aids for military canine units. She has helped develop a device that she places various odors that a dog can sniff. She also the ability to adjust how 4 different odors are released. This allows dogs to train to identify various odors that are dangerous whether by themselves or that reveal things such as explosives.
Members of the U.S. Navy’s canine unit in Naples, Italy, said the device seems promising, but they won’t know how effective it is until they test it on their six dogs.
“I’d like to see their reactions when encountering it,” said Chief Petty Officer Susan Collins, kennel master for the unit, which aids police and security teams in sweeps and occasionally has a handler and dog deploy to a war zone.
Allowing dogs to smell an explosive’s entire chemical composition seems a more realistic simulation, Collins said. Still, a device may not work equally well on all dogs, she added.
“Each dog is unique in how they sniff and develop and become efficient,” Collins said.
Source: Stars and Stripes
Images: JOHN F. WILLIAMS/U.S. NAVY