The Science Behind The Nose
- From a single drop of urine, the sniffing dog learns the marking animal's sex, diet, health, emotional state, and even whether it's dominant or submissive, friend or foe.
- Tracking dogs follow a biochemical trail of dead skin cells, sweat, odor molecules, and gasses.
- For dogs, a scent article is like a three-dimensional "odor image" - much more detailed than a photograph is for a person.
- Dogs can track a scent through snow, air, mud, water, and even ash.
- The properly trained and certified detection dog is recognized in court as a "scientific instrument" (US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals)
According to a report prepared by the Institute for Biological Detection Systems (IBDS) of Auburn University (Auburn, AL), dogs have the following capabilities:
- Sensitivity: Documented limits of olfactory detection for the dog range from tens of parts per billion to 500 parts per trillion.
- Discrimination: Dogs are extremely good at discriminating a target vapor from non-target vapors that are also present, even at relatively high concentrations of non-target odors.
- Odor Signatures: When being trained to detect a substance, dogs learn to alert to one or two of its most abundant vapor compounds.
- Multiple Odor Discriminations: Dogs can easily learn as many as ten odor discriminations.
The Bed Bug Dog