But that’s just the start of what we can achieve when it comes to training dogs. Our specialist dog training programmes can be used to produce dogs that are capable of amazing feats, from finding hidden drugs to locating lost hikers, from earthquake rescues to fire investigations.
At our professional dog training centre in Lancashire, we can train dogs to sniff out everything from explosives to bodies, tracking the faintest scent and seeking out the most well disguised contraband.
An amazing sense of smell
Unlike humans, who rely mainly on sight, the canine brain is dominated by the olfactory cortex, which is around forty times larger than ours.
Estimates vary wildly about exactly how good a dog’s sense of smell is, but most sources agree it is somewhere between 10,000 and 100,000 times better than our own. As we discussed in our article on medical alert dogs, they can detect one part in a trillion – the equivalent of half a teaspoon of sugar in an Olympic swimming pool.
Dogs have between 100million and 300million smell receptors spread over a huge area, so they can ‘see’ the world through scent and smell. And that’s not all; they also have a special structure in their noses that collects odour molecules over time. They are able to breathe scents and smells in over this structure, without washing them away on the out breath, which increases their concentration and allows the dog to detect even fainter smells.
Training specialist dogs
Naturally, specialist dogs need to be trained to recognise and respond correctly to the desired scent. They need to be able to tell the difference between the person they are looking for and other human scents, or even between survivors and those who were not so lucky. But there is much more to specialist dog training than just scent.
Specialist dogs need to be able to work for long periods, undistracted by their environment. Even the best trained family pet could find itself distracted by scents and squirrels during a walk in the woods, but a tracker dog must be able to concentrate and focus for hours on end over many miles. They also need to be agile, robust and resilient, able to work long hours, negotiating the most difficult conditions, in the race to find survivors and save lives.
Other trained dogs, such as airport sniffer dogs and dogs used to sweep locations for explosives, need to learn patience and repetition. The have to be able to work on the same job, day after day, and even when they only find what they are looking for on very rare occasions, stay sharp and focussed just in case.
A trusted trainer
Whether you are searching for rescue dogs, sniffing out detection dogs, or just looking for the perfect puppy, A&T Trained Dogs’ chief trainer, Alan Filjak has unrivalled experience and expertise in canine training for all kinds of clients. Contact A&T Trained Dogs today and unleash your pet’s true potential.