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Explosives Ch 9 News

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Industry Standards and Beyond

The role of detection dogs in helping protect Australia is becoming increasingly important. Increase in population and productivity is on the rise, therefore, increasing the pressure on existing strategies and detection technologies. Detector dogs are fast, versatile and mobile detection technology that can screen across a range of environments.

Therefore, detector dogs are the way of the future and play an essential role in strengthening Australia’s screening systems in response to a growing threat.

The World has acknowledged the benefits in canine screening and is the most sought after screening mechanism available. The American Detector standards have been the universal choice around the World. There are no official standards regarding explosive detection dogs in Australia. Detector Dogs Australia, therefore, adopts USA standards as a minimum to maintain International competency.

Detector Dogs Australia exceeds the International requirements and has taken our roles in this industry very seriously. The only reliable component to quality results is a quality animal that has an equally viable support and training system.

Detector Dogs Australia also utilises odours from multiple global suppliers from USA, Russia and Europe to ensure excellent coverage of all odours available.

What You Should Expect From A Professional Provider

Technology solutions are unable to match the speed and efficiency of a well-trained detection team. The United States Defence Advanced Research Project proved this after spending USD 19 billion over six years in an attempt to create a technology that matches the efficiency of a dog. Well-trained dogs were more effective every time.

In cargo environments, the Maritime industry has observed that dogs screen at more than twenty times the speed of any technological solution because of their mobility. With X-ray, every single piece of cargo must go through a machine, and a screener must interpret each picture. Likewise, with trace detection, every single piece of cargo must be swabbed. Both of these processes are incredibly time-consuming and labour-intensive. They interfere with the sorting process, add time to delivery, and increase overhead costs.

Because a well-trained dog can detect odours down to parts-per-trillion, dog teams can effectively sort at the pallet or unit load device level. They can move around the cargo to search without interfering with the sorting process or freight environment. Where it might take hours to screen a cargo shipment by X-ray or trace detection, a detection dog can screen that same shipment in a matter of minutes.

As you begin your conversations with detection service providers, here are some considerations to keep in mind:

Single-purpose detection dogs are critical to success in searching for either explosives or narcotics. You want to confirm dogs are not cross-trained for another form of detection. This ensures they remain focused on the target odour and the environment, and that the handler can clearly identify any alert.

Dogs should be imprinted to detect all five families of commercial and military-grade explosive odours. They should also be imprinted to detect homemade explosive odours (HMEs) too. Patterns of terrorist activity over the past ten years indicate increasing use of HMEs as they can be easily acquired without attracting attention. They have the potential to cause mass causality events. The 2010 printer cartridge bomb was found to contain the commercial explosive PETN.

Select a detection dog provider that is appropriately licensed to procure and store live explosives for training and testing.

Your detection service provider should have procedures for daily sustainment training of all detection dogs. These procedures ensure the dogs maintain peak odour proficiency throughout its career.

Any detection provider should be independently tested and validated.

Your potential provider should have a robust technology solution in place to address record-keeping requirements, such as transfer certificates or video documentation.

Explosive detection dogs provide an excellent addition to your business model to facilitate full compliance with regulatory standards. Not only is a properly trained dog, the best detector, but the speed and efficiency a dog provides are also unmatched. NOTE: Detector Dogs Australia is not a Security Service Provider. 

What Odours Can A Proficiently Trained Dog Detect?

Pure Odour is what they can detect, Not Pseudo



How Sniffer Dogs Are Trained.

A detection dog is a dog that is trained to and works at using its senses, mainly their sense of smell, to detect a variety of substances. Their sense of smell is thousands of times much stronger, and fifty times more sensitive than that of a human’s, which is why a sniffer dog is used for several screening operations.

Sniffer dogs have no interest in the odour themselves. What they’re searching for is their reward. Their training program has led them to associate the reward with the odour. The sniffer dogs’ strong desire to search compels them to seek out what they’ve been trained to find, so the rarely falsely signal to get a reward, in their minds, finding traces of an odour is the reward.

So they do not make a fuss nor is there any malice. Drug detection dogs are taught two kinds of alerting responses; the passive and the active. Drug dogs generally use an active alert, where they dig and paw at the location where they smell the drugs without causing damage to personal or business property. When searching for explosives, they will use a passive approach, as scratching the location could be dangerous.

During the early stages of training, the sniffer dog will receive a reward when it displays any form of recognition of the target scent. As the dog’s skills progress, the reward will only be given when the dog responds with the correct reaction (e.g. sit, stand, stare, down, bark, etc…)

Canine Sniffer dogs and their handlers undergo extensive training for months to be certified and are successful because of their ability to work as a team. They will carry out testing and retraining throughout their entire careers to ensure their skills are reliable and up to standard. (Dogs typically stay assigned to the handler they were trained with, and the team is continuously re-tested together)

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