Every day people die from bombs. Bombs are dangerous and take innocent lives all of the time. Someday, a dog might protect you from a bomb threat. Dogs play a big role in the bark against bombs, all with the amazing power of their nose. With far more receptors than the human nose, dog noses can smell out the details of just about anything, even something that seems odorless can be packed with distinct smells to your dog.
Brandy was a famous bomb smelling dog that worked for the New York police department back in the seventies. In 1972, a bomb threat was made citing a bomb on one of the planes about to leave from New York to Los Angeles. Authorities remained unsure which plane contained the possible bomb, that’s when four-legged Brandy was called in to help. Using all of the receptors on Brandy’s moist dog nose, she found the bomb and sat down to signal the familiar scent to her partner. Instantly authorities whisked the bomb away, disabling it only 5 minutes before it was set to explode.
Brandy saved a plane from blowing up using the receptors lining the outsides of her nose, which on a dog extends all the way to the back of their throat. Your dog’s sense of smell is further heightened by the moisture on their nose, which attracts particles in the air. This brings scents even closer, allowing dogs to smell every last detail near and far.
While Brandy made headlines back in 1972, bomb sniffing dogs have come a long way since then. Back in her day, Brandy was a rarity; today there are thousands of bomb detection dogs used to fight crime and terrorism regularly. In fact, according to Homeland Security, explosive detector dogs (EDD) make up the most valuable deterrent for criminal threats against bombs. In 1998, the first sets of bomb-sniffing dogs were brought in by the Federal protective services. Since then the true skill of the dog nose has proved itself necessary, now there are over 70 teams of bomb sniffing dogs working closely with law enforcement.
How Does A Dog Become Certified To Detect Bombs?
This is a prestigious canine job that requires attention to detail and a great attitude. In order to be considered for the job, dogs must complete a 10-week course located at the Basic FPS Canine Academy. This is a two-person job and requires a human officer; officers are paired with dogs early on in the process before the training really gets going. Once human and dog make a great partnership and get through the training program successfully, they are sent out across the nation wherever they are needed most. Every year explosive detector dog teams undergo maintenance training and are retested to ensure everyone’s safety. If all goes well, the same dog and handler may work together for 8-10 years.
Dogs know how to smell well, but they need to be taught how to identify certain smells, and where to look for smells—such as on the seams of zippers. During training, dogs are continually exposed to the chemicals in bombs, when they are able to identify these smells they are rewarded. Dogs are natural pleasers, and so this positive reward creates a memory in dogs’ minds. In the future, they want to find the smell of a bomb so that they can receive a reward.
The most important component for a good bomb-smelling dog is their attitude. German Shepherds are commonly used as bomb smelling dogs. Golden Retrievers smell great and are super smart, but their intelligence can get in the way, causing them to do what they want, when they want. And while Labs want to be rewarded with food, German Shepherds are excited to work all day just to play with a ball. This sort of attitude makes them ideal for the bomb-sniffing job. Dogs that are not smart enough are a hazard instead of help; this is why the job of being a bomb-smelling dog is so specific.
Wounded Dogs & Heroes
When out on the line of duty, dogs can get hurt and they can also become traumatized. PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) impacts the lives of many heroic men and women who have served their country. Dogs are not exempt for PTSD, it’s estimated that about 50 dogs developed PTSD last year. Often these dogs can be healed and trained to continue doing their job; others are better suited to do something different to keep them busy throughout the rest of their lives. Anyone who works to protect their country puts their life on the line, be they canine or human, each and every one is a hero.
At Natural Dog, we love dogs more than anything. Think of everything dogs do for families, children, the lonely, and the sick. Then there are all of the dogs out there fighting crime and smelling-bombs. Dogs deserve a lot of credit for all of the good deeds they do around the planet. Your dog might not sniff out bombs or save the world on a regular basis, but they use their nose to protect you and your family every moment they are awake. If your dog has a dry, chapped, or rough dog nose they won’t be able to smell properly. Thus, taking away their natural ability to stay on guard using their powerful nose. If your dog’s nose becomes rough and dry they will notice they can’t smell as good, this can make your dog’s safety feel threatened. Many dogs with a dry nose become grumpy, or change in temperament simply because they don’t feel right. We created all natural Snout Soother to soothe and heal chapped dog noses, granting dogs everywhere the chance to smell to the best of their ability. By applying a layer of our soothing dog balm to your dog’s crusty nose, the results will be nearly instantaneous. Within only a few applications your dog’s nose will look, feel, and smell better. No bombs about it! Snout Soother is proven to work, and your dog is guaranteed to love it. Our mission is simple, soothe, heal, wag!