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Traits of drug and explosives detection in dogs of two breeds as evaluated by their handlers and trainers

By E. Adamkiewicz, T. Jezierski, M. Walczak, A. Gorecka-Bruzda, M. Sobczynska, M. Prokopczyk, J. Ensminger

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Police dogs handlers' and trainers' opinions on Labrador retrievers (n=87) and German shepherds (n=96) trained for drugs vs. explosives detection have been compared. As most important traits in both specialties the responders indicated: (1) willingness to sniff objects, (2) concentration (focusing) ability, (3) acuity of smell and (4) willingness to bring an object back to a person. Only trainers but not handlers rated boldness in novel surroundings, and fear of specific things and of sudden loud noises, high in importance. Taking all traits together 43.7% and 44.4% of dogs showed an "ideal" level of the traits according to handlers' and trainers' opinion, respectively. Correlations coefficients between handlers' and trainers' ratings for the traits of real dogs did not exceed r=0.33. Significant breed and specialty differences were found for the percentage of dogs that demonstrated too low, too high and "ideal" levels of the trait. Both handlers and trainers were consistent in their opinion that Labrador retrievers as service dogs of both specialties are too highly motivated to obtain food (P

Publication Title Animal Science Papers and Reports
Volume 31
Issue 3
Pages 205-217
ISBN/ISSN 0860-4037
Language English
Author Address Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding, Department of Animal Behaviour, Jastrzebiec, 05-552 Magdalenka,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animals
  3. Breed differences
  4. Breeds
  5. Canidae
  6. Canine
  7. Carnivores
  8. Detection
  9. Dogs
  10. Drugs
  11. Evaluation
  12. Explosives
  13. Fear
  14. Guide dogs
  15. Hunting dogs
  16. Mammals
  17. motivation
  18. Noise
  19. odors
  20. peer-reviewed
  21. training of animals
  22. vertebrates
  23. Working animals
  1. peer-reviewed