Police dog scent training is an intricate process that requires dedication on both the dog and the handler’s part. With having such an important job, the training for these positions has to reflect that importance. Because of this, police dog scent training has multiple levels.
First, it’s important for a dog to undergo proper obedience training. Though many of the dogs chosen for scent training have already undergone a separate obedience training program, it’s not always the case. Each police force may have their own set of obedient training programs as well, meaning most dogs will need to be trained again anyways.
Once a dog has completed their initial obedience training, it’s time to move on to specific scent training. These steps include:
- Teaching the dog to recognize a certain smell. This includes introducing them to many forms of the smell, teaching them how to differentiate this smell between another and more.
- Teaching the dog how to pick out the specific scent in the midst of other scents. This helps them in the future when it comes to blocking out other scents during their search.
- Teaching the dog how to not only recognize the scent but to track the scent when it has moved to different locations. This will often start with small distances, and then progress to more complicated searches.
- Teaching the dog to track the scent with multiple distractions. This teaches the dog how to tune out the world around them and accurately do their job.
- Finally training them in real-life situations. This can mean working in airports, schools, around vehicles, and more.
- Once a scent tracking dog has finished their training, they will continue to train as the years go on to ensure that they never lose their craft.
Police dog scent training is an intricate process that results in hard-working and impressive police canines. Be sure to review the information we listed above, and you will understand the steps of creating a scent tracking police dog!