Dr. L. DeGreeff and P. Bunker - Training aid handling and storage considerations [webinar recording]

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Mrs Jessy Lang

Jessy Lang: "I am a psychologist and animal trainer from Germany. My dogs and also my guinea pigs are trained in detection. With getting a third dog, I wanted to train a different indication than the girls were taught before (freeze plus nose touch). He was supposed to learn a sit and stare. But as he is a minpin sitting in the cold, wet, itchy or whatever floor isn't his fave... therefore we wanted to start with training a second indication. But as a didn't want all the sit-training to be done for nothing, I connected it to a second scent. The people around me told me that its not possible. And of course my challenge mode turned on and we mastered it. No matter in which surroundings we are, we can now train detection plus do some damn awesome differentiation training as well. "


Canines are sensitive and selective, vapor detectors that can easily be trained to locate novel materials; however, they can just as easily be unknowingly trained to the wrong odor. Contamination or degradation of training aids due to faulty storage can cause changes in the odor signatures of the training aids. Changes in the odor signature due to contamination or degradation often cannot be seen by the naked eye, and are even imperceptible to human olfaction. However changes in the odor signatures of your training aid could be detrimental to your dog’s detection proficiency. This seminar will cover the importance of proper training aid handling and storage, and will give examples of how faulty protocols can quickly change the odor perceived by your dog. We will explain the three sources of contamination, including non-target odor, human scent, and cross-contamination and discuss recommendations for preventing contamination in your training aids and training area.
Dr. Lauryn E. DeGreeff has worked in the field of analytical chemistry in support of canine detection for more than 13 years. She is currently employed as a research chemist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and will be joining Florida International University, Chemistry Department as an Associate Professor in Fall 2021. Dr. DeGreeff received her Ph.D. in Chemistry with an emphasis in Forensic Science from Florida International University in 2010. Her research focused on the sampling, characterization, and delivery of human odor, living and deceased, for the purpose of canine detection. Following the completion of her doctorate, she worked as a research fellow at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research Unit. Her research focus was detection and determination of human scent and odor and human blood for the development / improvement of canine training aids and training methods. Dr. DeGreeff began her research at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in 2012 with focus on the characterization of explosives for instrumental and canine detection. She has since developed and patented a canine training tool for training on mixed odors, which was brought to commercial market. Additional research has included a chemistry-based approach to studying canine olfaction for the purpose of improving canine training and informing field vapor sampling practices. Dr. DeGreeff has published numerous journal articles, holds three patents, has presented her research at numerous national and international conferences, and frequently gives educational seminars law enforcement officers and military personnel on the topic of odor chemistry.
Paul Bunker served in the British Army as a Canine Trainer/Instructor/Assessor for over 22 years. During this time, he was the Senior Instructor/Trainer of Mine Detection Dog/Handler Training for the UK and US Military. He established and was the Senior Technical Advisor for the Dept. of Defense’s Specialized Search Dog program and program manager on advanced canine detection research for the Navy/United States Marine Corp. He is the founder and Principal of Chiron K9, a consulting and training company focused on canine detection. He is a co-author of canine detection research papers and the workbook “Imprint Your Detection Dog in 15 Days”.