Dr. Lauryn DeGreeff - Odor Chemistry Basics for K9 Handlers - recording of the webinar

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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, non-contact vapor detectors that can easily be trained to locate novel materials; however, unlike other vapor detection instrumentation or sensors, canines do not give a readable output, thus leaving the handler to interpret canine behavior. One way to better understand canine response to odor and ultimately better the detector is to improve the understanding of factors that affect or change odor.
A compilation of research will be discussed that describes odor on a molecular level as it relates to detection of a target. This will include the basics of odor development from an odor source into an odor plume that is detectable by the dog. We will describe how odor emanates from a target object and how the dog might perceive this odor. We will then discuss the variety of factors that affect how the dog experiences the target odor, such as target mass versus odor quantity, differences between manufacturers, changes with time and environmental conditions, challenges related to wrapping and burial. Factors affecting odor availability and methods to prevent contamination of training materials will also be covered.