Dogs are an incredible species of animal and apart from making fantastically loyal pets, the fact that they can be trained to our needs for security and protection makes them all the more unique. In training security dogs it is important that we understand exactly what makes them suitable for this, and how some breeds are more appropriate for security work than others. It is also important that a commercial business owner understands their security needs, so that the right K9 security can be selected to serve them.
So with all this in mind, we have put together some important facts about K9 security dogs so that we understand them a little better.
- A dog’s sense of smell is unrivalled
Dogs have a sense of smell that is said to be 10,000 times more acute than a human’s. This is why dogs are so much more effective in certain security situations where material or substance detection is required, and why no other system can replicate the sensitivity and accuracy of a security dog.
- More efficient security
As well as having a more sensitive sense of smell, a dog can also utilise this far more efficiently. So a dog can search an area four times faster than a human. This is because as well as being fast on their feet, and smaller so that they can manoeuver between people and objects, the dog can do this while still using their amazing sense of smell. So in a crowded airport terminal, for example, or in a long queue of people waiting to enter an event, dogs can search that area so much quicker than any other system, and much more accurately also.
- A dog can be trained to smell certain things
It is one thing having a strong sense of smell, it is quite another to be trained to detect one smell in particular. This is what makes security dogs so effective and so reliable. They can be trained from a very early age to be able to detect certain smells and to then alert their handler to this smell. This is a combination of detection and behaviour which is far more reliable than using human intervention. The main items that security dogs are trained to detect include drugs, explosives, firearms, evidence, contraband and cash.
- A dog can detect one smell over and above another
Not only does a dog have an incredible sense of smell, it is also unique in being able to smell in layers. In other words, it can differentiate multiple smells and therefore can detect a certain substance that it is trained to identify, even if it is being masked by another odour. This is a technique many criminals may apply when attempting to smuggle something illegal, but a dog will be able to separate the smells and still identify the right substance. This makes them incredibly thorough and systematic when trained to detect one specific material.
- Some dog breeds are more suitable than others
While all dogs have a great sense of smell and can be trained to some extent, some are more capable of learning than others, and some are more obedient than others. Spaniels and Labradors are very effective at detecting smells, for example, but are not necessarily the most intimidating. So they would be good for drug detection at a festival, but not for a site eviction. German Shepherds are classed as the best all-round security dogs, and have been used as such for many years. German Shepherds have the best ability to learn and to obey instructions, and also have a great work ethic, which is important when you are needing a high and consistent standard of security. However, they can also be an intimidating presence when dealing with trespass or site encampment, even if they remain passive and don’t use their aggression.
- Security dogs don’t have to use all their abilities
It’s great that dogs have a strong sense of smell, can be obedient and can be aggressive, but most of the time they are effective simply because of their presence. A person or a criminal will think twice about acting aggressively or attempting to smuggle something into an event, if they see a security dog, because they know what it is capable of. Therefore, perhaps the best quality of a security dog is as a deterrent, and when it isn’t using its senses, loyalty and dedication, but when it is doing nothing.
If you need K9 dog security for an event, a business or for a site eviction, contact React K9 and we can discuss your needs and provide the best and most suitable dog security for you.