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How to be a Not-so-Worthless Handler

Olfactory Science in Everyday Life

EDUCATION - GET SOME! Allergic to cats? Curious about mutant mice? And what does this all have to do with K9? Follow along as we give you insight into the invisible and incredible world of olfaction.

Olfaction plays a major role in everyday life, but since human perception is primarily visual, we miss a large portion of the signals around us. Our animals are sensing so much more than we can even imagine. Check out the graphic below for an example of our olfactory world.

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Lingering & Residual Odor

EDUCATION - GET SOME! We are talking lingering and residual odor. This can cause handlers endless frustration and it's important to understand what it is so you can start to see the world through your dog's nose. 

Lingering & Residual Odor:

  • What's the difference (p1)? 

  • How do they affect my canine training (p2)? 

  • And what is the science behind it all (p3)?

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Determinants of Odor Availability

EDUCATION - GET SOME! What levers are available to you as a canine handler/trainer as you navigate the amount of odor you want to present to your dog. 

Determinants of Odor Availability.png

Variation in Odor Concentration Can Significantly Affect Odor Perception

EDUCATION - Get Some! Fact: Odor perception is affected by concentration. For example, the odorant indole is one of the most common ingredients in the fragrance industry for its pleasant smell because at low concentrations it smells like flowers. At high concentrations? It smells like 💩 (feces).
What does this mean for your detection dog? You may be required to re-imprint your dog on the same odor as you scale the ladder between "bulk" and "trace" amounts of odor. You will need to teach your dog that both the flower and the feces represent the same odor, paired with the reward.

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