How to Make a TADD® Odor Chamber Using the TADD® Jar Connector
The TADD® jar connector simply assists in creating an odor chamber whereby your training aid in the TADD® can off-gas onto the odor soak substrate materials in the top jar. To create a good seal, we recommend using the provided Parafilm strips around the junctions of the chamber.
What makes a good odor “soak”? Ideally, the substrate (soak) would have the following characteristics:
• Negligible inherent odor
• Adsorb a significant portion of the headspace (odor)
• Adsorb a representative sample of the headspace
• Release the headspace compounds (odor molecules) over the time required
From what we know about adsorption coefficients, is that every odor molecule has a different affinity for “sticking” to a surface (substrate, soak) and every substrate will adsorb different amounts and types of odor molecules. So how do we handle this complex relationship between unknowns, as we do not know which substrates are adsorbing/releasing which odor molecules at any given time?
Just like we say about target odor…it’s a MOVING target. The target odor that your dog is searching for varies A LOT. Drugs, explosives, and many other threats/targets have different odor profiles depending on their age, method of synthesis, sophistication of the manufacturer, presence of contaminants/stabilizers/degradation products, and mixtures. We need to encourage our dogs to generalize to the variety of targets so that they are mission ready. Obviously, this goes far beyond odor, we also need to vary many other aspects of our training to ensure success in a host of challenging real-world environments.
Back to soaks…Here’s what we do. We use them as part of our maintenance training and we use various substrates so that the dog understands that what’s in common to all of them is the target odor. And we use various substrates because we know the odor profile that they adsorbed (captured) and that they release will be different for each material.
We create our soaks using the TADD® for the training aid, another glass jar for the substrate, and the TADD® Jar Connector to join the two vessels together. In this closed system, we can co-incubate the substrate with target odor for the desired amount of time and ensure that the substrate is only adsorbing the odor of the training aid and not other environmental odors.