Why are Canines so good at detection?

In Training, Science & Technology By Chris Daniels / April 20, 2017

Advances in sensor technology have been fueled by the abundance of high-speed low-cost circuits. Despite the millions of dollars devoted to replicating odor detection capabilities of canines; no device has been able to match the sensitivity or reliability of man’s best friend. So, why are canines so good at detection?

Air is drawn into the canine’s nose which contains an estimated 300 million sensory receptors. The air stimulates these receptors that connect to the large olfactory bulb in the dog’s brain. The olfactory is a part of the sensory system that processes smell. Sensitive down to parts per trillion (ppt); the canine’s nose is equipped with sensors that allows the dog to recognize/detect the target odor’s direction.


Photo credit to CompanionTraining.com

Not only do canines have a remarkable sensitivity to smell they are an intelligent instrument in detection. With each encounter the canine becomes smarter as it builds a target database from past exposures. This database has been developed over the course of thousands of years as humans have leveraged the outstanding odor detection capabilities of canines.

In today’s volatile security environment we must once again rely on man’s best friend to use its nose to detect harmful and hazardous material. These four legged heroes are the only mobile real-time detection capability we have that can rapidly screen large volumes of vehicles, cargo, and people.

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