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can bomb sniffing dogs smell guns or ammo?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by andrewdl007, May 12, 2012.

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  1. andrewdl007

    andrewdl007 Member

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    I take the train a lot between Washington DC and New York. Sometimes but not always coming out of DC I notice there is a bomb sniffing dog that they bring through all the cars. It has led me to wonder what all can the dogs detect. I know there is a lot of info out there but I thought I would ask it here. Specifically, if a passenger has a gun in a bag or on themselves (both no-nos on Amtrak)would the dog detect it? What about amunition. If the dogs can smell it, why don't they react to the guns carried by their handlers and other policemen?
     
  2. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

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    Bomb and drug sniffing dogs are notoriously unreliable. It depends heavily on the trainers and the creatures aren't infallible to begin with. I've seen studies stating 25-50% false alerts.
     
  3. badger54

    badger54 Member

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    I was on a non Amtrak train with a police bomb dog on it. I had a j frame in an ankle holster and a Glock on my hip plus 62 rounds of ammo on my person. The dog sniffed me and did not alert.

    Sent from my ADR6400L using Tapatalk 2
     
  4. Kiln

    Kiln Member

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    So true. A drug dog tore up my cousin's car and after 45 minutes of finding nothing they determined that it was a false alarm. I'm sure that the same goes for bomb dogs.

    I've heard from an ex police officer that the dogs can also be coaxed to alarm in order to give reason for searches but whether or not it is actually true is speculation.
     
  5. Odd Job
    • Contributing Member

    Odd Job Can probably X-ray it

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    I've taken a range bag with obvious powder residues on it (I used it as a front rest one time on the bench) through airport security. It was sniffed, swabbed, inspected, nothing flagged up.
    Another time I used that same bag as carry-on luggage and told the dude right from the start it is a range bag with possible firing residues. They didn't care about it at all...
     
  6. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I could be wrong but I believe I heard somewhere that such dogs are trained to only sniff for one particular substance, (a specific drug or explosives), and therefore are not looking (or should I say sniffing), for a more wider range of objects like guns or ammunition.
     
  7. preachnhunt

    preachnhunt Member

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    If the terrorists ever start putting bombs in tennis balls I have a labrador who's going to make me rich.
     
  8. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    Drug and bomb dogs are not infallible, as one would expect.

    However, they are quite good at finding one's lunch.
     
  9. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    I had a short orientation with Army k-9's that were being cross trained as mine and booby trap dogs (this was with the 101Abn in Vietnam, 1971...). In brief they were scout dogs getting some extra training in a rear area at the company level. Dogs that completed the training were able to find trip wires, explosives, and ammunition in such small quantities - and do it time after time. It was explained to me that the dogs were able to actually hear the wind on a tripwire, and find ammo by the smell of the propellant. I watched as one dog found cartridges in an open field with mixed levels of vegetation - and we're only talking about five or six cartridges at a time...

    My best guess is that most dogs are only trained to the level needed to qualify for a given task. I was told years later that narcotics dogs were the easiest to train (and they usually chose animals that were very friendly, liked to play, and were unsuitable for more aggressive work)....

    I didn't find out until years later that all of the Vietnam era war dogs were killed without exception, instead of being returned home... It was done to prevent tropical diseases from being introduced into CONUS.
     
  10. k-frame

    k-frame Member

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    OTH, I took a bag through Denver Stapleton about 12 years ago...and the bells went off (metaphorically). I think the the swab tripped the sensor because the bag was stored against a paper sack that contained fireworks such as roman candles, firecrackers, etc. Jostling the bags over the course of a year or two may have transferred chemicals from one to the other.

    Needless to say I made the guard's day (this was pre-9/11). I think he was about 89 years old. :rolleyes: Bag thoroughly inspected and I was on my way.
     
  11. Jeff F

    Jeff F Member

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    I got racked up at Reno Tahoe International airport one afternoon when I went after work to pick up my wife from a flight. I had been loading out a bunch of material at a construction site that had been blasted the night before and had been off the loader on the ground a few times. It was a mini nightmare. Detained for 2 1/2 hours, boots taken away, searched and clothes swabbed. And the 1000 question game. All because this damn dog kept coming up and sniffing me and then sitting down wagging its tail.
     
  12. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    I'm sure any dog can smell guns & ammo, as well as the aftershave you used last week. The question becomes whether the dog is trained to alert its handler of it.
     
  13. Averageman

    Averageman Member

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    A lot of the same stuff that goes in to some explosives are in Fertilizers.
    Everytime I pass through Birmingham Ala. I see the same poor guy swabbing Golf clubs, Bags and Shoes.
    I think they do it that way because any dog would go off on every bag.
    To be honest there has to be a better way.
    I came up to the barracks one time and interrupted a drug dog search. The search was going on and the dog was laying in my bed.
    I have kinda lost faith in Drug/bomb dog searches, however my own dog still finds my bunk more comfortable than his.....go figure?
     
  14. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Same reason Bird Dogs don't point the birds in your gamebag.......:rolleyes:
     
  15. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    I can recall when Orwin Talbott was Commanding General at Fort Benning, the Infantry Center. He used to have town-hall meetings to discuss matters of interest to the Infantry. At one of them, a colonel was pitching his great idea -- a mine-sniffing dog.

    General Talbott asked if anyone in the meeting had ever seen a dog find a mine or booby trap in combat. A captain held up his hand.

    "Tell us about it, Captain."

    "Sir, it was spectacular! There was a flash and a bang, the dog went straight up about 30 feet, the handler was killed and I was wounded."

    So much for mine or explosive-sniffing dogs.
     
  16. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    This. A bomb-sniffing dog shouldn't alert on guns or ammunition.

    There are "gun-sniffing" dogs. Weyerhaeuser used them in Oklahoma to sweep their employee parking lot and fired 12 employees who had firearms in their cars.
     
  17. PaulKersey3

    PaulKersey3 Member

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    Just like a human narcotics officer, a "good" drug dog LOVES drugs. That said, the most talented of drug dogs are in other countries and are addicted themselves. China and Pakistan employ drug addicted (Meth, Heroin and cocaine) K9s who's brain receptors are hooked on a specific substance. This causes very successful, yet unpredictable dogs. K9s trained on non addictive substances like explosives or Marijuana are also good at their jobs but are more apt to have false hits as stated above.

    Note: We've worked with the bomb dogs at red carpet events with the tightest security in the world. I was told by one of the handlers that things like live ammo in loaded guns are not on the pallet for bomb K9s hit list because handlers are most always carrying firearms themselves. He said they will hit on high quantities of cordite and powder common to some conventional IEDs
     
  18. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Where would anyone get cordite these days?
     
  19. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    A man I know had a bomb sniffing dog hit on him because he wore a jacket that he had worn a few day before while shooting a muzzle loader.
     
  20. Gtimothy

    Gtimothy Member

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    That's just wrong!!!:D:D:D
     
  21. jbauch357

    jbauch357 Member

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    I don't know what specifically it was trained for... But while waiting in a ferry line a police dog sniffed under and around my Bronco that had a half-dozen guns, plus ammo, plus deer blood inside it - he didn't even think twice and just kept on moving.
     
  22. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Gun dogs and bomb dogs are trained to alert to different compounds.
     
  23. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Right. So they can smell guns or ammo, but are not usually crosstrained to alert on them.
     
  24. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    A few decades ago, my baggage was detected by a dog (I assume it was a drug-sniffing dog) who went crazy over the aftershave.

    Slobber and tiny punctures all over my vinyl toiletries bag/kit and then, when the spread the contents of THAT out, the wooden top of my bottle of English Leather.

    Yesterday a co-worker told me about his trip through TSA. His wife "detected" by a machine. She was grilled for a LONG time before anyone thought to ask if she had been gardening lately and been in contact with nitrate fertilizer.

    Are dogs smarter than the machines we build? I don't know if this is on-thread, but I thought I would share anyway.

    Lost Sheep
     
  25. mr.trooper

    mr.trooper Member

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    Most bombs include petroleum based products or by-products. Since there are hundreds of other such products around in any given place, it is difficult for a dog to tell which petrol products are 'bad' and which are 'good'.

    The dogs do what they are trained to do... the machines? Not only are many of them TOO sensitive for practical applications (they can hit off of trace residue transferred from a chair or car), but they are also very fragile. They break down A LOT.
     
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