1. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Does anybody know how police dogs smell works in this case?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Ryan Elder, Feb 10, 2016.

    I tried asking some cops, but they are now allowed to divulge those kind of details on how their K-9s work.

    Basically when you read stories about how a bank was robbed for example, and the dog was able to pick out the robbers smell compared to everyone elses' smell. I was just wondering how to explain in my story how a dog is able to isolate a smell, when it's in a building full of several different people.

    Also if the villain has to worry about getting away with the crime, he would have to figure out how to throw the dog off his own sent.

    Does anyone know how these things work? I tried looking it up but could not find many details on it.

    Thanks for the input. I really appreciate it.
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Pretty sure the dog has to have a target smell. That could be from the location a bad guy was or an article of clothing. Maybe they put a smell in bank money bands or something.
     
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  3. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Yeah that's what I was thinking. As for how the villain gets rid of the smell, I just wrote it from the police's point of view, and one character said that the dog lost keeps losing scents, and that the culprit must know how to thrown them off.

    But I should probably right an explanation as to how though, right?
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    MythBusters has an episode on this, nothing worked.

    MythBusters Episode 148: Hair of the Dog lists all the things they tried that didn't work.

    This was also related: MythBusters Episode 74: Dog Myths

    They were able to distract guard dogs.

    And they had one success tricking a bloodhound.
    Urine from a female dog might get you somewhere.
     
  5. Samurai Jack
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    Samurai Jack Active Member

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    I've never read a story like that.
     
  6. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Well I only read one story like that so maybe it's not common :). But when the dogs are going to look for the crooks, is their any way I can write it so the crooks loose them?
     
  7. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    A getaway car? Maybe a removable zip line out of the building or going rooftop hopping where it'd be awkward for dogs and they have limited contact with the floor? I saw the Mytbusters episode mentioned above and it was concluded it's extremely difficult, nigh on impossible, to mask a scent or outfox hounds so to speak.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
  8. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've spoken to a police dog hander, and he said the dogs are generally tracking the skin cells everyone discards all the time. He said water can be an issue, because the water moves, dispersing the fallen skin cells and messing up the trail.

    He said the best way to understand a dog's sense of smell is to think about our sense of sight. If we're tracking someone within our sightlines, we can focus on that person by whatever features we're noticing, even though there are other people around. So a dog isn't too distracted by other smells because he can focus in on the smell he wants. And the advantage dogs have is that smells are more permanent than sights, so if he does get distracted, he can loop around and find the scent again, while a human can't really loop around and find a view again (without video tape).
     
  9. Samurai Jack
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    Samurai Jack Active Member

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    Write in at least one car, more likely two, and a population center at a time of day where no one will think twice about a car driving by AND a roadblock isn't feasible. The dogs will hit a dead end and the police will be stuck trying to pick up the trail.
     
  10. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. Well what about getting rid of the a scent in other circumstances. For example, there is one scene where a character stages a break in, in her house, cause she wants the police to believe that someone broke in, when it's just a set up. However, the only sent on her door from breaking in, will be her own. Is their a way to make police believe that someone else broke in, when the dogs would not be able to pick up another sent?
     
  11. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Unless her front door has been hermetically sealed from installation, there would surely be lots of other scents on it - wouldn't there?

    The dogs might be able to indicate that they couldn't find a specific scent (mostly by continuing to cast around, looking for the scent) but they wouldn't be able to indicate that there is no human scent whatsoever. And there likely would be lots of human scent, so... I don't think the dogs would be an issue.
     
  12. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Oh okay, I thought that the cops might find it suspicious that all of the scents that dogs picked up, none of them turned out to be the intruders, who supposedly broke in, and I do not want the police thinking it was a set up, if they cannot find any.

    How far can the dogs track the scent usually. Like how many miles can a suspect drive, before it's stretching it, that the dogs will be able to keep on it?
     

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