ATF Trains Dogs to Detect Explosives
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A training session was held on Wednesday where the students were tested on stopping the threat of explosives before anyone is hurt. The students weren’t people, they were dogs.
More than 20 dogs from across the Midwest are taking part in training put on by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosive. The dogs learned ten different explosive scents. During the test, the dogs are led around canisters. Some have an explosive scent inside and others do not. Usually, when the dog detects an explosive it sits down to let the handler know. Then, the dog is rewarded with a toy and playtime. If done correctly, the ATF says the whole training session will be fun for the canines.
“They have to obtain 100 percent to pass this test,” said Cody Monday, ATF lead instructor.
Not any dog can be trained to sniff out explosives.
“We put them through a series of tests to see if they’re confident, if they have the sniffing capability that we’re looking for, they’re hearty, if they’re interested in that reward,” he said . “If any of those things don’t jive then usually it’s not going to be a good dog.”
The focus at the training session is home-made explosives.
“Peroxide based explosives have become one of the things off the internet anybody can make,” said Monday.
While extremely dangerous, the ATF says it’s imperative these canines know their stuff.
“One of the main reasons that we’re here this week is in preparation of the All-Star game,” he said. “We want to ensure the ATF wants to ensure that this area has all the best trained assets that it can have.”
By the end of the three-day session, the hope is that all of the dogs will be certified to detect all 10 explosive scents.