Attributes of Specialist Search Dogs—A Questionnaire Survey of UK Dog Handlers and Trainers

    Volume 49, Issue 2 (March 2004)

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    CODEN: JFSOAD

    Published Online: 4 February 2004

    Page Count: 7


    Almey, H
    Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Fort Halstead, Sevenoaks, Kent,

    Bradshaw, JWS
    Anthrozoology Institute, Langford, Bristol,

    Rooney, NJ
    Anthrozoology Institute, Langford, Bristol,

    (Received 15 February 2003; accepted 1 November 2003)

    Abstract

    The ideal and actual characteristics of specialist search dogs have been examined in questionnaire surveys of 244 dog handlers and trainers from the six main UK dog-using Government agencies. The ten most important characteristics were (ideal level in brackets): acuity of sense of smell (very high), incentive to find an object which is out of sight (very high), health (very high), tendency to hunt by smell alone (very high), stamina (very high), ability to learn from being rewarded (very high), tendency to be distracted when searching (very low); agility (high), consistency of behaviour from day to day (high), motivation to chase an object (high). Significant differences between actual and ideal levels were found for 22 of the 30 characteristics, predominantly in undesirable attributes, suggesting that there is scope for significant improvement in operational effectiveness.


    Paper ID: JFS2003048

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS2003048

    ASTM International
    is a member of CrossRef.

    Author
    Title Attributes of Specialist Search Dogs—A Questionnaire Survey of UK Dog Handlers and Trainers
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30