Volume 49, Issue 2 (March 2004)

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

    (Received 15 February 2003; accepted 1 November 2003)

    Published Online: February

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    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.


    Author Information:

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

    Bradshaw, JWS
    Anthrozoology Institute, Langford, Bristol,

    Rooney, NJ
    Anthrozoology Institute, Langford, Bristol,


    Stock #: JFS2003048

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS2003048

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