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Police turn to "explosive odor-pursuit dogs” to stop suicide bomber

A police dog.
A police dog in training. Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP via Getty Images

A new type of police dog — "explosive odor-pursuit dogs” — are trained to pick up the scent of a bomb hundreds of feet away and then lead their handlers to the source, the N.Y. Times' Ashley Southall reports:

How it works: The dogs "are asked to intercept suicide bombers and other terrorists before they reach targets like concerts, parades and sporting events."

The odor-pursuit dogs, which cost about $50,000 each, "are drawn from pointy-eared breeds like German shepherds and Belgian Malinois, whose traits dovetail with the job. They can pick up scents at longer ranges than other police dogs, and will start a search without waiting for their handlers’ directions."

  • "The handlers give them commands in Dutch, Czech and Slovak, in a nod to their origins: The dogs are bred in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Slovakia."
  • "The new dogs have a longer range of smell than ... Vapor Wake dogs, which detect the smell of explosives on people near them. Those dogs are primarily Labradors, whose friendly nature allows them to work in crowds."
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