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   Man’s Best Friend The Drug Dog?

                    by FNm


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 Concealment Tips Written By A Government 
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 Guide To Concealing Medicine To Send Back When In Amsterdam or Elsewhere

Court Rulings Concerning Drug Courier Profiling on Greyhound Bus’s, Florida v. Bostick   
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          How to avoid Pot Busts At, On (or Near) the Border

          The cops & The Marijuana smell!!

          Possible drug courier profiles!   Knowledge is Power!




Things The Cops Look For During Traffic Duty’s & Road Side Stops,  

Canine familiaris, or the average dog. Loyal, protective, and somewhat smelly. By virtue of their familiarity, people seem to have overlooked the very reason they are so familiar. They are extremely efficient hunters, and quite formidable foes.

A dog’s loyalty and hunting instincts have been used throughout human history. Chows were bodyguards to Chinese royalty. Akitas served the same purpose for the Japanese nobility. Shepherd breeds were, well, shepherds.

Today, the tradition of the working dog we’re most concerned with is the ‘drug dog’. These dogs are trained to seek out narcotics, and reveal their location to their handler. In this article, I’m going to relate my experience in the training of these dogs, and some of their seriously underestimated abilities.

First of all, let’s look at why dogs are utilized. Start by just looking at the dog. The nose is their face. Saying a dog’s nose dominates its face is an understatement.

Probably the best way I’ve ever heard of to summarize the olfactory abilities of dogs is this anecdote: If you were to cover the entire state of Washington in two feet of water and add a gallon of scent, the dog could detect the scent. That’s pretty incredible.

Obviously, no one has undertaken the flooding of Washington state to test this theory. However, extensive testing of dogs olfactory mechanisms certainly seem to validate this as possible. But it’s not just the ability to detect odors that makes a dog valuable to law enforcement, but it’s ability to classify those scents.

To clarify, when humans smell beef stew, we smell, well, beef stew. This is because not only is our nose not designed to capture odor molecules as effectively as a dog’s, but the portion of our brain dedicated to processing those odors is about the size of a postage stamp. Compare this to a dog’s brain, where the area dedicated to processing smell is, in some breeds, the size of a handkerchief. The result is that a dog smells beef stew, and he smells beef, onions, carrots and potatoes. He smells each ingredient, not just the whole.

That’s all well and good for winning a useless trivia competition with your friends, but how does it apply to those wishing to defeat this awesome sense of smell?

Well, those of you that are quick on the uptake have already followed that trail to a nice bit of information – You can’t cover smells from a dog. Period. This has been proven time and time again. Weed wrapped with enough pepper to kill a mule equals weed and pepper to a dog. The dog will detect the weed, and even if it sneezes for 8 months afterward, you’re still busted.

So, since we can’t hide the odor, we’ll destroy the dog’s sense of smell, some argue. The problem is, once again, we can’t relate to a dog’s superior olfactory system. Wiping down a weed brick with bleach may overwhelm our noses, but dog’s have more nose to overwhelm than we can imagine. The amount of bleach to pull this off would probably at least render the dog unconscious, and wouldn’t be too terribly good for you inside the car either. Besides, the officer would be able to smell that amount of bleach, and you still end up in jail.

All hope is not lost to us though. We’ve still got a few avenues to explore. First though, we’ll take a brief look into the training of the dog. How do you make a dog seek a particular scent?

Ever notice how very few police dogs are of one of the so-called ‘lazy’ breeds? It’s usually a shepherd or a retriever or some other ‘high-energy’ breed? That’s because it is the play drive that makes the drug dog.

The play drive is the very core of training a working dog. The desire to play and please its handler is crucial to the training. Doing the search or retrieval is play to a dog. It’s a game. You just didn’t volunteer to play

The training of the dog usually starts as a puppy. The dog is constantly played with/ handled with a scent soaked towel or some other toy (I preferred the towel method. Easier and cheaper). As the dog grows, you begin to play retrieving games with the dog, working into taller grass. What you are doing is gradually teaching the dog to find his toy without using sight, and relying on scent. Eventually, the dog doesn’t even have to see the throw to locate his toy in a field of tall grass. He’s used to locating the toy strictly by its odor.

Now the fun begins. You begin to play hiding games with the toy. Put it under a milk crate, where he can see it and smell it, and encourage him to ‘get’ the toy. By rewarding him often by playing a game with him when he does this, now the dog begins the fatal association, from our point. Smell = play, and doing a specific action (scratching at, barking, sitting) when the smell is located = play.

So now we’ve got the dog associating his favorite thing to do with a certain smell. Now we just have to encourage that behavior more specifically. One day the dog comes in, and finds a box, no milk crate. But that’s no problem for our dog, he can find it by smell. Then it’s three boxes (or suitcases, whatever), and the dog uses it’s awesome sniffer unit to figure out which box his toy is under. The progression to a car should be fairly obvious at this point

What may not be as apparent is that obviously, there has to be some smells the dog is taught to ignore. For instance, a good trainer will put ‘dummy’ toys (toys that have not been scent soaked) under the box, to insure the dog is training onto the drug scent, and not the scent of the toy. It’s also done with different handlers, to train out false responses cued by the handler.

If you’ve got a good trainer, then at this point you have a drug-sniffing machine. Obviously, there are some training steps left out, as they are more generalized dog training than is necessarily relevant here.

Always assume the dog sniffing your car is going to be well-trained. I guess you could explore avenues for distracting a poorly trained dog, but underestimating your foe has brought down many an empire, not to mention lowly dope-smokers

Of course, it is obvious to everyone here that the best method is to never come into contact with a drug dog, but that’s not necessarily under our control. It is, however, under the Supreme Court’s control. That doesn’t help us any, though.

The Supreme Court has said repeatedly that a K9 sniff is not a search, and therefore doesn’t fall under the same constitutional protections as a search. A K9 can sniff anywhere his handler has a legal right to be. Walking past your car in a parking lot is legal, and sniffing your car during a traffic stop is A-okay. The reasoning behind this is very valid, in my opinion, so not too likely to change.

The reasoning is that the dog’s sense of smell is reacting to the air, and you’ve got no right to privacy over the air. The air around your vehicle is public domain. The dog merely points the officer to an odor he can detect that the officer can’t. This gives the handler probable cause to search your vehicle, person, and baggage, what have you, for the source of the odor.

So, the answer to avoiding drug interdiction sniffs? Make sure that the air around your drugs, and by extension your vehicle, is free of scent of drugs. The key link in the chain is a sterile packaging environment. It’s also the easiest to break.

A vacuum packager is sufficient to seal the drugs, and eliminate odor leakage. A vacuum by definition prevents airflow. But you have to go a few steps further. Cleanse the residue from the outside of the packaging as well using household bleach. Ensure that the packaging does not then come into contact with anything else containing the residue. Obviously, smoking in the sealing room or transport vehicle is a no-no. Besides, if you’re smoking and driving, it’s not a question of ‘if, but ‘when’

Now, I can’t personally attest to this method, because obviously, if it works, I never saw it first hand. Certainly, it does work, because drugs are constantly available.

The key to beating a K9 sniff? Make sure there’s nothing for him to smell. It’s that simple.

Of course, there are some who argue that the alternative of damaging the dog is easier to achieve and just as effective. Easier to achieve, maybe. As effective? No. Just think about it. If some officer’s K9 keels over after getting a good whiff of your car, you don’t suppose that would raise a red flag or two? I imagine it wouldn’t be real fun being the guys in the car either