A defender and a best friend, dogs make perfect companions. If you care for your dog, he will be forever loyal and stay by your side. The same is true for the Vapor Detection Dog.  Auburn University’s Canine Performance Science Program started research sixteen years ago that led to our patented technology—the Vapor Detection Dog.

So, what is the Vapor Detection Dog? It is the world’s most sophisticated and superior mobile detection system that can secure an area from impending attack. Bomb-sniffing canines are a common sight patrolling alongside police partners, sports arenas, airports, and even city streets. Is there a difference? Yes. Vapor Detection Dogs are trained using a scientifically proven process, patented in 2015.

What Sets these Auburn Dogs Apart

What is the science behind the Vapor Detection Dog and their patented training? Simply put, when people are in motion, they leave a thermal plume of particles and odor from their body. Schlieren photography can detect this thermal plume but is invisible to the naked eye. As a bomb degrades, it releases particles denser than air. Those particles get caught in the aerodynamic plume trail of the individual carrying explosive articles. This odor trail is what the Vapor Detection Dog has the ability to detect, and then follow the scent to the source.

Dogs have olfactory receptors equal to 300 million in contrast to a human’s six million receptors, and a canine’s brain is 40x more dedicated to their sense of smell.

Not only does a canine have these additional receptors, but the dog’s nostrils operate independently. This evolutionary ability enables them to determine an odor’s direction through its intricate nasal structure. Dogs can sense odors in parts per trillion. Imagine adding a drop of Kool-Aid to an Olympic-size swimming pool. Now imagine a pool ten times that size. A dog will still be able to differentiate the drop of water from the drop of Kool-Aid.

A Brief History of Vapor Detection Dogs

The first Vapor Detection Dog completed its training in 2004. The U.S. Capitol Police and Amtrak were the first to use them in 2010. Simultaneously, the Pentagon released a report showing that the military’s capability to locate explosives and improvised devices had an 80% success rate with the use of trained canines.

For decades, detector dogs have been a common sight in police squads and throughout our various transit systems. People generally feel more secure when the K9s are present especially during popular events where large crowds gather, like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Training Vapor Detection Dogs

VWK9 is Auburn’s exclusive commercial partner in training and producing Vapor Detection dogs. Though the college’s Canine Performance Sciences handle the early training, breeding, and research, their specialized training is continued by VWK9 in Anniston, Alabama. Only then are they officially given the coveted title of Vapor Detection.

Inspired by www.vetmed.auburn.edu

Photo Credit: Auburn Canine Performance Science Department