Reply To: FE520 Interesting Talk in BC

Alana McGee

We are in works with some german scientists (and Shannon Berch) to do grant work on isolating VOCs and running test/ labs experiments on various VOCs to see what it is exactly the dogs actually are indicating on because no purely scientific data has been published on the subject. It is something, personally, I am very interested in. As you know everything involving grants moves very very very slowly.

You can train to a dog to differentiate yes, or be selective via slowly limiting criteria and discrimination. Some dogs do this naturally and are some hyper specific, and you could perform it as a match to source game much like you would for tracking.

We actually talk about this in FE530, but it is an advanced skill as you are pairing down and selecting only for VOCs of species you want.

Some folks in Europe do this regularly in regards to the alba truffle (Tuber magnatum). They only want their dogs to find the very very expensive white truffles and don?t care about anything else, and so don?t reward for anything else. Thus, the dog learns, only white truffles receive a reward.

If you are talking about asking a dog to ? Find Burgundy? and then it brings one back, and then ?Find Oregon Black? etc, yes it?s possible, but that would likely be best taught as a match to source game.