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Blog Archive

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Teaching your dog to detect a scent


The cruel irony of having body odor and/or halitosis is that normally the person cannot smell themselves, making it impossible to monitor their problem. This is why we are looking at ways of detecting human scents, such as using a scent dog, or investigating other ways such as TMA urinalysis paper (currently it is unlikely we could convince a manufacturer to produce this, due to them thinking TMAU is rare). Although it is probably best to get an expert to help train a dog to detect a scent (such as trimethylamine), in theory it should be possible to train most dogs, no matter the age (according to one drug-detection dog trainer on youtube). Apparently as long as the dog has the drive, it should be possible. Another obstacle may be in getting trimethylamine. Perhaps urine of a high TMA level could be tried. Or perhaps even rotting fish (?). This post is focussing on trimethylamine. We are not quite sure how we could get a dog to discriminate the myriad of bowel smells most people seem to complain of.

In this video, the dog trainer is training the dog to first associate the paw behavior with a treat, and then pawing the scents for treats. Obviously it should be easy to train a dog to detect trimethylamine, but it may be more difficult to detect it at various levels of intensity. Perhaps to a dog, all humans have a trimethylamine odor. Anyhow, this is posted in case any dog-owners wish to learn more about training a dog how to detect a scent. There are many more videos on youtube. If you get anywhere, please let us know.

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