Learning to find drug odor? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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Learning to find drug odor?

Hi all. Hope you donít think this is a crazy question but... how does one go about training their dog to find ďdrugsĒ. Iíve seen some people on social media who work their dogs in some form of protection sport but also train their dogs with other trainers at finding the odor of said drug. And these people (not the trainers) have nothing to do with law enforcement. I thought that only police and military could do such things. Reason Iím asking is that Iím very interested in the drugs and narcotics side of police k9 work..and very soon a young dog could be headed my way. So. Is it possible for a normal person like me to learn such things? Or do you just need to have connections?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 10:46 PM
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They sell scent kits for training. Back in my younger days we just hit up our buddies and bought stuff, but now its easy and a lot more expensive. lol
Try these guys
Products ? ScentLogix
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 01:13 AM
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Rollo and I have done some of the scent kits! He loves doing it

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 05:03 AM
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if you want to know a lot about police k-9 work including detecting drug scents and explosives, etc...and all the issues with training, Check out the Controlled Aggression podcast on the Tarheel site
042: Nathan Hall: Canine Olfaction ? Controlled Aggression Podcast
Six Keys To K9 Narcotic Detection Success | Tarheel Canine

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 09:10 AM
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Simple answer is no you dont need connections to imprint your dog on narcotic odor.

If you are just wanting to have fun with your dog i would strongly suggest going to the sport route and doing nose work, akc scent work, or american schutzhund if you also have an interest in protection/obedience.

Everyone i know thats tried nose work loves it and you will be doing detection with a bunch of like minded people with tons of support.

If you have intentions of doing detection work professionally, that is a whole other ballgame and absolutely should not be looked at unless you are 1000% committed to it. It is a huge lifestyle change, very expensive to start, and can be dangerous.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 01:54 PM
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We always joke that Lyka was a drug dog in her previous life. She sniffs around every vehicle, jumps up to each window, and if she smells something she will sit and bark. We also joke around saying we could make a fortune breaking into the cars she “alerts” on and stealing and reselling the drugs. In the same joking way we say “when we win the lottery” when neither of us even buys tickets 😂

We did do a lot of scent work with her at home, because she just really really loved it. But never for narcotics. I wouldn’t even know where to get them these days!

It took her getting old to stop wanting to do an every parked vehicle check. Leave it was said so often during walks that it started to sound like a foreign or mispronounced word.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrovan2487 View Post
Simple answer is no you dont need connections to imprint your dog on narcotic odor.

If you are just wanting to have fun with your dog i would strongly suggest going to the sport route and doing nose work, akc scent work, or american schutzhund if you also have an interest in protection/obedience.

Everyone i know thats tried nose work loves it and you will be doing detection with a bunch of like minded people with tons of support.

If you have intentions of doing detection work professionally, that is a whole other ballgame and absolutely should not be looked at unless you are 1000% committed to it. It is a huge lifestyle change, very expensive to start, and can be dangerous.


Ok. I have an IGP club Iíve been going to a lot recently so yeah Iím interested in that part. And I finish my degree in police sciences in a couple months so detection is something Iíve been interested in for some time. Iíll look into to scent work stuff in the mean time but was genuinely curious as how these people were learning real detection while not in law enforcement.

Thanks all for the answers


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 10:25 PM
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For the people that are actually doing it professionally, you do need connections to get anywhere with it. There aren't really any organizations that will certify civilians unless you are affiliated with a department or someone who trains police dogs. On top of that you need insurance which is very pricey, insurance will require certification. To get any clients you'd need an "in" somewhere.
There are actually a lot more options in the private sector for explosives detection, and more profitable to go that route, there is a huge demand for them right now. My advice would be to start off with sport, find someone willing to mentor you and learn all you can.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 12:26 PM
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About the only way to get into narcotics/explosives detection is working for an agency that will send you through a handler program and pair you with a dog. Put in 2 years on the street and you will be eligible for contract work as an experienced handler.

In order to be certified to train with narcotics, you need a DEA permit. Explosives require an ATF permit. There is a lot that goes into receiving these permits.

There are also handler certifications you must get before you can work. Narc teams have to be 97% accurate, bomb teams 100%.

It's not an easy field to get into, but once you pay your dues, you can do just about whatever you want as long as you are prepared to travel a lot. Overseas contracting in war zones pays a substantial salary.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 06:33 PM
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It would be easier to just do nosework, as essential oils are legal and easily obtained. With something like a dozen different organizations that offer titles, there is plenty of opportunity to put the training to use.
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