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sniffer dogs
chanel no 5
suit cases
two legs
strange ways
odours
dry food
crocodile
Sniffer Dogs – An Australian Tale Or Tail
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Sniffer Dogs – An Australian Tale Or Tail

The Australian sniffer dogs hard at work.

This, a TV series, that for us in the southern hemisphere, kind of scares you to visit Australia. This series began in 2004 on a local Australian channel and reach our shores a year or two ago. Now I love dogs, and I love watching dogs behaviour, but I've a suggestion for the producers, why not let the dogs have their say.

Suit cases, carry-on bags and all other items coming out of the cargo hold, checked by dogs for all the odours of food and whatever other undesirable items, they're trained to sniff. They identify contraband, the perpetrators pulled from the lines, and a more thorough search undertaken. The items that come out of some of those bags defy description, no wonder the officials wear gloves, but what of the poor dog, it had to stick its nose in it. The officials, shown with close-up shots, nose screwed up beyond description, attempting to communicate with a foreign visitor from another land, that clearly has no understanding of what they are saying.

The dog given a toy as a reward, off to seek a more pleasant odour, probably sniffing bags saying to itself “Please, Elizabeth Arden, Chanel No 5, any perfume even the cheap ones will do.” These dogs spend the day sniffing bags, are they happy? It would seem so from the TV series, but would it not be nice to hear their side of the story?

TV reporter “Hello Spot how was your day, find anything interesting?”

Spot replying, “You can ask that again. Had a bag today full of odours, smelt like the owner was transporting the dead remains of a cat and crocodile, that passed away weeks ago.”

TV reporter “We saw that bag, it contained dry food and other food items.”

Spot replying “What? You want to tell me people eat food with that odour? No wonder you lot walk on two legs and drink so much.”

The food in odd packets, wrapped in cloth and other strange ways of trying to disguise their presence, beyond description. Now, I do not want to appear as a food critic, or say what I eat is the correct food, but some of the items that get discovered in luggage, must surely be described as inedible.

I watch carefully for the drug sniffer dogs, these are the champions, they're called upon to sniff the inside of opened cases, suspected of carrying drugs, or packets and parcels arriving via the postal service custom unit. Surely an open case used for drug carrying, will contain powder traces of the drug? Cocaine and other strange powders people suck up their nostrils must have an effect on the dogs.

TV reporter “Good afternoon Bullet, saw you busy today, seemed you discovered a lot of drugs”

Bullet, with a very far off look on his face replies “Yea man, wow plenty, man had a good day, yea man, couldn't tell the difference between a coke and a pepsi in the end.”

These dogs, equipped with sensory organs that manage to detect the smallest traces left in a bag. Many a bag owner, has admitted that three to four trips back he did smoke marijuana. No swabbing and mechanical device has detected the drug, yet the dog has. These dogs of the Australian customs and excise, have my awe and admiration for what they do, it must save the continent's environment. Scared to visit though, boy if they got a whiff of my socks, I would probably be deported on the next available plane.

Dogs, I'm informed, have a sense of smell 1000 stronger or better than ours, (not always a plus, think about it) they use their nose like us our eyes. I watch my dogs, and many a time the nose is working, before the eyes. My dogs are not lovers of cats and they will detect them with their nose long before the cat puts in an appearance, I know this just from their excitement. “Another cat to chase!” you can almost hear them say.

Our latest addition, now two years old, due to early illness, fed a lot of chicken, if KFC is the choice of take out he will let us know the delivery is about to happen, before the bike arrives. Now it might be the bike's smell he recognises, but he certainly associates it with chicken, and becomes very vocal in his request to share.

What amazes me is how they teach a particular dog to recognise the odours they want found. I've lost socks between the wash basket and the returned washing. Some how I can not get my dogs to find them. Wonder why?


Street Talk

By the way, I love the photo on this article. It's a classic!!!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Well trained police dogs, would love to read their minds. Did not realise Australia got that cold, hell I do live in sunny South Africa.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

I had a good chuckle reading your article. I love seeing the dogs doing their thing at the airport. Gorgeous little beagles that are obviously having the time of their lives! Luckily for the population of Australia (and our hard working dogs) the footwear of choice for many Australians are thongs... so perhaps you can spare us all and leave those socks at home?? ;-)

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Austrailia much like RSA surely you don't need socks?

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Oh yes, we do have occasion for socks Rob! In winter it's freezing here.... sometimes even gets below 20 C!!!! Imagine! Of course, this is one thing that my Canadian husband and I disagree on! When I say it's "freezing" he always answers "It's not actually...." Silly canucks!

  
  about 6 years ago
AJ  

Sounds like some amazing dogs on that show. Thanks for an interesting article.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thanks AJ, wonderful to watch.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

What happens to the bike rider that shows up with no chicken?

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Beaten, chastised, chased, never to return not bearing the chicken, and that's by me. The dog, ignores him!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Great article, yes dogs do have some serious smelling power. Thank you

Reply
  about 6 years ago

On occasions wish I had it myself, specially when that aroma of something nice catches you on entering a market.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
hayley  

enjoyable read ! :)

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thanks Hayley.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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