The odure for dogs during search for explosives


  • Mona Brantlind
  • Siw Rüdén
  • Anni Båth
  • Annika Danielson
  • Helén Petersson
  • Rose-Marie Karlsson

Publish date: 2010-09-17

Report number: FOI-R--2936--SE

Pages: 52

Written in: Swedish


  • Explosives
  • mine dog
  • pure TNT
  • analysis
  • odour
  • new training methods


The purpose of the project was to investigate the possibilities to increase the efficiency of mine detection dog5 training and the quality of MDDs. The most common explosive in mines and in MDD training is military grade TNT6 (MTG TNT). It contains 1 % of impurities from the manufacturing process. These impurities have a higher vapor pressure than TNT and therefore dominate the gas phase. A MDD trained on MTG TNT might chose to look for the impurities. It is a source of uncertainty since the impurities differ between manufacturers and also evaporates gradually, changing the odor signature over time. The project goal is to investigate if dogs trained on pure TNT7 are able to detect MTG TNT. Another task is to see if these dogs show an interest in landmines. Dogs trained in Sweden have major difficulties to find landmines in Bosnia. Different types of mines contain different type of impurities. The soil and climate also affects the odor signature. If the project is a success it would open the possibilities to make the training more efficient. It would also be known that the dog searched for the TNT instead of the impurities. A target liquid with TNT solved in water was used for the training of the dogs, the concept copied from the OSP project8. This means that it is possible to train nearly everywhere, since you don't have to fence the field nor having the need for letting the target liquid settle in the ground for a certain time period before you can train the dog on it. To teach the dogs the search pattern, marking and discrimination at the carousel and in lane search, a kong9 was used to start with. When the dog could find the kong it was trained to find the pure TNT. The training followed the same pattern as for the kong. A test was performed to see if the dogs showed an interest for water solution with MTG TNT and mines in a lane. One of the dogs showed an interest for both water solutions with MTG TNT and mines and the other showed an interest for the water solution but not for the mines. A similar test was performed using the carousel with sand contaminated with TNT, with MTG TNT and with mine shell. Both dogs marked for all the targets. These results show that dogs trained on purified TNT can recognise the smell of TNT in a new odour signature. The project ended by sending the dogs to Norwegian Peoples Aid Global Training Center (NPA) in Bosnia to search for mines on their training field. Both dogs marked or showed interest in mines and water solution of MTG TNT. ------------------------------------------------------- 5 Mine detection dog will also be referred to in the text as a MDD 6 Military grade TNT (trinitrotoluene) will in this report also be referred to as MTG TNT 7 Pure TNT is referring to 2,4,6- TNT of 99,99% purity 8 The OSP (Odour Signature Project) is sponsored by GICHD 9 A kong is a red rubber toy that is commonly being used as a reward and motivation for the dog