Unit 3 Project
Dogs have truly proven to be man’s best friend in most, if not all areas of life. The police service has a number of fields where dogs are utilized. A police dog is that which has been trained to help the law enforcers in their work area (Serpell, 1995). They are usually given an official name as K9 that is similar in pronunciation to the word canine. Mesloh’s article Scent as Forensic Evidence and its Relationship to the Law Enforcement Canine states that dogs are used in the police department mainly because in addition to their supreme crime management abilities, they reduce costs used in the control of the same. Their olfactory (smelling) skills have not been superseded by anything even with the amount of technological advancements. The author however writes the article with the aim of showing the gaps that have existed within the scientific field in drawing a link between the smelling ability of dogs and forensic science (Mesloh, 2000).
Mesloh believes that scientific studies conducted to find the connection are few. He has reviewed the existing literature by summing them up in his article. The literature used in the compilation of the article has used secondary research materials from different experimentalists. The writer believes that the work will be able to provide a basis for further research on the field to be conducted. This means that his target audience is the scientific research fraternity as well as those individuals interested in areas like zoology. It will further their understanding concerning the anatomy that is related to the olfactory system of the dog (Mesloh, 2000).
The first part deals with the different scents that a dog can be able to identify namely sweat, skin oil and flake, and body odor or gases. Research has indicated that the smelling senses and abilities of dogs are forty-four times better than those of humans are. From this, dogs have the ability of telling different smells apart. A research conducted in Auburn University concerning the same revealed that training the canines in a restricted environment to identify as much as ten smells did not hamper or inhibit their skills in any way. This idea has been opposed by some scientists that feel that only after the credibility of the information and the tests have been proven and accepted as true by other science practitioners in the same field, it is still a hypothesized function. Sadly, all experiments that have been conducted in this field have not yet been approved (Mesloh, 2000).
Search building is conducted in different scenes. Different challenges are presented in the conduction of searches. A suspect hiding in a building will give off a strong scent that the dog will detect. If he leaves, the dog will take more time to uncover him since it will be drawn first to the area with the strongest smell then from there it will follow the trail. This is called tracking. Wind and blockages like walls tend to disrupt the scent. To search for evidence, a dog will rely on skin oils to identify the object. However, this can only be reliable for forty-eight hours otherwise the object will adapt the scents of the surrounding area. Exposure of explosives is possible where the dog is trained to tell different smells and they are 95% efficient in the act. Drugs’ sniffing also works in the same way as the explosives (Mesloh, 2000).
To increase the drive for a dog to perform excellently in the different searches, the accelerator principle is used. The dog is applied to accelerator smells that push it to work efficiently from the knowledge that it does not get food unless it identifies the given object. The cadavers are trained to uncover decomposing matter like corpses. The same principle of smelling suspects is used but this time with the rotting smell attached to it. It is hampered by such factors as running water, which may carry the smell to a different site. Problems that other researches should build on in the betterment of the field are the natural factors like winds and water. The researches may come up with ways in which this may be managed so that the dogs are unmissed. Proper handling methods should be designed to eliminate the problem of misinterpretation. Contamination of scents should also be reviewed with an aim of helping the canines from having the wrong scent (Mesloh, 2000).
Mesloh, C. (2000). Scent as Forensic Evidence and its Relationship to the Law Enforcement Canine. Orlando, FL: University of Central Florida.
Naylor, L. E. (2008). Labradors – History, Breeding, Field Trials & Shows. New York, NY: Read Books.
Serpell, J. (1995). The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behavior, and Interactions with People. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.