Bomb-Sniffing Dogs Work Better than Scanners?

In Congress there is a debate going on about whether dogs or scanning devices are better for bomb detection in airports. The scanning devices are expensive, and intrusive to travelers. One estimate says each scanner costs $150,000. Dogs are said by some to be able to detect explosives better than scanners, and cost about $8,500. In the Iraq War dogs were being used to detect explosive devices laid by insurgents to kill coalition forces. NPR reported about their successful use last year, “Sniffer dogs are universally recognized as the most effective means of detecting explosives.” (Source: NPR)

In Russia, bomb-sniffing dogs are used in their conflict with terrorists. “Dogs can detect the kind of deadly material and explosives that a human being, a robot or a mine detector often struggle to find,” said a Russian military official. (Source: BBC)

In Russia, some of their bomb sniffers are Sulimov dogs, a hybrid that is bred there. They have been used for bomb-sniffing since 2002. Dogs might also be able to smell explosives implanted under the skin.

Israeli researchers say they found mice can smell explosives even better than dogs. I would love to see members of Congress debating about the use of mice in airports to detect bombs.


Image Credit: Flaurentine

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Bhargavi P.
Bhargavi P6 years ago


KrassiAWAY B.
Krasimira B6 years ago

Noted with mixed feelings.

Sheri P.
Sheri P6 years ago

Their sense of smell is so incredible! Why are they not used more...and instead of those dang scanners?

Catie Richardson
Catie Richardson6 years ago

Dogs are much better than scanners or Pat-Downs.

Beverly G.
bev g6 years ago

animals are good workers. they get treated badly from some vile people. god bless them all.

Lisa B.
Elizabeth B6 years ago

If a dog works better than a scanner and is less expensive why not? Oh right the US government is so logical I can hardly stand it!

Jennifer C.
Past Member 6 years ago


Loo Samantha
Loo sam6 years ago

thanks for sharing.

Diane L.
Diane L6 years ago

Cindy, what is NOT animal friendly about using dogs to sniff out bombs and/or drugs? Do you know how they're trained? Please check it out before commenting like this. I have a friend who had a purebred GSD that didn't "make it" as a K-9 dog, so he's now being used as a drug detection dog. He LOVES his job. It's a big game. They are NEVER allowed to ingest's a toy that is given to them after they sniff out "whatever" and it's like playing fetch.

Cindy P.
Cindy P6 years ago

i just feel sorry that animals are used in ways that are NOT at all animal friendly.