The US Has a Shortage of Bomb-Sniffing Dogs

Nothing beats a dog’s nose for detecting explosives. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough dogs:

Last month, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a nearly 100-page report about working dogs and the need for federal agencies to better safeguard their health and wellness. The GOA says that as of February the US federal government had approximately 5,100 working dogs, including detection dogs, across three federal agencies. Another 420 dogs “served the federal government in 24 contractor-managed programs within eight departments and two independent agencies,” the GAO report says.

The report also underscores the demands placed on detection dogs and the potential for overwork if there aren’t enough dogs available. “Working dogs might need the strength to suddenly run fast, or to leap over a tall barrier, as well as the physical stamina to stand or walk all day,” the report says. “They might need to search over rubble or in difficult environmental conditions, such as extreme heat or cold, often wearing heavy body armor. They also might spend the day detecting specific scents among thousands of others, requiring intense mental concentration. Each function requires dogs to undergo specialized training.”

A decade and a half ago I was optimistic about bomb-sniffing bees and wasps, but nothing seems to have come of that.

Posted on November 23, 2022 at 11:23 AM24 Comments

Comments

JonKnowsNothing November 23, 2022 4:42 PM

re: Sniffer dogs

Sniffer dogs are a much bigger question mark than agencies would like you to know. It isn’t untrue that dogs can sniff things humans cannot and they can track long distances. Hunting dogs can sniff, track and kill what they catch.

Humans harness these traits but how they do it leaves much in question.

Like Clever Hans, it’s not always what it seems and not always as advertised. Price is no guarantee either way. Once the dog shifts handlers, it’s not the same dog and not the same result.

Bomb sniffing rats are more economical but not as photogenic or ego-boosting.

===

Search

Magawa

Brice November 23, 2022 4:54 PM

…perhaps the perceived Need for so many dogs is erroneous.

and the actual reliability/value of dog-sniffers is very controversial.

a famous 2010 scientific test of bomb/drug sniffing dogs by the University of California found an 85% False-Positive detection rate by certified police dogs.

iAPX November 23, 2022 5:08 PM

@Brice

Very interesting point: did you have any link?

I recall witnessing an electronic explosive material detector on an airport, this was a try, and I chatted with the Officer using it as it could be an incredible tool to have to enforce rules and security for everyone.

Since then, I never saw it again being used or tried on any other airport (or this one).
I wonder it didn’t work as expected 🙁

Clive Robinson November 23, 2022 5:51 PM

@ Bruce,

“A decade and a half ago I was optimistic about bomb-sniffing bees and wasps, but nothing seems to have come of that.”

Or more recently dogs that could sniff out people with C-19.

Unlike a box you leave on a shelf untill the battery wires corrode the terminals, dogs have a high up keep and maintenance cost.

One part of which is the “dedicated handler” which applies not just to dogs but other creatures.

The handler should spend more time with their creature than just the actual “on the job time”, and more time than most pet owners do with their creatures. Worse the promotion chances for a handler are close to zero for a decade or so and any training they have is effectively “non transferable”. So it’s in effect a dead end job where the handler needs a certain personality type as they are in effect “wedded to the creature” 24×7. Especially where the crearure is a “pack animal”.

Then there is the cost of “retiring” working dogs or similar. After all you realy can not “give them the bullet” and get the “dog meat man” in to turn the corpse into “pet food” or similar that used to be the fate of “working horses”. These days such behaviours are very very bad publicity and to be avoided where ever possible. Worse most working dogs are “pedigree” or more correctly “closed stud book breeds” where close blood-line breading gives “genetic defects” such as “scored hips” that significantly reduce the working life of a creature.

Then there is the handler-creature bonding phase where six months may be required for a new dog and handler to be “trained” towards each other to become an effective unit.

All of which is why in reality each dog costs considerably more to have on the books than an individual officer.

Mostly they are not “cost effective” as there is actually very little specific work for the dogs to do. So some idiot always suggests they are “dual rolled” or worse.

There are reports around about how making “drug sniffing dogs” also do general “K9” dog work destroys their ability to do either duty. Thus makes them effectively usless, as well as raising other issues[1]… Before the costly law suit issues the use of potentially dangerous animals always attracs.

The simple fact is that those further up the managment hierarchy see “working dogs” as, a liability with little or no upside and many downsides. So much so there is a story about one senior officer in the UK over heard making a joke about “Divining Rods” being more cost effective[2].

[1] As some readers of this blog are aware there is a strong suspicion in some quaters that many “drug dogs” are not “independent” of their handlers wishes. That is some say the dogs give false positive responses at their handlers guidence. That is like K9 dogs they will go after what they are directed to go after by their handlers. Worse there is a building set of evidence that this is true in various ways, in part due to the way the creatures are trained on a “reward” system.

[2] A look on Amazon for “Divining Rods” suggests they can also be used for “Water Witching” and “Gost finding” and many othe “paranormal detection” capabilities. A look at what they actually are suggests that someone is doing a rather good marketing job of turning a pair of 20cent telescopic antennas into upto $40 dollar “Divining Rods”. A look back on this site will show that in a green box such rods have been fradulantly sold as “bomb detectors” and carried a way way higher price than $40.

JonKnowsNothing November 23, 2022 9:03 PM

@Clive, All

re: Downsides to Dog Runs

Recently I got an home insurance declaration update, an annual event consisting primarily of several sheets of paper describing the insurance coverage and non-coverage (1) with an increase cost in premium.

This time there was an additional sheet detailing all the breeds of dogs I am not allowed to have or if I do have them my insurance will be canceled-voided. (2) There is an exception for some dogs that are defined to be “Active Duty Police Licensed K9s” but if you just have a companion version you will either have to

  • get rid of the dog
  • move to another home
  • find another insurer
  • find an insurer who will sell you a rider for an extra fee

There is a strong trade between Northern Europe and the USA for police dogs: Alsatians, Malinois, Belgium Shepherds, German Shepherds (depending on which breed and origins, some names are interchangeable). These dogs come “fully trained” for military style duty and the new handler has to undergo extensive training to keep the dog Tip-Top. It’s not easy to learn the subtle nature of the dogs responses even if you can remember the made-up-german-gobbledygook commands the dog responds to. (3)

It’s huge financial, emotional and working life-time commitment, as you mentioned. Something far beyond what the average Joe-6Pack-AbPack can follow through on.

And then there are the vet bills…

iirc(badly)

Some years ago a local police officer was “given” a Police K9. They were partners for several years. The officer got a better job in another town, but was not allowed to take the dog. The old city owned the dog, not the officer.

The new city would not buy the dog from the old city. Since the dog was bonded-to-the-officer, no other officer in the old city was deemed able to take the dog. The dog went back to the training kennels.

The officer started a fund raiser to buy the dog, now kept in a chain link run at the trainer’s kennels. They were finally reunited when the $5,000 price tag (years ago) was raised.

The new city did not allowed the dog to go on patrol with the officer, because the dog was not property of the new city and was not covered by the new city insurance.

===

1) These are the footnotes of exclusions: Acts of God, Acts of War, Wrong Dog.

2) The local animal shelters in my area are chock-a-block full of American Pit Bull and American Staffordshire type dogs bred and crossbred (aka mutts) in huge numbers. Their pedigrees may be questionable but their physiques are not.

The shelters are just hoping people will come in and take one of them to a forever home, while the insurance industry is just as adamant: You Shall Not.

3) Such dogs are trained with an “unknown” vocabulary, so that in case of a serious encounter, the bad dudette doesn’t issue a command that makes the dog attack their handler.

Ted November 23, 2022 10:58 PM

This is such a fascinating topic. I have fallen down a few rabbit holes exploring this.

It’s eye-opening to read about the characteristics that make dogs well-suited for explosive detection roles.

I am laughing because our dog is so focused on sniffing things that she undeniably has a mind of her own. This would probably prevent us from sniffing at the federal level. But that’s okay.

Her true god-given gift is delivery person detection. She NEVER fails. This and utter exuberance when her people come home.

It does surprise me though that so many detection dogs are still sourced from Europe.

JonKnowsNothing November 24, 2022 12:21 AM

@Ted, All

re: Her true god-given gift is delivery person detection. She NEVER fails.

This is a tremendous insight that few people ever understand at a deeper level.

  • How is it she never fails?

Animals can tell time but they don’t have a watch or a calendar. They know when you are getting up and leaving the house. They know when you are coming home.

They tell time differently that humans.

So, imagine, a routine based human, doing the same thing day after day after day on a fixed schedule. Around 11:30 it’s lunch break. Around 3:00 a coffee break. If you are aware that the sniffer dog is also able to tell time… it’s another aspect of Sit Stay Wait and Biscuits.

The majority of such handlers are not “dog persons” or “dog trainers”. They are police officers or law enforcement agents first and foremost. The dog is just like a badge on their wind breaker. Nice to look at, maybe they like the dog too. It’s just a dog, after all.

If you are interested in watching some working-dogs working, check out some videos on Sheep Dog Trials. You will see some impressive work by the dogs with little or no contact with their handler. Field dog trials are similar.

A difference is what the handler is allowed to do or signal. Some events allow arm signals to show the dog where to go. Others allow for whistles or crickets.

Ranch dogs get little of those. They learn their jobs and they work without a lot of human interaction. They gather the cattle/sheep. They move them in the directions needed by the muster. Down the hills, up the hills, across the valleys, to the dipping corrals or calving barns. They work as a team. They read the reactions of the animals they are moving. Steady, slow, not too fast. Through the gates, block the wilder ones from getting away.

Horses can do it too. Splash the herd. Pick the calf. Face off: horse vs cow. No Hands.

Clive Robinson November 24, 2022 3:06 AM

@ iAPX,

“I recall witnessing an electronic explosive material detector on an airport, this was a try, and I chatted with the Officer using it as it could be an incredible tool to have to enforce rules and security for everyone.”

It was probably a version of a “Chemical Agent Monitoring”(CAM) device.

I first came across them back in the late 1980’s they were originally developed for “Chemical Warfare” purposes and were “programed” by the sensor not the rest of the electronics or software.

The sensors were “life limited” both in active usage and storage use thus had complex time profiles that made “time prediction” quite difficult. Just to make life fun they also got “poisoned” by the chemical agents so their sensitivity went down as well.

But the question people don’t realy ask is,

“What is an explosive made of?”

In most cases it has two components,

1, A chemical “fuel”
2, A chemical “oxidizer”

Sometimes seperately as in the “powders” used for old style weapons, that are “slow burn” below the speed of sound and produce lots of “hot gas” thus have a propellant usage. They tend to be quite stable in storage and use thus fairly predictable.

Sometimes a single chemical molecule that is a crystalline solid at low tempratures or a thickish liquid. Either way they are not usually used “pure” but mixed with binders that are often effectively inert or secondary fuel source. These tend to burn at speeds well beyond that of sound and well up in the thousands of meters per second and are designed to produce a high intensity shock wave. As a rule of thumb only the higher the burn rate the less stable the explosives are in a particular class. The story behind the discovery of dynamite is actually worth reading about from quite a number of asspects along with all the attendent disasters.

Whilst crystalline solids tend not to be aromatic most commercialy made explosives do end up having a characteristic smell, which is what dogs can recognize. A CAM device however does not “smell” chemicals which is a resonance effect thus detects many chemicals, but detects them by a chemical interaction that changes a circuit impedence or similar, which detects only certain chemicals. Of the two the fuel is the more complex and variable chemically than the oxidizers. Also as the number of stable oxidizers are a lot lot less than of fuels a CAM generally only detects the oxidizers that most often are in the family of nitrogen based chemicals.

Two problems… Firstly nitrogen based oxidizers are very common environmental pollutants and in every day use, as in fact are certain types of explosives based upon them that also happen to make good plastics (nitro cellulose family). As for the nitrates they turn up in your food via preserving salts, and also other domestic products such as from cleaning agents, as well and they get produced via quite natural processes. Such as the orginal sources of “decay” and burning where organic waste breaks down. So compost heaps, ashes and piles of bird poop were the main sources untill Chilian Saltpeter which had atleast two wars fought over it up untill Fritz Haber got his “devils brew” chemical process[1] working shortly before “The Great War”. So the environment is full of them.

Secondly terrorists know this and have learned how to make non aromatic crystalline explosives that don’t use nitrates, that still produce high detonation rates[2]. These don’t get picked up by the older CAM devices. One such family come from acetone and hydrogen peroxide and is apparently known by some due to it’s instability as “The mother of satan”[3]. There are unfortunately quite a few other such chemicals[2] thankfull most of which are beyond “kitchen/bathroom lab” production or need feed stock that is not readily available.

[1] Wikipedia article on the Haber Process, not the preasures and tempratures involved needed to crack the nitrogen bonds hence the “Devils brew” salutation,

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haber_process

[2] Wikipedia article on the velocity of various chemical decompositions, giving a table note which fall in the aromatics and those that don’t,

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_of_explosive_detonation_velocities

[3] Royal Society of Chemistry comment on the UK Government “panty bunching policy”,

https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/acetone-peroxide-ordinary-ingredients-for-an-extraordinary-explosive/3000082.article

Clive Robinson November 24, 2022 4:52 AM

@ Ted,

“Her true god-given gift is delivery person detection. She NEVER fails.”

I suspect she does, from time to time due to the laws of physics.

I can hear people move close to the entrances to my home, when I’m not “in the back” or “in the garden”. A dog has more sensitive hearing than I do by a very large margin but there is still a range limit even in very quiet side roads.

A friend tells an affectionate story about their sadly no longer with us long haired King Charles dog. It was a quiet dog most noticed by the ability to sneak up and put a head on your lap for the company or to be stroked. It to was a reliable detector of “people aproaching the door”. Then one day it all started to go astray, the dog appeared to think lots of people were turning up.

They got quite worried about the dogs state of health so took it to the vet, where nothing was found to be wrong. Then one day the reason was seen, a probably wild creature with black and white fur[1] had taken up residence under the house. After gently evicting it life returned to normal.

[1] Although you probably don’t want one living under your home, apparently skunks can make just as good pets as ferrets and better than cats and are cleaner in their habits and apparently like being brushed with a soft hair brush. They have an incredible sense of smell better than dogs and are however insanely curious and near sighted but if handeled correctly from very young not just friendly but very affectionate. I used to have a friend in Germany, who’s of Polish origin and she had a couple of them as pets and took them for walks on a lead (their nearsightedness and lack of homing instinct kind of makes this essential for their safety).

Quantry November 25, 2022 12:25 PM

@ Gang. Propaganda, and fear mongering, and the manufacture of criminals “to make the public feel safe” is most likely the better part of having dogs, lame/ineffective, or not. AKA: more security theatrics!

Im livid. You have to read this.
‘https://www.bccourts.ca/jdb-txt/sc/16/14/2016BCSC1404.htm

and now it seems they have buried those crimes:

“undercover operators would face “unacceptable risk… and danger” rising to a level necessary to justify the negative effects of an indeterminate publication ban”

‘https://www.bccourts.ca/jdb-txt/sc/21/19/2021BCSC1924.htm

THIS ENFORCEMENT METHODOLOGY STILL ACTIVELY CONTINUES, and NO REPARATION will EVER be pro-offered in the MANY instances of this sort of criminality, and NO ONE can end this as long as a river of money flows from YOUR POCKETS to cause it and hide it.

A useless fight:
‘https://globalnews.ca/news/9097868/nuttall-and-korody-sue/

Clive Robinson November 25, 2022 5:49 PM

@ KeithB, Bruce, ALL,

Re : Dowsing Rods and othe fakes.

I’m not surprised Sandia –a reputable laboratory– found the “no better than chance” finding.

The first clue should have been what the article describes as,

“Its list price ranges from $6,000 to $15,000, depending on the model.”

It’s the old,

“If you charge enough they will believe it.”

Scam, which we know has made people buy lumps of cheap rock in metal geometric structures that could not have cost more thsn $10 in materials and construction costs for upwards of $50,000.

Followed by the as old, if not older,

“Woo woo magic, faux science operational claims.”

Which will not be in “peer reviewed” papers in reputable journals, or for that matter other journals of low or no repute because “commercial confidentiality” / “trade secret” / “patent applied for” nonsense.

As the artical highlights,

“The product literature says the instrument antenna detects the electrical field generated by the beating human heart,”

Whilst heartbeats can be reliably detected outside the human body it’s not been done by a non resonant antenna picking up EM radiation[1].

Now the problem of,

“How do you get away with such nonsense?”

arises… Well you can nolonger sell two bits of bent coat-hanger wire in a couple of Bic-biro pen tubes. Nor a plastic box covered with “void if opened” stickers and with a lump of wood, metal or other scrap to give weight thus

“The illusion of substance.”

No you have to be a bit more “Woo Woo” and have “Techno-magic” with pretty lights and shiny bits. Made with the sweat and labour of some denizen of an unknown back street room or kitchen table, courtesy of some agent associating themselves with Alibaba or similar much as fraudsters do on EBay.

So you get as the article points out,

“The device tested consists essentially of a black rectangular box about 3 inches tall, 1 inch thick, and 8 inches long. When a handle that comes out the box is used, the box swings freely. There’s also an antenna, a small laser similar to those in lecture pointers, and a red LED light. There are some electronics inside.”

So maybe $5 of junk and $2 of assembly cost with a 100% or more profit for the agent “discretion assured”.

Basically the,

“DKL LifeGuard, from DielectroKinetic Laboratories, LLC.”

Hits the trifecta of scam essentials smack on…

Can I suggest in their case “LLC” actually stands for either “Ludicrously Limited Capacity” of the technology or “Lowest labour Capability” of the managment.

It appears that every few years such an obvious scam comes to the attention of this blog…

Makes you wonder just how many we miss, even of totaly out right repeate offenders… Speaking of which who remembers that Prime Factor Presentation mob who threatebed to sue Black Hat,

https://www.cyberscoop.com/crown-sterling-lawsuit-black-hat-ai/

I wonder how their Crystal sales business is going…

But they also have a new string to their apparently endles supply of nonsense at a price,

@ Bruce,

This should certainly be one to watch,

https://www.crownsterling.io

Note the lovely little line of,

“One-Time Pad encryption and compression”

In the box titled “Quantum Resistant Encryption”

Something tells me that someone there has been reading this blog, either without understanding, or for new ways to pull a scam.

Watch out for them trying to claim “Bruce Schneier” says / aproves / etc / etc…

My “hinky sense” is twitching, and maybe an early “shot across the bows” may send them scuttling, before they start.

[1] It is however possible when the “magnetic field” is sufficiently strong that it disturbs the functioning of an oscillator circuit to pick up the likes of powered mains electrical wiring at 20-35times the hearts frequency. You can go to any “hardware store” and buy a “wire, pipe, and nail” detector. The principle used is to “couple the conductor” into the oscillator circuit and measure the increased loss in the oscillator by energy coupled from the oscillator into the conductor. As such the detection proximity is related to the effective appature area of the “coil” inductor in the oscillator circuit.

Clive Robinson November 25, 2022 7:09 PM

@ Quantry,

“@ Gang”

It might be “short” but it’s not that sweet with “gang” being given such notoriety by politicians and prosecutors these days. SO “@ALL” or “the usual suspects”[1] are more traditional around here 😉

But onto the meat of your post.

“Propaganda, and fear mongering, and the manufacture of criminals “to make the public feel safe” is most likely the better part of having dogs, lame/ineffective, or not. AKA: more security theatrics!”

Sadly it’s not “theatrics” but profitable business to “manufacture criminals” with Private Prisons and Internment Camps for immigrants and the like geting large amounts of the “tax take”. Politicians get to beat the drum about being “hard on crime” whilst getting their slice of the action through variois “kick backs”. Speaking of kick backs I guess unsuprisingly some judges have been found to be shall we say receiving inducments. Whilst it came to light in the US, I would not be at all surprised to find it happening as generally in the UK and other First World and Western nations.

Like WD40 corruption appears to be a universally applied lubricant.

But there is a little more to the use of dogs and it’s something we are seeing with the use of the so called “Machine Learning”(ML) which is nothing of the sort. But is a great way to push agendas via bias.

You’ve probably heard the excuses,

“The computer says”

It’s an “arms length” way to avoid liability for policy or agenda that is almost always discriminatory in some way “Robo-claim” adjustment was one a couple of decades back. Insurance companies used “faux science” in a prejudicial way to deny claims. Basically they would record what a claiment said then alledgedly subject the recording to “voice stress analysis”. The Halifax UK tried it on with me and as a result ended up paying a great deal more to sort out a quite legitimate claim than it would othereise have cost them (this was back in the times of the psycopathic “Fred the Shred” and friends).

The idea is quite simple,

“Place something that is faux inbetween the authority and those they discriminate against, so that any fault can be deflected and blaim put on a usefull idiot or scapegoat”

In the case of “sniffer dogs” despite all the evidence the dogs actively respond to their handlers subconcious “Ideomotor Response”(IMR) phenomenon[2] when overtly tested, and delibert handler ques when covertly examined from CCTV footage etc, courts still take it “as gospel” or prima facia evidence of guilt etc.

The simple fact is judges know next to nothing about science and technology, and in most cases “would not be seen dead” with physical evidence (unless killed by it).

Their notion of evidence is a stack of paper or in presence verbal testimony that gets transcribed to paper. Their job as such is to see these pieces of paper are made according to the rules of the court system they sit in and to give direction to stop rule transgression. There are so many rules archaic and otherwise that a biased judge can stay within them yet still ensure which way a defendent is found by the jury and even the press, regardless of the burden of proof presented.

So modern courts are just another form of “theater” that ensures the movment of status, power and control by favour or pecuniary or other inducment. Yet can not be challenged because “of the rules”.

Which is why as @Winter has noted innocent, honest, truth seeking people end up rotting quite literally in jail for years, not just to shut them up, but to discorage other truth seeking individuals comming to the assistance of those being discriminated against.

[1] For those who do not know the origin of “the usual suspects” it goes back to a 1942 Black&White film last scene,

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=G62tkd2t7qk

[2] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideomotor_phenomenon

Clive Robinson November 25, 2022 9:12 PM

@ vas pup, ALL,

Re : Laws of physics will out.

“May be future is to substantially increase sensitivity of sensors”

It’s an akward subject but most clasical physical sensors are at their reliable limits[1].

Worse their sensitivity is often bassed on the destruction of the sample to measure it.

Such limitations are less with other types of sensor. Such as those working on,

1, Non destructive techniques such as resonance.
2, Non destructive techniques based on quantum effects.

The point about “non destructive” is it alows for a build up of a test sample with time if you can develop a suitable capture and hold mechanism.

So far such systems are at or infront of the “bleeding edge” of non organic technology.

Whilst we do have some organic technology there are issues with “interfacing to” and “maintaining” the organic components.

[1] Increasingly we are comming to the view that several natural sensors are in fact quantum or resonant in form. Resonance is easy to see in the ear, and the eye, but it’s been demonstrated that other resonance is how smell probably works (mint-orange effect). We know from basic energy calculations that photosynthesis has to have atleast one quantum component. With the thing about nature and evolution being an advantageous system gets replicated in numerous ways. So it’s highly likely that other organic quantum systems exist, and it’s our lack of recognition rather than their nonexistence to blaim for us not knowing about them.

Roger A. Grimes November 26, 2022 4:13 PM

Are bombing sniffing dogs a good use of resources? In our recorded history how many times have dogs sniffed out bombs and saved lives, in the US? And on the same note, are bombing sniffing dogs more useful as deterrents (bombers are less likely to try to get bombs past bomb sniffing dogs) than detective controls anyway?

Clive Robinson November 26, 2022 6:17 PM

@ Roger A. Grimes,

Re : Value of sniffer dogs.

“In our recorded history how many times have dogs sniffed out bombs and saved lives, in the US?”

I suspect that “recorded history” is not available, and even if it was we’ve all seen FBI claims about “saving hundreds/thousands of lives” over alledged terrorist plots. With two points kept quiet,

1, Few actual terrorist attacks in the West these days kill more than a handfull of people.

2, On way to many occasions the FBI had in effect created the incident.

So it might be that the US police shoot and kill more people each year than terrorists could get even close to in a bomb attack.

With regards,

“on the same note, are bombing sniffing dogs more useful as deterrents”

That can not be answered. Because it’s the “Defence Spending paradox” issue,

“You never know when you’ve spent to much on defense. You only find out you’ve spent to little in the past when you are attacked.”

It holds true of all “deterants” no matter what they are, and sniffer dogs are no different.

In fact when you think about it they would not even need to be “bomb sniffer” dogs “to be a deterant”… a “drug sniffer” dog looks no different, nor most times does the bloke holding the lead…

myles November 27, 2022 1:43 PM

[][][]

Well, actual criminal bomb ‘explosions’ are a rare event in the U.S., in both long & short term — so we can quite reasonably assume that there are almost no bombs around for dogs to sniff out to begin with.

Google search indicates no reports of dog ‘successes’ in bomb discovery.

In the very few cases where unexploded bombs are discovered — it’s usually by ordinary people noticing suspicious objects or activity.

Hard evidence for the value of bomb sniffing dogs seems totally absent.
So there is no rational basis to hype a supposed ‘shortage’ of these expensive dogs.

Clive Robinson November 28, 2022 7:15 AM

@ Sumadelet,

“Don’t we have a shortage of ‘Friday Squid Blogging’?”

We do but it has happened before, so not a unique occurrence.

“Is our host O.K.?”

That is unknown, but I’m assuming he is, as it was a holiday weekend from mid last week in the US. I would ordinaraly assume @Bruce was taking a well earned break, or be travelling.

However there was a post over on last weeks Squid page that was not from a privileged account, suggesting otherwise. However due to the use of an unprivileged account etc I assumed it was probably a troll, as one has been popping up again just recently (probably on holiday with nothing to do but be annoying).

So on that assumption I tried to “srcond source” as any journalist or investigator would. As there was no other news on the internet which I would have expected, it tended to confirm my “troll” thought. However as noted it was one of only two major holiday weekends in the US, so news might well be delayed.

The fact that the postings concerned have now been removed either by @Moderator or @Bruce himself suggests that it was most probably was a troll.

However untill “somebody takes the lid off the box” I guess like the famed quantum cat, we will not know for certain.

I’d wait for an anouncment either here or in the ICT news before making anything other than “he’s taking a break” assumption.

After all Bruce has a new book comming out so he’s in that akward period between puting in the final full stop, and begining a book tour etc.

So “taking a break” where possible would feature highly on most peoples lists when in that position.

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