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For better detection, sniffer dogs to get homes near Mumbai airport

Thursday, 9 January 2014 - 6:43am IST | Agency: dna

Making canines stay at their handlers' homes takes its toll on their sense of smell: Experts.

Dogs, which help airport authorities sniff out narcotic drugs, could have their own little homes somewhere near the airport.

The Air Intelligence Unit has proposed that these sniffer dogs – which presently put up at their handler’s home due to shortage of space – be kept in isolation inside specially made kennels.

The isolation, say officials of the unit, will help sharpen a canine’s power to sniff out drugs, thus leading to better recovery.

These dogs, say the officials, tend to lose their sensory power while staying with the handler’s family.

A senior official, who has had a long-standing stint in dealing with such dogs, said that the logic behind this move is that dogs, when isolated, tend to visualise the day’s happenings, including the smells they inhale and sound they hear.

“This can lead to enhanced efficiency in tracking narcotics and explosives at the airport,” said this official.

“In contrast, when the dogs are allowed to live with the handler’s family,  they get naturally inclined to sharing of affection with the family members.”

Customs commissioner (Mumbai airport), A Suri, said that a proposal has been sent about periodic training for dogs so as to attune them to the sense of modern day drugs and explosives.

A senior official of Air Intelligence Unit said that during training, dogs will be subjected to smells of a wide array of dummy (synthetic)  drugs and explosives. Training dogs is provided at the National Training Centre for Dogs in Gwalior.

For now, the Mumbai International Airport Limited has been asked to help with space and a specially made kennel, said a source.

“The commuting from the handler’s home to the airport fatigues the dog. By the time the canine is at work to sniff drugs out, its performance is hampered,” said the source.

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