Odor Memory of Detection Dogs: Implications for Training and Employmen

Understanding the parameters of the remembering of odors that detector dogs have been trained to detect will allow for enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of initial and maintenance training. In previous work (Porritt et al., 2015) we demonstrated that deficits in detection performance of dogs conducting repetitive searches of the same area without exposure to trained targets in that area were not due to the forgetting of odors. Rather, the decrease in performance was shown to be due to a decrease in search vigilance and that vigilance for detecting targets that were never present in the area could be maintained by the intermittent presence of 1 surrogate target in the area to which the dogs had the opportunity to respond. This presentation will discuss this prior work and our current extension of that work examining memory over longer time horizons and when memory is challenged by training to detect many odors.

Authors: Paul Waggoner, Craig Angle, Fay Porritt, Joong Kim