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Learning to Smell: Impacts of Training and Experience on Detection Dog Performance – Presented by Nathaniel Hall

Odor detection and perception is often considered a static and/or innate canine capability with a set capacity, This view promotes that detection dog training largely involves communication of which odor to detect. In this talk, I will review the scientific literature across a variety of species, and detection dogs, that indicates that olfactory perception is fluid and dependent on experience and learning.  I will argue that training influences both the “what” and “how” a dog perceives target odorants and that purposeful planning and training with target odor variations can have important and consequential impacts on detection dog performance.

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