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Mine Detection Dogs

Mine Detection Dog and Dog Handler

Complementary techniques have been developed to increase the speed, cost, safety and efficiency of the humanitarian mine clearance. For instance, since the mid-90s, dogs have been trained and used to detect mines. Dogs can smell the explosive vapor contained in the mines and unexploded ordnances (UXO); and they can be trained to indicate the presence of explosives without endangering themselves or the handler. Escorted by a dog handler, a dog will search an area and will calmly sit down once he has smelled explosives.

The use of dogs can be faster and cost effective compared to the use of metal detectors. Contrarily to metal detectors, dogs are capable of detecting mines with a very low metal component. Dogs can also detect mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) in an area heavily contaminated with metals. These capabilities of mine detection dogs imply a high responsibility for the organsations who rely on them. They have to take good care of the dogs, they must be trained, treated and fed properly.