Technology Detection Dogs - is there anything they can’t find?

Technology Detection Dogs - is there anything they can’t find?

You may not have heard of Technology detection dogs (TDD’s) – in Australia these are highly trained canines that specialize in detecting electronic devices such as mobile phones, USB drives, SIM cards, and other digital storage devices. These dogs are typically employed by law enforcement agencies, corrections facilities, and border security agencies to assist in detecting contraband items that may be hidden by criminals or smugglers.


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The training process for technology detection dogs is rigorous and involves teaching the dogs to recognize the unique scent of a chemical called triphenylphosphine oxide used in all electronic devices to prevent overheating. This training often begins with basic obedience and scent detection exercises before progressing to more specialized training with electronic devices.

Once trained, technology detection dogs work alongside their handlers in various environments, including airports, seaports, prisons, and other locations where electronic contraband may be present. These dogs are able to search large areas quickly and efficiently, often locating hidden devices as small as a micro-sim card that may be difficult for humans or traditional detection methods to find.

In Australia, technology detection dogs play a vital role in combating various forms of crime, including drug trafficking, cybercrime, and the distribution of illegal materials. Their keen sense of smell and ability to detect electronic devices make them valuable assets for law enforcement and security agencies. And after a career of around 6 years these dogs are adopted out to enjoy a well-deserved retirement life!