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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I opened a new thread so we don't take the original thread too far off topic.

Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:49 am Post subject:

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David Frost wrote:
Psuedo is not real. It requires no license, no safeguards. It's teaching a dog to an odor that is similar to the real thing. There are no certification agencies that will allow the use of psuedo during certification. Every trainer I've ever spoken too that uses psuedo always states; we test on the real thing. I've said it before and will continue saying it; using psuedo is like firing blanks during qualification. It's a waste of time.

<<<Tim wrote>>>


david, i certainly was not advocating the use of psuedo for certifications. like you said, nobody does that. the fact is that psuedo has some major logistical advantages over real dope:

-you don't have to go through the check out procedures every time you want to train (get locker key from watch commander, get dope, weigh dope, record weights, train, weigh dope, record weights, put dope back in locker). this all of course assumes that the watch commander is around to get the key from. i keep pseudo in my trunk and can get it out and train whenever i want to.

-you don't have to worry about the dog ingesting the dope. this is a particular advantage in the earliest stages of training. using a scented tug or scented kong, or scented whatever is far easier than the gifte (PVC) or wrapping up real dope in a towel especially for the dog who shows an aversion to the harder items. even the most well laid out plans can go awry and dogs can end up ingesting dope. not a good thing.

now given the choice, i would always choose to train with the real stuff. in fact i'd say about 80% of my training now is with real dope. it's nice, however, to have the option of psuedo.

also i must correct you on your statement that it's teaching the dog a similar odor to the real thing. that isn't quite accurate and paints a bad picture. pseudo cocaine is methylbenzoate which is in cocaine. pseudo heroin is acetic acid which is in heroin. these odors are part of what make up the signature odors of those drugs. it's part of the overall scent picture of the real drug. so it's not "similar" it is an exact part of the real thing. i'm not sure what the pseudo chemical for marijuana is, but i assume it's the same kind of deal (one of the actual, many odors that are in marijuana).

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I've heard all these arguments before. In fact, by chemical signature and by odor signature, there is a difference between psuedo and actual substance. If there wasn't a difference, it would be a scheduled drug.

methyl benzoate, while being a by-product of decomposing cocaine is primarily used in perfumes and as a flavoring agent in food. Using your logic, am I to assume that the dog should also respond on any food or perfume that contains methyl benzoate?

Acetic acid is an important reagent used in the production of polyethlene terephthalate, used in plastic soda bottles. It is also used in poly vinyl wood glue. It is an acid regulator commonly used in foods. Acetic acid is also a by-product of aspirin as it decomposes chemically. Again, the logic that it is in heroin, am I to assume that dogs should hit on wood glue and aspirin.

You mentioned the scent picture, and that is the exact reason I use and real drugs. I am getting the whole scent picture, not one frame from many. Auburn University and Land Warefare Labratory both, in studies they have conducted have been unable to quantify exactly what the dog is responding too relative drug odors. I've conducted enough of my own studies to see that dogs trained on actual odors, do not respond to pseudo drugs. While they may show an interest, even stop to investigate, the dogs did not respond. My studies, while perhaps not totally scientific involved 10 dogs, trained on actual substance. Each of the 10 dogs were proficient on cocaine and heroin. We did not use the psuedo marijuana. Each dog was given 2 opportunities to respond to psuedo cocaine and heroin and each dog was given 2 opportunites to respond to actual drug substance. Each target was of the exact same weight (10 grams). Five rooms were used for each test, with only 2 of the rooms containing a target. Each target was placed at 3 feet from the ground and allowed to be in place for 30 minutes, before the first test was conducted. The dogs were divided into two groups of 5 each. The handlers were not told what was planted, where it was planted or, in fact if anything was planted. The rules allowed for the observer of the test to stop the dog from rewarding the dog for a positive response on a pseudo target. Of the 10 dogs tested, there was not one positive response on pseudo drugs. the overall percentage for actual drug substance was 95%. Two seperate dogs missed one heroin target each. Each dog missed a different target.

Granted it was not a double blind study, but it was enough information to convince me, there certainly is a difference.

I've got 42 drug dogs working. Each handler has a training aid kit they are responsible for. Each kit is issued to the handler, inventoried monthly, physically inspected annually. Replaced as necessary. DEA allows this, if it's written into your protocol.

DFrost
 

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Sounds like all the dogs in the 'test' just described were trained using only the real thing. Maybe you should have also had a couple of dogs that had training on pseudo as well. Everything I've ever heard re: dogs trained using pseudo scents says that they hit on the real thing just as accurately as dogs trained only on the real thing.

Any comments from people with experience in this area?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:04 pm Post subject:

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Quote:
I apologize in advance, I can't resist posting any time someone mentions the use of psuedo.



Explosives are man made product/chemical so it is reality that you can duplicate the desired odors for the dog to train on. Where as the real thing may also contain plastics and other material related to every day things that is not desirable to reinforce. The bottom line is this is 2007
not 1965 both training methods and knowledge has greatly advanced.

There is currently large number of dogs being trained with the new X-scents these people are having great results. I am like everyone else (show me the money) so I and plenty of others have tested both ways train on real see if will hit on pseudo/ train on pseudo see if hits on real.

I like the convenience (size) safety (size) and a guide to longevity when dealing with odor vapor head space. (strength) The only thing I dont like is the price.
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I'm not exactly sure what you mean by this not being 1965. I train in 2007. I too have used the X-scents. You can cap it all you want, it won't explode. That tells me, something is missing. In any scent training, you do train to an odor profile. If you are unable to absolutely identify and quantify what that profile is, then you don't know that you are training on something that replicates the odor you are trying to find. While I realize there is a significant difference in the way pseudos and x-scents are manufactured, they still, regardless of the hype are not actual substances. I've also used x-scents. My results differ from the ones you cite.

DFrost
 

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I keep hearing that training with pseudo narcotics is flawed because if you are searching to establish probable cause (or reasonable grounds here in Canada), you are unable to say that the dog will only indicate on illegal substances. Any case law supporting this? Or just a myth?

Simon
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
To my knowledge, and speaking with Terry Fleck (through e-mails) and reviewing his very comprehensive website and my own research, I am not aware of any case law that was detrimental to a dog case. I will say that almost without exception, when testifying in court, whether state or federal, I've always been asked; "do you train with psueod". My answer is always no, never. So I can't say where the lawyers were going to go with the question. My comments relative the use of psuedo are strictly based on, what I believe, sound training principles.

DFrost
 

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My reference to 1965 was related to increased use of K-9 in explosives the aids used and training methods employed at that time. (Vietnam).

Even with real explosives example:smokeless powder, Red Dot versus IMR their is no gaurantee that the dog will generalize from one variant to the other. The only sure way would be to train on all, but the most train
on just a few variants. If untrained have same chemicals the dog will generlize on untrained odors and alert. But dog dependent etc.

I consider X-scent no different is it 100 percent (no) you still need to train with other variants such as the real thing to confirm.

Dan Reiter
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Dan, the military (US) didn't start training explosives detector dogs until 1972. They did have some tunnel and trip wire dogs, and a few that were trained on land mines, but that too was in the 70's. Generally, the mine dogs were very low percentage.

DFrost
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Kristen Cabe said:
Sounds like all the dogs in the 'test' just described were trained using only the real thing. Maybe you should have also had a couple of dogs that had training on pseudo as well. Everything I've ever heard re: dogs trained using pseudo scents says that they hit on the real thing just as accurately as dogs trained only on the real thing.

Any comments from people with experience in this area?
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You missed my point. The dogs trained on actual, real drugs, would not respond to psuedo drugs. What's the point of proving otherwise, except for the fact of showing it. My point is, you are training the dog, when using pseudo, on odors other than what you intend to find.

DFrost
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dan Reiter said:
My reference to 1965 was related to increased use of K-9 in explosives the aids used and training methods employed at that time. (Vietnam).

Even with real explosives example:smokeless powder, Red Dot versus IMR their is no gaurantee that the dog will generalize from one variant to the other. The only sure way would be to train on all, but the most train
on just a few variants. If untrained have same chemicals the dog will generlize on untrained odors and alert. But dog dependent etc.

I consider X-scent no different is it 100 percent (no) you still need to train with other variants such as the real thing to confirm.

Dan Reiter
Reference you example of Red Dot, versus IMR. I don't take the chance, even though the study conducted by the Secret Service showed there was stimulus generalization among, Red Dot, Green Dot, single vs. Double etc. There was only one, according to their study that the dog did not stimulus generalize. I won't comment on that on a public forum. As far as other explosives, well the only way to tell, it test and train. Once tested, if there is stimulus generalization, then no worries. If not, you train on it.

I do know what you mean about cost. Try buying Semtex. It's not cheap.

DFrost
 

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Dave
I didnt know the exact years I was in Germany (last of 2 year guys)
In 73 everyone with us had come from Vietnam and was explained how they trained their trip wire dogs (It wasnt pretty by the sounds). Have freind I train with here who was their in earlier years (marines) but I guess they were sentry dogs at that time.

Another reason I like X scent a number of my customers (to include military) have requested I make a larger adapter plate to hold training aids. (part of device system I sell) to fit C-4 this not an issue with x-scent product. Personally I prefer to train single odor set foundation and move on to hand delivery. But like any dog training their are lot of methods/preferences and thats just fine.

Dan Reiter
 

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yes david, your method was unscientific. i have personally seen two dogs exclusively trained on real dope, hit on psuedo. the first time i was doing a search warrant in another jurisdiction. this was a huge area. it had about 4 out-buildings, a main warehouse, and about 30 junk cars. it could easily have taken 5 dogs to search adequately. i suggested to our dope unit that they call for another dog to help. the county sent one of their dogs. after searching for a while with no alerts, i hid some psuedo heroin in the tail lights of one of the junk cars so my dog could get a reward and keep his drive up. i did it and i paid him. i asked the other handler if he wanted to do it. he told me his dog was trained exclusively on real dope and that he wouldn't hit on psuedo. he decided to do it (probably to try and prove me wrong). his dog aggressively alerted on the psuedo. while you can try to say that the handler qued the dog, i can tell you that he absolutely did not. he did not want his dog to hit on the psuedo.

our second drug dog went to a different school than i did and was trained exclusively on real dope. when he got out of his school we tried him on the psuedo scents. i can't remember the specific scents, but he alerted on 2 of the 3 psuedo scents. on the third, he behaved as you described (a lot of interest, but no final response). the handler did not know the location of the hides.

as you stated david, there is no case law that is detrimental to using psuedo. while you state your own department's policy regarding the handling of training dope, i have also told you my departments. we have to weigh our dope before and after EVERY training session. yes, once a month it is weighed by the evidence technician as well.

edit: i did not mean to suggest that the two dogs hitting on the psuedo was anymore scientific then the results of your test...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think there is a big difference, in that the trials I conducted were at least single blind. In your situation, you had an area that the location of the target was known to the handler. In addition, a dog had just responded to that area. Take what you will from the discussion. I just state my opinion, based on my experiences. I won't use, and will never recommend the use of psuedo, just because it's easier.

DFrost
 

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> I have just finished a team and am a week away from another. I had to use pseudo heroin as mine went bad through the whole course with both teams. I noted it on the records throughout the training. The first team just completed their national cert and responded to both heroin aids one in a wall locker and the other in a door seam.
> I will not argue the pro's or con's of pseudo I can only say the team trained the whole course on pseudo and certified on the real stuff and located both finds not having a clue where they had been planted.
 

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I've also used x-scents. My results differ from the ones you cite.
David I didnt catch this comment earlier or I would have mentioned. The same person who trained the intial 12 explosive detections dogs for the military and the first tunnel dogs also uses X-scents. I was at their place in September their was a number of detection dog handlers their for training I heard nothing but good results. This is not the only one I know training with and hear and see same thing. ( and I am not talking small numbers of dogs )
So this would puzzle me as to why you would have different results.
what happened ???.

If you just dont like it which I gather I understand but if you know of issue I would like to hear it.

Dan Reiter
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Dan Reiter said:
I've also used x-scents. My results differ from the ones you cite.
David I didnt catch this comment earlier or I would have mentioned. The same person who trained the intial 12 explosive detections dogs for the military and the first tunnel dogs also uses X-scents. I was at their place in September their was a number of detection dog handlers their for training I heard nothing but good results. This is not the only one I know training with and hear and see same thing. ( and I am not talking small numbers of dogs )
So this would puzzle me as to why you would have different results.
what happened ???.

If you just dont like it which I gather I understand but if you know of issue I would like to hear it.

Dan Reiter
Dan, I'm not going to argue over the first explosives detector dogs for the military, but I will tell you, I was among the first 6 instructors in the EDD Course. The dog I trained as part of the pilot project was a dog named Otto, he ended up with Maryland State Police in '73 as I recall. The first class that went through the military course, also conducted at Lackland was conducted in late 1972. There were no X scents used. The first explosives detector dog class was instructed by the former chief trainer for the Secret Service, last name "Burke". It had military and two officers from LAPD. I was the instructor in the second class, along with a man named Tomlinson. The tunnel dogs, originally trained by the Army, were not trained at Lackland. They were trained on a limited number of explosives as more attention was paid to trip wires. I don't think X scents were even available in the early '70's.

DFrost
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Phil, I never stated that dogs trained on psuedo couldn't find real drugs. I only stated what my own research indicated, anecdotal as it may be. I've also seen dogs in our area that were trained on pseudo, and they work fine. I personally can't justify training on anything other than the actual odors involved. It's called pseudo for a reason.

DFrost
 

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David
I think it would be a no brainer that x-scents are new, My comment was made with reference to Tracy Bowling if you dont believe he did what I commented fine you tell him. I stated he uses X-scent (this would be in year 2006) not that he trained dogs in the over 30 years ago with. I was referencing his experience. (so either put your glasses on or dont take out of context) Any way you going to ansew my question ??.

Dan Reiter
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Dan, first off, I don't think there is a need to make this personal, such as the glasses or out of context comments. It's obvious we don't' agree. You stated: "" The same person who trained the intial 12 explosive detections dogs for the military and the first tunnel dogs also uses X-scents."" While he may well use X scents, he did not train the initial 12 explosives detector dogs for the military. It's not a matter of whether or not I believe this person did such a thing, I know he wasn't there. Do you mean he trained the first 12 explosives dogs for the military using X-scents. That could well be true, I wouldn't know.

None the less, I'm not going to beat a dead horse. I prefer to use the actual substance, since I'm the one that makes those decisions, that will continue, at least until I retire. (27 months, but whose counting). I'm not exactly sure which question I didn't answer, if it's why I won't use X-scents, let's just leave it at; my results have been different relative the use of x-scents, with dogs that were trained on actual explosives.

DFrost
 

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I prefer to use the actual substance, since I'm the one that makes those decisions
DFrost
Thats all I needed if was was a issue evolving other than personal preference I would sure liked to have knowledge of after all it is fairly new in use to others than military.

It definately has its place as training aid for high people exposure areas,
Dysneyland (they have own security), mass transit, etc when training in real environments that you dont want a piece of C-4 to keep an eye on etc.

Dan Reiter
 

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And one last thing so as to not getting out of context. Everyone I know of using x-scents doesnt use it exclusively. They all have real explosives and train with the x-scent is just what it is a training "aid".

Dan Reiter
 
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