Navy dog detects drugs in test for her skills (Wikipedia)
States that have legalized recreational marijuana will have to train new 'sniffer dogs' to find other narcotics soon, as courts consider how to evaluate criminal charges based on sniffer findings.
Canada and states in the U.S. are retiring their current sniffers early in response to court cases that have been thrown out if marijuana was found among a stash of other drugs, say, meth or heroin. Because sniffer dogs have been trained to identify marijuana and other illegal drugs, new dogs will have to be trained from scratch to focus on the now-illegal drugs.
Sniffer dogs are generally bred specifically for their jobs. Popular sniffing dogs are Hounds, Beagles, German Shepherds, Labradors, Pointers, and Belgian Malinois - ones with the best sense of smell. Training can take one to two years and costs about $10 thousand per dog.
Here's how many sniffer dogs work:
If sniffer dogs are up for adoption in your country or state (Many sniffer dogs are adopted by their handlers.), be aware that these dogs will require a special understanding as, thus far, they will have been used to a strict routine. They are often on the alert, even when off-duty, so it is a good idea to award them for their curiosity. They will need a lot of exercise and play, and rewards.
The dogs will have been well cared-for, but will not have been socialized with other people, other dogs, and they, most likely, will not have been housebroken. They will be used to having one handler, and will have to learn to 'adopt you' as their new handler. Make sure to get thorough care and training instructions on handling these dogs after their retirement.
via Sky News