Sign In

Military Sniffer Dogs

July 9, 2020

Sniffer dogs can detect explosives and drugs, but can they also detect COVID-19? The German military and a veterinary university foundation are working with various breeds of sniffer dogs to find out.

German military sniffer dogs are being trained to detect coronavirus infections in human saliva as part of a joint study between the Bundeswehr, the country’s armed forces, and the University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover, Foundation (TiHo).

As part of the project, a group of 10 canines made up of sheep dogs, spaniels and retrievers are sniffing samples of infected people.

Sniffer dogs can detect not only explosives or drugs by their molecular composition, but they can also smell various cancers and the hypoglycaemia of diabetics. This ability is what has motivated veterinary scientists to research the potential ability of sniffer dogs to detect the coronavirus at a German military K9 training center in the western German town of Ulmen.

“With a hit rate of approximately 80%, researchers in Ulmen are well on their way to successfully continuing the project,” the dog training center was quoted by the German news agency DPA as saying.

The samples with which the sniffer dogs are being tested have been chemically rendered harmless. The question remains whether the canines can detect active coronavirus cases in human saliva.

“This must take place under very different conditions,” TiHo doctoral student Paula Jendrny told DPA. “After all, we have to be sure that no one gets infected by the highly infectious samples.”

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Former Victoria man’s diabetic alert dog helps him get back to life

    When Luke Hengen’s diabetes worsened in his early twenties, it stripped him of the outdoor activities where the country kid felt at home. Countless wilderness adventures and years of hard-fought football games took a toll on his body, to the point where he could no longer sense when his blood sugar was too high or […]

    Read more

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more