Beagles have an extraordinary sense of smell. This is what makes them perfect for detecting pests, like bed bugs. Bugsy the beagle was trained in a bedbug detection program in Florida, as a young puppy.Hoffman a trained dog handler, traveled to Florida, to work with Bugsy.
I think when she met this beagle it was love at first site. After two months of training, the two become
quite a team. He had to prove that he knew what he was doing, as a bed bug detective. Bugsy is more than a work
companion, he is a beloved pet.
“Alfie Kiernan, owner of Canadian Thermal Solutions, said the dogs are essential for the treatment of bedbugs because the animals are trained to sniff out live bedbugs and viable eggs.
He said the dogs are vital to his business and are tested every two weeks to ensure they have at least a 95 per cent accuracy.”
How do they train beagles to detect bed bugs?
They start training them by placing several bed bugs in three of five salt shakers. In one of the remaining salt shakers, they will place, eggs,
skin of the insect, fecal matter, and casting. The dogs sniff out the shakers with live bed bugs for detection. The dog is taken out of the room. The salt shakers with the live bugs, are hidden around the room.
The handler opens the door to the room, and issues, a command. Its called a seek command, the dogs search around the room to find where, the live bed bugs are hidden. Once they find the shakers, they are given treats. The dogs are trained as puppies. Then they train them to detect other scents, such as finding the eggs, fecal matter these bugs leave behind.
Its a long training process. The dogs have to be certified, every two years. Beagles are very good at this because they have more scent receptors
that can be trained to call to memory specific scents. They have a 95 percent accuracy rate in detecting bed bugs. Plus following a scent is something beagles love to do.
It looks like Bugsy enjoys what he does.
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