Question about K9'S & detection(7 posts)
I have a question for K9 handlers or trainers. I want to know what would the reason be for a dog to give a false positive? I know there could be many factors or reasons .. but please describe a few.
One thing I want to point out and it may be a coincidence but I have seen this several times and it has me wondering.
A few times now I have worked with people who were infested and the dog has hit in several areas. I ask where these locations are and I often find harborage areas in said locations while doing my treatments.
I have found a few times however, areas that a dog will alert to harboring roaches. I take a significant amount of time looking over these areas and find no trace of fecal, casts, eggs, live bugs etc.
Now I’m wondering if while a K9 is in its inspection mode will it get excited and pick up on a roach infestation and alert the handler? Will it locate a bed bug, get rewarded, and fall off track and do the same for roaches or another insect?
I stopped mid way today in a treatment because I was hired by a couple that had 3 treatments by another company, 2 K9 inspections from said company, and still were receiving bites. They called me in and I started working based on the information they gave me today and about a month ago while having treatment with this other company. I found nothing. The hits the dog gave didn’t make sense based on location and I don’t think my client is dealing with bed bugs.
And I don’t think a bug could have survived the chemical application I was looking at today. What a mess! I am going to have another independent K9 come in and re-inspect soon.
Thanks in advance ...KQ
I should also mention the dog did alert both times. Once before the treatment to confirm an infestation and after the first or second treatment again. And I'm not blind
You might want to check my recent post at the "Need Some Advice". I give some lengthy explanations and examples relating to false positives. However, their is no chemical scent reason for a trained live bed bug/egg detection dog to false alert. If the dog is alerting on roaches it could be because the dog has been rewarded a number of times when roaches were in proximity to the bed bugs that the dog has located over time. Now, the roach scent becomes an acceptable scent to alert to. In that case the dog would need to go through significant retraining even to the extent of reintroducing live bed bugs/eggs with a new command word. The dog should have no interest what-so-ever with roaches. If the dog is alerting and you are confident that their is no presence of live bed bugs and eggs then there is a serious problem.
Hello Killer Queen,
A dog that is trained to alert to bed bugs will not alert to cockroaches. The scents are completely different.
Since the dog gets fed for alerting there is potential for false positives. The real key to this not becoming a habit is a keen handler that can pick up on the dog trying to cheat. In these instances the dog is not rewarded for lying and it quickly learns to quit messing around.
What disturbs me most about a lot of K9 units that are springing up is that the handler does not verify the dog's findings. Many are quite literally running the dog through the room and not taking the time to ensure that the places the dog alerts to do in fact have bed bugs. This only serves to reinforce the dog to false alert if it is getting away with it.
It is also possible that air currents in the room cause the dog to alert further away than the source of the scent. Again, this comes down to how keen a handler is. A good handler will recognize the difference in cues between a faint scent and a strong scent.
The dog is only as good as the handler ...
Entomologist / Pest Professional
Dogs can provide false positives because nothing in this world is 100%. Training methods and handling skills can ensure they are minimal but they will never be stopped totally, and to be perfectly clear the majority has to do with proper training to minimize the false positives. I just read a statement on NESDCA's website "Beware of Fraudulent Certifications" about certifications being conducted where the team is not even being seen while tested. This is a serious deficiency involving a certification. There are so many people involved, in so many aspects, dealing with these bugs you really have to do your homework and basically investigate what/who is real The dogs scent picture may have come to include roaches, as Broberg stated, or the dog may not have been properly trained to exclude roaches from its scent picture. Either way its a simple fix which would not require significant retraining or the introduction of a new command.
Your idea of using a different team until the dog issue has been resolved is probably the best bet.
Hope this helped, Jessip
Sean's post rescued from spam. Scroll up!
Thanks for the info guys. I have a handler I like to recommend when I'm asked but these cases I'm talking about were hired by my clients before contacting me. I get called in to do the treatment after they have already had these K9 inspections.
I'm starting to learn about some of the teams that were used ... and some of the info I'm hearing is questionable. But again thanks for the help.
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