Vapor Wake Dogs Catch Bombers on the Move

The fine-tuned noses of “vapor wake" dogs are now being put to work at the U.S. Capitol and at Union Station in Washington, D.C. While explosives dogs have been used for years to identify bombs that are sitting in one place, vapor wake dogs are trained to sniff out a bomber in the middle of a crowd, reported WUSA.

"With a vapor wake dog, it will trail that moving target to its source for as long as it's moving," U.S. Capitol PoliceSgt. Charlie Abernathy told the station.

According to the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, which has a Vapor Wake Detection Canine Team, a vapor wake dog is trained in standard explosives detection but has additional abilities and training. Specifically, the dog has been taught to recognize explosives in the swirl of air or vapor wake that follows behind people as they walk. This enables the dog to follow the wake and track the explosives for a longer period of time.

In the video above, Labrador Retrievers named Quick, Ranger and Zeta show off their super noses in a demonstration.

Vapor wake dogs have only been around for a few years. They were put to work in New York City in late 2010.


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