'Sniffer Dogs Irreplaceable Assets in Rescue Operations'

Experts stress on optimising performance of canines which assist in various activities

Published: 28th July 2014 08:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th July 2014 09:32 AM   |  A+A-


CHENNAI: Experts at a workshop co-organised by the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS), Tamil Nadu Commando Force (TNCF) and MARS Inc.,  stressed the importance of optimising the performance of canines, which assist military and para-military forces in various activities.

Inaugurating the event, Sanjay Arora, ADGP of the Tamil Nadu Commando Force (TNCF), said that dogs were an irreplaceable asset to the forces and their work cannot be replicated by any machine.

The role played by sniffer dogs in the rescue operations at the Moulivakkam building collapse site was talked about by senior officials during informal discussions at the event, which was attended by many members of the TNCF and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

Dr SG Christopher, a senior veterinary officer with the NDRF, who had trained the three dogs which assisted the Arakkonam unit of NDRF in the Moulivakkam rescue operations, said that their outlook was to make rescue dogs people-friendly.

“When dogs are searching for buried bodies under the rubble, like in the Moulivakkam collapse, they should be warm and friendly, and not ferocious,” Christopher said.

For this purpose, the NDRF dog-training personnel carry out familiarisation drives for their dogs by taking them to busy public spots like railway stations.

Guest speaker Dr Dominique Grandjean, who is a professor at the National Veterinary School of Alfort in France, stressed the importance of managing chronic stress that sniffer dogs suffered from.

He said that the performance of a ‘work dog’ started from the kennel and physical training, even for sniffer dogs, was of paramount importance.

“Scientists are researching to create machines which can replicate the performance of canines. But they aren’t half as efficient as the dogs. I don’t think machines can ever better them,”  said Grandjean. 

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