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Monday, February 11, 2013

Sensor Bed Bug Dogs Are The Best Way To Find 

Bed Bug Activity !

Ben the Bed Bug Dog Inspecting Hotel Room in Atlanta Georgia
Why Sensor Bed Bug Dogs ? The dogs start training at an early age. The First Part of training as puppies is to create their Social Identity and Behavior. They are introduced to the stimulus (Bed Bugs) at an early age and their life from that point on is a building exercise in inspecting in all kinds of situations. Sensor Dogs do not pick up food or other objects from the floor. This is a major problem for some detection dogs. Not only is this a great distraction but is also unhealthy for the dog to consume food that could have been there for months. I recently saw another bed bug dog do inspections. Foraging was a major problem during the inspections. After a few units the dog went in looking for food not bed bugs. I had a bed that I knew had infestation however the dog wanted to go to the kitchen because that is where the food is. Never alerted to the bed that had at least 50 bed bugs in it.

There are many trainers that claim to train Bed Bug Dogs. They claim to be certified. What does this mean?
It means $$$$. for the Trainers. The DogTeam that I saw that missed a Bed with at least 50 Bed Bugs was certified. Handler training for most of these Trainers is almost non-existent. I had one trainer with a certification program told me all I need to do is get someone to video my dog alerting for bed bugs and send it to him with an application fee (of course) and we would be approved and certified.. No Thanks!

I spent many years doing certification for Handlers of Detection Dogs. Handler Training needs to take place at least every 3 months. Constant exercises with stimulus and negative insects. Variables are a big key to successful handling. The biggest problem with Bed Bug Detection Dogs Handling is the containers. When you train a dog to react to a certain stimulus that stimulus needs to not be connected to any consistent containers. For instance most handlers have vials with bed bugs in them. If they only use the vial with a certain type of paper of screen and tape they are rewarding the animal for a response to all of those stimululi.
For that reason they need to do exercise using different containers,paper and tape. I used to train my handlers to do sacrifice exercises which is an insect with no container. This however is difficult to accomplish with bed bugs.

Due to what I have experienced we choose to have our own certification program which is much more intense that any I have witnessed. I do at least 3 exercises a week and constantly introduce him to new situations. It is imperative that I have my dog ready for just about any situation I could run into.

They start at 6-10 weeks and love their work.
Other live animals must be taken out of the inspection area during the inspection. The Dog can be trained to ignore the scents of other animals and work through that. It is not however a good idea to have any live animal present during inspection.

Ben alerting to Bed Bugs

I saw one handler that never talked to their dog during inspection. I am thinking "How do you expect the animal to know that he has pleased you? How is the animal going to improve if there is no communication during the inspection. As the dog completes more and more inspections and gets put in variable situations they start patternizing much better and make the handlers life much easier.

If you would like to have a Sensor Dog Inspection I have many references of projects we have done. You can also find out more information at the following websites in Georgia.

Clark Pest Remedy  covering the Metro Atlanta Georgia Area and North Georgia
Macon Bed Bugs   covering Middle Georgia
Cobra Exterminating  covering South Georgia
Bed Bugs Savannah  covering the Savannah, St; Simons Island Hilton Head Island etc.

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