Top 5 Common Misconceptions about Security Dogs

By K9 Patrol 04/11/16, Posted in Latest News

1 – ‘Is it true that you can hide contraband, like drugs, from a security dog by covering the contraband with another strong scent, like coffee or perfume?’


Security dogs have this amazing ability that allows them to separate odours. For an average dog, more than 12% of the brain is devoted to processing smells, however in a human’s brain, less than 1% is devoted to this process. With this in mind, it can be difficult to understand how dogs can distinguish between smells and not be tricked by contraband being covered by another scent. Imagine you are being served a stew, you can see the difference between the onion, the carrot, the potato, the meat, yes? However, as humans we can’t distinguish between the smell of the carrots, the onions, the potatoes, etc. Dogs can. Whilst their sight is not as sophisticated as ours, they have this fantastic ability to separate mixed odours, and so this is why masking contraband with different odours simply does not work.

2 – ‘Is it true that security dogs are only trained to find drugs and they won’t be able to find anything else?’


Here at K9 Patrol, we know the true value that dogs add to all manner of security services – performing a huge variety of roles, from detection and deterrent all the way through to taking positive action when needed, they are a powerful resource that are not to be underestimated. However, we’re also aware that there are many misconceptions about security dogs. Due to rumours, wrong information, and the presentation of security dogs in the movies, there are many current myths circulating about security dogs, so we thought it was about time these myths get busted.

There is a great misconception that ‘sniffer dogs’ can only detect the smell of drugs. However, this is far from true. Our canine friends have a remarkable sense of smell, as mentioned above. Security dogs can not only detect the smell of drugs, they can be trained to find explosives, concealed weapons, firearms, fire accelerants, blood, and more. Security dogs can even be trained to detect the smell of bank notes. Drug detection is only one of many things that security dogs can be trained to detect.

3 – ‘Is it true that German Shepherds are used because they are a naturally ferocious and savage breed?’


Many people fear German Shepherds because there is a great misconception surrounding the breed.  Generally, people believe they are a popular breed for security dogs because they are an aggressive and hostile breed. This is not true. They are a popular choice for security dogs because they are a highly intelligent, extremely loyal, and courageous breed. The security dogs are trained to bark and growl when presented with a threat, or when they are commanded to by their handlers, German Shepherds are not a wild and ferocious breed by nature, despite the common misconception.

4 – ‘Is it true that security dogs might just attack or bite people unprovoked because they are trained to be aggressive?’


A security guard dog will not attack or bite a person unprovoked.  A security guard dog will alert the handler by barking or growling, but security dogs are extremely well trained and are never unaccompanied; they will always be in the presence of their well-trained handler. A security dog will not attack, or maul, or bite a person in an uncontrolled, frenzied fashion, like they are presented in many movies. Security dogs are obedient and disciplined; they are used for protection and prevention. Security dogs are trained to aid their handler for security purposes. They are not trained to be frenzied and violent beasts.

5 – ‘Is it true that security dogs are just misbehaved and deviant guide dogs?’


Whilst it is true, that many security dogs begin their lives training to be guide dogs, there is a great misconception that security dogs are disobedient and undisciplined guide dogs. Handlers identify qualities and characteristics in the dog such as, a particular strong sense of smell, or a highly energised nature, that makes the handler realise that the dog would be better suited to a career in security rather than aiding the blind. It is a great misconception that it is because they are disobedient. For a dog to be in either profession, a high level of obedience and discipline is an absolute necessity and requirement.

If you’d like to find out more about our detection dog or canine patrol services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

You can call us on 01423 551526 or email us at

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