When working with a young detection dog, how easy is it to separate your impact on the dog’s performance?
First let’s think of Clever Hans:
Clever Hans could not do mathematics, he was simply very adept at reading human cues.
Next let us consider the current scientific debate on canine social cognition, which postulates that a domestic dog has evolved and developed over time to interpret human nonverbal cues better than any other animal on the planet, save from other human beings.
Our goal is not to put an unnatural ability into the dog, but instead our goal is to develop and enhance the natural ability of the dog to our benefit. We would not need detection dogs if we were better than dogs at finding odor.