A toddler is now back at home safe and sound – all thanks to the hard work of a police dog’s nose. WHDH News 7 reported that this week in Shelby County, Ohio, a 3-year-old went missing. There was a frantic search launched for the child, and police from the nearby Shelby County Sheriff’s Department were quick to arrive on the scene. And with them, they brought their K-9 named Bandit.
Bandit and his human partner, Deputy Frank Bleigh, immediately went to work locating the missing boy. And the wait wasn’t long at all. Bandit picked up the kid’s scent and followed it – finding the child only ten minutes later. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department put up a post on their Facebook page right after the child was located. The department credited Bandit’s excellent tracking and trailing abilities as the reason for the successful recovery of the missing toddler.
At 12:47 today we were dispatched to 15045 Sidney Plattsville Rd., on a missing 3 year old. Deputy Bleigh and K-9 Bandit…
The post read:
“Deputy Bleigh and K-9 Bandit started the search at the front of the house and within 10 minutes Bandit had located the child,” they said. “This is exactly why we have dog units, watching this track you could tell very well that Bandit had the scent of the child and was well on his way to finding him.”
Shelby County is a bit of a rural community, having only 50,000 residents. The county is located roughly 90 miles northeast of Columbus, Ohio. With all that rural land in between, the fact that Bandit was able to find the child within 10 minutes is truly an amazing feat.
Bandit’s ability to find the missing toddler is actually what is referred to as trailing. Trailing is commonly mistaken for tracking, but the two do have differences. For example, tracking is what a dog or human does when following a visual cue, such as footprints. Trailing is completely a dog’s ability since it involves following a scent path. By using a person or animal’s natural scent, the dog is able to trail the intended target by using their natural instincts – which take over and allow their precision to be spot on.
A dog’s sense of smell is truly a scientific astonishment. According to PBS, scientists report that a dog’s sense of smell is anywhere between 10,000 to 100,000 times better than that of a human. Former director of the Sensory Research Institute at Florida State University, James Walker, has described a dog’s keen sense of smell by likening it to vision in order to give us a better understanding.
Walker said, “If you make the analogy to vision, what you and I can see at a third of a mile, a dog could see more than 3,000 miles away and still see as well.”
Another scientist has given the analogy of a dog’s sense of smell is like the ability to detect the one rotten apple within two million barrels of apples.
That is truly impressive. And it really is true that a dog’s nose knows. Well done, Bandit!