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Dog Sniff Schools

Billions of dogs - unused resource -- Massively teach dogs to sniff out diseases, and substances, and improve public health :)
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People keep close to a billion of dogs as pets, with phenomenal capabilities to sniff out things, including the capabilities to diagnose diseases. Could they make us more healthy by doing early diagnoses?

The idea, is that dog schools could help make our canine resources more valuable.

Inyuki, Nov 15 2018

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       Dogs can sniff out some diseases. I believe this has been looked into.
doctorremulac3, Nov 16 2018
  

       Yes, but those are "professionals".   

       This idea suggests training companion animals, but since dogs require no encouragement to sniff things (usually the more disgusting, the better) the process isn't that difficult.   

       There would be a serious reliability issue; false positives aren't too bad, but false negatives are concerning.   

       It might be more practical to train a specific cohort, probably spaniels (famous for their olfactory virtuosity) rather than just picking pets at random.   

       The "Pets As Therapy" concept has been recognized as successful, and some schools introduce dogs to help with reading skills and stress.   

       [+]
8th of 7, Nov 16 2018
  

       You can't have a cohort of spaniels; they won't stay in their ranks. You could try an exhort.
pertinax, Nov 16 2018
  

       How would the dogs communicate ? It's probably quite important to differentiate between drugs, explosives, cancer or an imminent seizure.
bigsleep, Nov 16 2018
  

       Dogs are surprisingly adept at communicating to humans with whom they have a working relationship; and they're usually trained for only one searching task.   

       The most critical part of the training for explosives sniffer dogs is teaching them not to retrieve. Spaniels in particular have an innate tendency, once they have found something, to bring it back to their human. That's fine for a dead pheasant or rabbit, but less good if the item is liable to go off bang.
8th of 7, Nov 16 2018
  

       Useful if they get the scent of currency paper/ink.
FlyingToaster, Nov 16 2018
  

       And, if you make special automated work stations, like vending machines, where people can be diagnostically served, dogs could even have a job to commute to... :)
Inyuki, Nov 17 2018
  
      
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