Campus News

Overestimating the canine touch

Fortune magazine reported on the controversial use of dogs in police work, where they are sometimes used to identify a criminal, by scent, weeks after a crime was committed, or on the basis of a tiny whiff of the real criminal’s hand on a bullet casing. The magazine asked for an explanation from I. Lehr Brisbin, of UGA’s Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. “I’ve been studying dogs a long time,” he said, “and when I test dogs that are supposed to be able to do this very well, they fail. Invariably.”