Pseudo Narcotic Generalization in Canines: Generalizing From Pseudo Cocaine to the Primary Compound in Cocaine-Methyl Benzoate

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Powell, Natalie
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Brustkern, Madelyn
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Date of Issue
2024
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Title
Pseudo Narcotic Generalization in Canines: Generalizing From Pseudo Cocaine to the Primary Compound in Cocaine-Methyl Benzoate
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Abstract
Dogs have around three hundred million olfactory receptors in their brains (Purina, 2023)- resulting in their incredible ability to detect illegal narcotics, bed bugs, cancer, seizures, diabetes, and even explosives and ammunition. While “true material” is highly sought after for narcotic, explosive, and human remains detection, this material is often too expensive and difficult to obtain. In addition, true material presents trouble with handling, storage, and security (Front. Vet. Sci., June 2020). Due to the aforementioned concerns, pseudo odors become invaluable training aids. To effectively recreate the odor, pseudo odors are designed with the primary compound from the true material or capture the headspace of the true material to provide an effective and safe odor for canines and their handlers. This provides a similar odor profile which can provide a suitable training aid (Front. Vet. Sci., June 2020). However, more recent studies have shown a lack of generalization from pseudos to true material (Moser et al., 2019). This causes concern for canines solely using pseudos for training purposes. This study aims to gain new insight into generalization in canines from pseudo cocaine to the primary compound in cocaine (methyl benzoate) without prior training on the odor.
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Anthrozoology