Dogs Going On The Job In America's Airports, Sniffing Explosives

Law enforcement dogs are trained by association, repetition and reward.

"After he jumps each obstacle, he'll look for this toy," Deputy Tony Sauro said.

Alex, one's of Harrison County Sheriffs Department's drug sniffing dogs. At work he can protect his handler from violent criminals, sniff out drugs, track felons and find lost children. He can also be friendly and calm in an airport setting. The dog is very gentle and friendly, but with one simple command, he can turn into a very different dog.

Learning to sniff out explosives takes very specialized training.

"What you do is take their toy, hide it say in an enamel can with black powder, that odor, residual odor, will get on the toy. You go hide the toy and make it a primary find where the dog can actually get to it," Sauro said.

An explosive detecting dog can smell the gun powder in a bullet in a gun inside the glove compartment of a locked car. Experts say their sense of smell is anywhere between 5 million and 5 billion times greater than ours.

Since September 11th, these amazing animals have been in much higher demand. Now humans rely on them for their safety more than ever.