This Florida Dog Trainer Is Teaching His Pups To Sniff Out The Coronavirus
They have had 100% accuracy rates!
There’s no shortage of reasons to love dogs. They’re furry best friends, sometimes a little derpy, but most times smarter than you might expect and all-around adorable. In case you needed another reason to love these four-legged cuties, Florida COVID-19 cases could now apparently be detected by K9s that are actually being trained to sniff out the virus.
At Top Tier K9’s training center in Madison, Florida, 50 dogs are being trained to detect the smell of coronavirus. Jeff Minder, a former instructor for the Air Force, is using his patented 50-point training system to get these pups up to snuff.
Minder’s personal dog, Uzi, has been reported to have a more accurate record of detection than novel coronavirus swab testing. According to NBC News, health experts say that current COVID-19 testing may miss up to 20% of positive cases, usually due to the way samples are collected.
For the last two weeks, Minder says the dogs’ success rate at detecting the virus has been an impressive 100%. Across all of his pups' total compiled training, the ex Airforce instructor says the accuracy rating has fallen been between 95% and 96%.
“There are independent individual odors within that virus that these dogs are finding,” Minder told CBS Miami. “We think we know exactly what part of the virus they are finding, but that’s very hard to prove.”
When asked by CBS Miami where he felt his dogs would be most valuable Minder said, "immediately in curches, and then where people feel safer traveling."
The training process is a long one, and Minder explains that depending on the breed, it can take anywhere from eight months to two years to condition each dog. To get them used to the scent of the virus can take an additional eight weeks.
While the dog trainer would not disclose where he had gotten his virus samples from, he said that they were expensive.
As for if Floridians will see these furry COVID-19 sleuths sniffing out the virus in their communities anytime soon, no targeted date has been announced yet.
Florida's COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard currently lists 82,719 total cases in the state to date, as well as 12,389 hospitalizations and 3,018 deaths.