July 17, 2014 – Money has no smell? That is what the Roman emperor Vespasianus is said to have answered his son who disapproved of the new tax on the use of public toilets. Today we know: Maybe it does not stink but it actually has a proper smell. And we can train dogs to it!
In 2012 the French police dog Fury discovered more than 200,000 euros hidden in a chimney. Recently five-year old Enya of the Rennes canine unit was involved in another spectacular operation. She found 186,000 euros and was decorated for that success together with her dog handler.
For quite some time the quadrupeded police officers have assisted their human colleagues sniffing drugs. Since some years Banque de France has been supporting the formation centre of the canine units of the French police with drilling the dogs to find hidden money.
In the premises of Banque de France young dogs faced samples of chaffed banknotes whose odour they memorised. At the same time the experts analysed what was so peculiar in these banknotes that the animals were able to distinguish it. Now we know: the ink and the paper.
Thereupon the training was significantly simplified. Today Banque de France sends only odourant molecules of ink and paper in glass tubes to the training centre. With these substances the dogs learn just as well as the outcome proves.
You can read more about Enya’s success in Le Figaro.
Fury was headline news in Le Parisien.
Other countries also train police dogs to become such specialists for money.