Qualitative and quantitative changes in dogs' information-seeking behaviours during the subsequent phases of operant conditioning training using a scent lineup, were investigated. Particular interest was paid to behaviours which may have an impact on errors committed by dogs at work in a scent lineup and thus on the reliability of the canine identification of humans on the base of scent. Significant individual differences were found in dogs' performance in operant conditioning during match-to-sample trials. The style and time of sniffing the pattern scent sample as well as the searching time and number of stations sniffed in the lineup were found to influence the percentage of errors (false positive and false negative indications) made by dogs. The effects of the dogs' routine e.g. omitting stations, using other cues than olfactory ones (visual) and effects of the non-verbal communications between handler and dog have been discussed.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.