Detector dogs

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National Museums Liverpool's advent calendar has a dog theme for 2017. 

There are more than 60 sniffer dogs in the UK helping to secure our border. Sniffer, or detector, dogs are used by the Border Force to sniff out smuggled drugs, weapons, tobacco, products of animal origin, money and people. 

The Seized! gallery at Merseyside Maritime Museum features interesting drug concealments from smuggling attempts that have been foiled by intelligent detector dogs. On display are seized coffee bags found in a travellers suitcase by Pup at Manchester Airport. Pup sniffed out all ten bags, which were found to contain £600,000 of cocaine.       

Border Force were also assisted by a sniffer dog when discovering a ‘drug suit’ on board a cruise ship at Dover. You can see the drug suit on display at the Seized! gallery. 

Typically sniffer dogs are Labradors or Cocker Spaniels due to their good-natured temperament, ability to listen and respond to instructions and to stay calm in various situations.

The Seized! team regularly meet the detector dogs and their specialist handlers. Joyce Parr, our Education Manager at Seized!, is pictured above with Pup taking part in a fake smuggling ‘set-up’ at Manchester Airport. Joyce was pretending to smuggle an illegal package which Pup immediately sniffed out in a very crowded arrivals room. Joyce was soon taken to one side by the Border Force Officer! Pup was rewarded with lots of praise and a playful game of catch!

As part of our Education programme we host Border Force sniffer dog demonstrations for the public during the summer. Border Force Dog Handler Karen Pritchard is shown with Milly at the Border Force Open Day 2017.

We also have our very own crime fighting duo, Sniffer and Smugglebuster, who can occasionally be spotted sniffing around the Merseyside Maritime Museum!