Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: A police officer this week was able to sniff out thousands of poorly-concealed ya bah (methamphetamine) pills being smuggled onto the island in a car at the Tah Chat Chai police checkpoint. (See story, current issue of the Phuket Gazette. Digital subscribers click here to download the full newspaper.)

This raises the question of why detection dogs are not on permanent duty there.

As an island, Phuket enjoys a natural security advantage: all vehicles must cross a bridge to get on or off the island, creating a choke point where criminals can be prevented from entering or leaving by road.

Unfortunately, not enough has been done at the island’s northern tip over the years to maximize this advantage. As a result, the island is awash with ya bah and other illegal narcotics, as well as handguns and other contraband.

Although a considerable amount is intercepted at the checkpoint, it is just the tip of a very large iceberg.

If a human can sniff out 3,550 ya bah pills, how many could a well-trained drug-detection dog keep off the streets? The olfactory superiority of the canine over man is well documented.

Not only can dogs be trained to sniff out even trace amounts of narcotics, but they can also detect everything from explosives to bedbugs – another useful skill on an island with over 50,000 hotel rooms.

Training a dog to sniff out drugs and other substances is simple in theory, but not in practice.

For a start, less than 20% of dogs have the genetic predisposition for the work, which explains why the South Korean government once funded their program 'Toppy' (from 'Tomorrow’s Puppy') to supply cloned Golden Retrievers with exceptional abilities for its Customs Service.

Training difficulties are well-known to Muang District Chief Supachai Pochanukul, whose two pups were sent to the Phuket International Dog School but turned out to be not up to snuff. Fortunately two more dogs are now in training, hopefully to be deployed by the New Year.

As a resort island, Phuket doesn’t need scores of German Shepherds patrolling the streets like the scenes from WWII Europe. There are several other valid criticisms of their effectiveness in large crowd settings.

But given that the island has squandered millions on the now-discredited Alpha 6 "molecular resonance" detectors, isn’t it time to get detection dogs back at the island’s most important police checkpoint?

After all, they are happy to work for food and water – and there are lots of them out of work on Phuket's streets these days.
– Phuket Gazette

1

Man's best friend

Posted by colin roy November 28, 2010 02:45:08PM

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2

Traditionally, Alsatians are not used in this role – retrivers, spaniels and cross breeds prove to be the better option. Alsatians are better suited in a guarding or partol role.

Although dogs are far superior to humans in sniffing out drugs, they don't have the discretion needed to decide who is and who isn't detected. The thing to remember is that a dog is only human as well. They have a limited peak ability in any one working day and are just one tool amongst others.

Posted by Mister Ree November 28, 2010 02:56:29PM

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3

Dog needs its nails clipped.

Posted by andre November 28, 2010 03:44:52PM

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4

Dogs have been utilized for many useful purposes over decades, if not centuries. The UK even created the Dickin Medal, the animals equivalent of the Victoria Cross, in 1943 for bravery in combat.

Why has it taken Thailand so long to realize that dogs have their uses? I am sure that some of the unwanted cross breed strays would excel in a variety of roles if treated well and properly trained.

Posted by Logic November 28, 2010 04:22:43PM

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5

Dog needs its nails clipped.

Posted by andre

Correct, I noticed that too. Nice dog!

Posted by Observer November 28, 2010 05:48:05PM

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6

I always wondered why more dogs are not used to detect drugs. Maybe they cannot find enough people to be responsible for them.

Posted by Relic November 28, 2010 06:11:44PM

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8

Good job Ofcr. Rin Tin Tin!

Posted by robertn November 28, 2010 11:34:57PM

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9

Wow, I thought that was a picture of my dog, looks just like him.

Phuket has the facilities for drug sniffing dogs, guard dogs, police trained dogs.

The PIDS trains dogs and boards them. They do a great job and trained mine and I would recommend them.

Posted by Steve November 29, 2010 01:11:19AM

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10

A lot of Thais do not like dogs or are outright scared of them. I'm sure this is true with the law enforcement staff too which might explain why what appears to us to be a simple and quick solution may not be so.

That said, I fully agree with the suggestion of getting sniffer dogs in place.Those at airports usually work 2 hrs on, 1 hr off for no more than 8hrs total. A dog can't keep up its concentration very long.

Posted by Amazing Thailand November 29, 2010 02:02:47AM

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11

Traditionally, Alsatians are not used in this role – retrivers, spaniels and cross breeds prove to be the better option. Alsatians are better suited in a guarding or partol role.

Although dogs are far superior to humans in sniffing out drugs, they don't have the discretion needed to decide who is and who isn't detected. The thing to remember is that a dog is only human as well. They have a limited peak ability in any one working day and are just one tool amongst others.

Posted by Mister Ree

Dog is only human as well! talk to me rover

Posted by frank November 29, 2010 08:10:51AM

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15

Traditionally, Alsatians are not used in this role – retrivers, spaniels and cross breeds prove to be the better option. Alsatians are better suited in a guarding or partol role.

Although dogs are far superior to humans in sniffing out drugs, they don't have the discretion needed to decide who is and who isn't detected. The thing to remember is that a dog is only human as well. They have a limited peak ability in any one working day and are just one tool amongst others.

Posted by Mister Ree

Mister Ree The thing to remember is that a dog is only human as well....seriously old chap you've been watching too many Scooby-Doo cartoon shows.

Posted by Captain Pugwash November 29, 2010 11:45:56AM

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16

Traditionally, Alsatians are not used in this role – retrivers, spaniels and cross breeds prove to be the better option. Alsatians are better suited in a guarding or partol role.

Although dogs are far superior to humans in sniffing out drugs, they don't have the discretion needed to decide who is and who isn't detected. The thing to remember is that a dog is only human as well. They have a limited peak ability in any one working day and are just one tool amongst others.

Posted by Mister Ree

Dog is only human as well! talk to me rover

Posted by frank

"The thing to remember is that a dog is only human as well."
I'll certainly remember that, although not for the reasons you intended.

Posted by Sam W November 29, 2010 11:56:05AM

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19

Traditionally, Alsatians are not used in this role – retrivers, spaniels and cross breeds prove to be the better option. Alsatians are better suited in a guarding or partol role.

Although dogs are far superior to humans in sniffing out drugs, they don't have the discretion needed to decide who is and who isn't detected. The thing to remember is that a dog is only human as well. They have a limited peak ability in any one working day and are just one tool amongst others.

Posted by Mister Ree

Dog is only human as well! talk to me rover

Posted by frank

"The thing to remember is that a dog is only human as well."
I'll certainly remember that, although not for the reasons you intended.

Posted by Sam W

Sorry guys– it's a bit of dog handler humour and was always said tongue in cheek (whoops– cue next set of puns). Glad I brightened your day though!

Posted by Mister Ree November 29, 2010 11:41:10PM

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20

Traditionally, Alsatians are not used in this role – retrivers, spaniels and cross breeds prove to be the better option. Alsatians are better suited in a guarding or partol role.

Although dogs are far superior to humans in sniffing out drugs, they don't have the discretion needed to decide who is and who isn't detected. The thing to remember is that a dog is only human as well. They have a limited peak ability in any one working day and are just one tool amongst others.

Posted by Mister Ree

Dog is only human as well! talk to me rover

Posted by frank

"The thing to remember is that a dog is only human as well."
I'll certainly remember that, although not for the reasons you intended.

Posted by Sam W

Sorry guys– it's a bit of dog handler humour and was always said tongue in cheek (whoops– cue next set of puns). Glad I brightened your day though!

Posted by Mister Ree

Good value Mr Ree, interesting comments .

Posted by Captain Goodvibes November 30, 2010 08:26:15AM

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21

The statement "As an island, Phuket enjoys a natural security advantage: all vehicles must cross a bridge to get on or off the island, creating a choke point where criminals can be prevented from entering or leaving by road."

This maybe a rather obvious statement, but the 1000's of boats that come across means only the fools would really use a car.

Posted by Tbs November 30, 2010 11:34:40AM

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21

The statement "As an island, Phuket enjoys a natural security advantage: all vehicles must cross a bridge to get on or off the island, creating a choke point where criminals can be prevented from entering or leaving by road."

This maybe a rather obvious statement, but the 1000's of boats that come across means only the fools would really use a car.

Posted by Tbs November 30, 2010 11:34:40AM

Reply

0    0

20

Traditionally, Alsatians are not used in this role – retrivers, spaniels and cross breeds prove to be the better option. Alsatians are better suited in a guarding or partol role.

Although dogs are far superior to humans in sniffing out drugs, they don't have the discretion needed to decide who is and who isn't detected. The thing to remember is that a dog is only human as well. They have a limited peak ability in any one working day and are just one tool amongst others.

Posted by Mister Ree

Dog is only human as well! talk to me rover

Posted by frank

"The thing to remember is that a dog is only human as well."
I'll certainly remember that, although not for the reasons you intended.

Posted by Sam W

Sorry guys– it's a bit of dog handler humour and was always said tongue in cheek (whoops– cue next set of puns). Glad I brightened your day though!

Posted by Mister Ree

Good value Mr Ree, interesting comments .

Posted by Captain Goodvibes November 30, 2010 08:26:15AM

Reply

0    0

19

Traditionally, Alsatians are not used in this role – retrivers, spaniels and cross breeds prove to be the better option. Alsatians are better suited in a guarding or partol role.

Although dogs are far superior to humans in sniffing out drugs, they don't have the discretion needed to decide who is and who isn't detected. The thing to remember is that a dog is only human as well. They have a limited peak ability in any one working day and are just one tool amongst others.

Posted by Mister Ree

Dog is only human as well! talk to me rover

Posted by frank

"The thing to remember is that a dog is only human as well."
I'll certainly remember that, although not for the reasons you intended.

Posted by Sam W

Sorry guys– it's a bit of dog handler humour and was always said tongue in cheek (whoops– cue next set of puns). Glad I brightened your day though!

Posted by Mister Ree November 29, 2010 11:41:10PM

Reply

0    0

16

Traditionally, Alsatians are not used in this role – retrivers, spaniels and cross breeds prove to be the better option. Alsatians are better suited in a guarding or partol role.

Although dogs are far superior to humans in sniffing out drugs, they don't have the discretion needed to decide who is and who isn't detected. The thing to remember is that a dog is only human as well. They have a limited peak ability in any one working day and are just one tool amongst others.

Posted by Mister Ree

Dog is only human as well! talk to me rover

Posted by frank

"The thing to remember is that a dog is only human as well."
I'll certainly remember that, although not for the reasons you intended.

Posted by Sam W November 29, 2010 11:56:05AM

Reply

0    0

15

Traditionally, Alsatians are not used in this role – retrivers, spaniels and cross breeds prove to be the better option. Alsatians are better suited in a guarding or partol role.

Although dogs are far superior to humans in sniffing out drugs, they don't have the discretion needed to decide who is and who isn't detected. The thing to remember is that a dog is only human as well. They have a limited peak ability in any one working day and are just one tool amongst others.

Posted by Mister Ree

Mister Ree The thing to remember is that a dog is only human as well....seriously old chap you've been watching too many Scooby-Doo cartoon shows.

Posted by Captain Pugwash November 29, 2010 11:45:56AM

Reply

0    0

11

Traditionally, Alsatians are not used in this role – retrivers, spaniels and cross breeds prove to be the better option. Alsatians are better suited in a guarding or partol role.

Although dogs are far superior to humans in sniffing out drugs, they don't have the discretion needed to decide who is and who isn't detected. The thing to remember is that a dog is only human as well. They have a limited peak ability in any one working day and are just one tool amongst others.

Posted by Mister Ree

Dog is only human as well! talk to me rover

Posted by frank November 29, 2010 08:10:51AM

Reply

0    0

10

A lot of Thais do not like dogs or are outright scared of them. I'm sure this is true with the law enforcement staff too which might explain why what appears to us to be a simple and quick solution may not be so.

That said, I fully agree with the suggestion of getting sniffer dogs in place.Those at airports usually work 2 hrs on, 1 hr off for no more than 8hrs total. A dog can't keep up its concentration very long.

Posted by Amazing Thailand November 29, 2010 02:02:47AM

Reply

0    0

9

Wow, I thought that was a picture of my dog, looks just like him.

Phuket has the facilities for drug sniffing dogs, guard dogs, police trained dogs.

The PIDS trains dogs and boards them. They do a great job and trained mine and I would recommend them.

Posted by Steve November 29, 2010 01:11:19AM

Reply

0    0

8

Good job Ofcr. Rin Tin Tin!

Posted by robertn November 28, 2010 11:34:57PM

Reply

0    0

6

I always wondered why more dogs are not used to detect drugs. Maybe they cannot find enough people to be responsible for them.

Posted by Relic November 28, 2010 06:11:44PM

Reply

0    0

5

Dog needs its nails clipped.

Posted by andre

Correct, I noticed that too. Nice dog!

Posted by Observer November 28, 2010 05:48:05PM

Reply

0    0

4

Dogs have been utilized for many useful purposes over decades, if not centuries. The UK even created the Dickin Medal, the animals equivalent of the Victoria Cross, in 1943 for bravery in combat.

Why has it taken Thailand so long to realize that dogs have their uses? I am sure that some of the unwanted cross breed strays would excel in a variety of roles if treated well and properly trained.

Posted by Logic November 28, 2010 04:22:43PM

Reply

0    0

3

Dog needs its nails clipped.

Posted by andre November 28, 2010 03:44:52PM

Reply

0    0

2

Traditionally, Alsatians are not used in this role – retrivers, spaniels and cross breeds prove to be the better option. Alsatians are better suited in a guarding or partol role.

Although dogs are far superior to humans in sniffing out drugs, they don't have the discretion needed to decide who is and who isn't detected. The thing to remember is that a dog is only human as well. They have a limited peak ability in any one working day and are just one tool amongst others.

Posted by Mister Ree November 28, 2010 02:56:29PM

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0    0

1

Man's best friend

Posted by colin roy November 28, 2010 02:45:08PM

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0    0

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