Dogs have been making use of their amazing sense of odor to help man for hundreds of years. They began off as hunting dogs, and also now usage those same an abilities to support regulation enforcement in their efforts to avoid the profession in illegal drugs.

You are watching: Can dogs smell through vacuum sealed bags

This amazing talent is all down to the 300 million olfactory receptors in their sleep plus their capability to learn and be trained. Their sense of odor is claimed to it is in 10,000 times higher than a human’s, however even at the level the intensity, have the right to dogs smell v vacuum seals?

It’s a fascinating topic, therefore I determined to investigate whether vacuum sealing eliminates odor sufficient to be able to fool medicine sniffer dogs supplied the by the police, border force, customs, and airport officials. Here’s what I discovered out…

Can dog smell v vacuum seal bags?

Despite what you can have heard, dog cannot smell v things. However, that doesn’t mean they cannot smell illicit building material that have been packed into vacuum sealed bags. In fact, medicine dogs regularly detect odors that have actually been packed right into vacuum seal bags.

So, why have the right to drug dog detect smells in vacuum seal bags then?

It’s all down to a number of factors consisting of how an excellent the dog’s feeling of smell is, exactly how plastic is porous, cross contamination, and the ineffectiveness of criminals.

If you’ve ever before wondered whether vacuum seal bags space dog proof, the prize is no. Here’s every the reasons why drug dogs deserve to smell with vacuum seal bags, or at least will show up to it is in able to.

1. Smells can seep through plastic

Unlike glass, the plastics provided in vacuum seal bags space porous with microscopic holes that smells deserve to seep through. It no matter just how well a bag has actually been vacuum sealed, the odors of the substance within will eventually leak.

Whilst a human’s feeling of smell would certainly not be able to detect miscellaneous that had been vacuum sealed, because that a well-trained drug dog it’s no the case. In fact, I review an interview with a police officer who said vacuum sealed bags have breaches in lock that room the equivalent to a fishing net to a dog’s feeling of smell.

You might take into consideration that police policemans telling girlfriend vacuum seal bags are not dog proof is deliberate misinformation. However, research released in 2019 discovered they dogs deserve to sniff out cancer in blood cells in plastic tubes.

“Dogs have smell receptor 10,000 times more accurate 보다 humans’, make them highly sensitive come odors we can’t perceive. A brand-new study has shown that dogs can use their highly developed sense of odor to choose out blood samples from people with cancer with practically 97 percent accuracy.” (view source)

If dogs deserve to smell cancer cells, they are specific to be able to smell banned substances with vacuum seals – if the drug dog is trained to, it have the right to smell what it’s looking for!

Did girlfriend Know? The only possible exception might be acid. LSD has no smell to it, yet it still does obtain contaminated. Here’s how drug dogs deserve to still detect this substance.

2. Criminals often tend to vacuum seal narcotics in contaminated rooms

Unless the substances have actually been sealed in laboratory perfect conditions, medicine dogs will be able to smell and detect ~ above vacuum sealed bags.

It’s all down to the process of gaining substances right into vacuum pack bags. Before the drugs room put into the vacuum sealed bags, there is wait in the bags. As soon as the substance goes in, and also the bag is vacuumed sealed, the air within of the bag has to go somewhere.

That waiting is propelled out into the room therefore there will certainly be map scents in the atmosphere. Those scent molecules space then most likely to resolve on the exterior of the vacuum sealed bag, making them detectable by a drug dog in the future.

Because the this, vacuum seal bags space not dog proof in the majority of cases… it’s nearly impossible for odor to not work out on the bag’s exterior. This is an especially true as soon as you consider that the vacuum sealing equipment is provided in a room whereby there will certainly be a large amount of illicit substances already that haven’t however been sealed.

This airport medicine dog can be able to smell v a vacuum seal if the substance molecule starts to seep out. (Image via the CDC top top

There’s likewise the factor to consider that same hands that placed drugs in the vacuum seal bags are likewise the people that tackled the outsides that the bags afterwards.

You would likewise have to assume the anything put into an airtight bag will have actually come into call with the exterior that the bag at some allude in time. That will leave microscopic scent traces that drug sniffer dogs have the right to detect.

Cross air pollution of scents is virtually impossible come fool a medicine dog with.

If you’re quiet in doubt that dogs can not detect through vacuum seal bags, this is a quote from a custom’s officer functioning at a us airport:

“Nothing deserve to disguise the smell of narcotics; airplane sniffer dogs have been trained for it. We have dogs who deserve to detect a package of sealed medicine at the bottom of full 55-gallon barrel that gasoline.” 

How dogs space trained to detect drugs

Now we understand how tough it would certainly be to do a vacuum sealed bag completely dog proof, I want to define why drug dogs room so great at their job.

Well, beside from their insanely great sense the smell, they have actually been trained come make drug detection into a video game that they just love come play.

Dogs have the right to smell out and signal for anything they space trained to do. If police or airport want to train your sniffer dog to odor for medicine in vacuum sealed bags that would require the complying with process:

The dog is taught to associate a favorite toy through the odor of narcotics.The training toy will regularly be a little white bath towel which the handler will certainly play tug that war through them. It deserve to be easily cleaned and used again and also again in the medicine training game.Because the dog knows the bath towel is fun, trainers will ultimately progress to putting small trace amounts of the target drug on it.Police dogs will begin to combine the smell of the substance v playtime. This then way that sniffing the end drugs becomes a game, with rewards offered to the dog once he finds the towel’s location.

In the maintain game, genuine drugs room used, yet incredibly low quantities used in training because of their impressive sense the smell. Dogs are trained to situate the smell, sit down and allude with their noise wherein it is.

Any dog deserve to be trained to be a sniffer dog, however some breeds are much better than others together as any of the retriever breeds, German Shepherds, and Beagles.

According come police dog handlers and customs public representative I have actually read interviews with, drug dogs are only trained come detect in between two and five different substances.

Because the this, many of them will certainly be trained to emphasis on the drugs and substances that space of the biggest concern to airports and police. That means things choose amphetamines and also explosives, and also those thought about to reason the best harm or have actually the best criminal aspect to them.


Dogs have actually been trained to odor for illicit substances and explosives for years and have an impressive reputation for doing so, sustaining police and also customs all over the world.

Many criminals believe that vacuum sealing a bag will certainly be dog proof and eliminate odor. However, because of the way in which smell molecules can leak through plastic and also the means in i m sorry the bags room sealed, this no the case.

See more: Why Is It Important To Study The Feistel Cipher? Feistel Cipher

You might likewise like…

I love writing about the unique talents that dogs have, through smell being simply one awesome ability they have. Right here are some other blog short articles you can be interested in that cover similar topics to carry out with problem detection.