Quapaw Tribe K-9 training

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10 German Shepherds from the Netherlands are being trained to detect bacteria in food, including Ecoli and salmonella.
 
“We have gun and bomb dog’s who are training with these talented veterans, but we’re also working on certifying dogs to find foodborne pathogens to help with public safety and health in the food industry,” said John Berrey, Quapaw Tribe Business Committee Chairman. 
 
Trainers are using metal scentless walls, which includes synthetic pathogens provided by the University of Arkansas. The dogs then use their noses to sniff for the bacteria until they locate it.
 
“First, you want to have a dog that has some ball drive and hunt drive and that’s just genetics. Once you get past that, you pretty much just pair the tennis ball with the odor that you want the dog to find,” said Julian McDonald, master trainer. 
 
Julian McDonald says they are at the beginning stages of the project. He says they will gradually advance training sessions before the dogs can master the skill.
 
“We will pretty much dedicate those rooms to say meat process facilities. You know, mock up ones so the dog can get that picture of what he’s going to find and have meat around so the dog is used to being around food and still being able to search, and still being able to find that success,” said McDonald. 
 
They plan to use these skilled dogs in their restaurants, and eventually, in other restaurants and food distribution companies.
 
“Their insurance companies would be happy to pay us to come in and certify that their, whether it’s a supermarket, a factory, any kind of processing plant is free of any of these foodborne pathogens,” said Berrey. 
 
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year roughly 48 million people get sick and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.
 
“There’s a lot of products that come from all over world, we just want to try to protect people and give them a sense that they’re eating very high quality. A product that has a lot of time and effort put into it and is healthy,” said Berrey.

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