Austrian military dog handlers have trained a service dog to detect coronavirus by sniffing. The experiment, in which a specially trained dog demonstrated its skills, was shown during a press conference organized by the Austrian Ministry of Defense broadcast on YouTube.
The training of the Belgian shepherd dog to detect the coronavirus with its help began in July 2020. During the training, the canines used a COVID-19 medical mask treated with ultraviolet light. The canine is being trained to smell the virus as part of a research program to find out in a test run whether dogs can distinguish healthy people from those with the coronavirus.
Using the example of a dog named Fantasy Forever from Zetalbik, canine scientists were able to prove it. “The first phase of the dog trials is moving into the practical phase,” the military department commented.
Soon another dog will begin practice. And by the end of the year, two more service dogs will be able to detect coronavirus by smell. The dog training project will be completed in the first quarter of 2021. By that time, all bloodhounds participating in the military program will have undergone various practical tests with infected masks. This project is designed to see if it will be possible to use service dogs to detect COVID-19 in the future.