Dogster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Can a Dog Detect Electronics? Canine Capabilities Explored

Written by: Visnja Radosavljevic

Last Updated on April 8, 2024 by Dogster Team

handler and detection dog in an airport

Can a Dog Detect Electronics? Canine Capabilities Explored

Dogs are extremely smart and intelligent creatures with incredible senses, which is why police use canine units. These dogs are professionally trained to sniff for things like drugs, firearms, ammo, blood, and wildlife scat.

But can a dog detect electronics? There are indeed specialized police dogs that are capable of sniffing for electronics like computers and mobile phones. The outstanding ability of these dogs comes in handy for resolving tough police cases and finding hidden evidence.

In this article, we talk more about detection dogs, their ability to detect electronics, and the importance of having these dogs around.


What Is a Detection Dog?

Detection dogs, also known as sniffer dogs, are specially trained canines that use their senses to detect all kinds of things, including illegal substances. They mainly use their extraordinary sense of smell, and they’re primarily used by the police for law enforcement purposes, such as finding missing criminals, doing drug raids, and locating stashed money.

These canines can be trained to detect things like:
  • Electronics (mobile phones, computers, USB drives)
  • SIM cards
  • Drugs
  • Bed bugs
  • Human remains
  • Firearms
  • Endangered animal species
  • Wildlife scat

Dogs that are specifically trained to detect electronics are better known as electronic-detection dogs.

What Can Electronic-Detection Dogs Detect?

Sniffing dog at the airport
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Dogs that are specially trained to become electronic-detection dogs can detect all kinds of electronic devices and the things tied to them, such as mobile phones, computers, USB drives, and SIM cards.

The reason that these dogs can sniff out electronics is because electronics contain a chemical called triphenylphosphine oxide, which has a scent that dogs can detect. This chemical is used in all electronics during the manufacturing process, as it prevents devices from overheating.

Another common compound in electronics that dogs can detect due to its smell is hydroxycyclohexyl phenyl ketone. This chemical is usually found in CDs, DVDs, and floppy disks.

Why Are Dogs That Can Detect Electronics Beneficial?

Many current criminal activities are connected to cyber criminals, so dogs that can detect electronics can help solve extremely tough cases of human exploitation and various other crimes.

The intelligence and ability of these dogs can help reduce the possibilities of cyber crimes and crimes that involve electronic devices, which are frequent in today’s world.

Man on computer holding a card
Image Credit: rupixen, Pixabay

divider-dog paw

Final Thoughts

Dogs can indeed detect electronics, and their outstanding ability to do so helps keep the community safer and reduce crime risks. Many of these dogs are used by law enforcement as a way to help solve tough crimes and capture criminals that engage in illegal activities through electrical devices.

Featured Image Credit: Svitlana Hulko, Shutterstock

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Dogster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.