PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Eleven different agencies from around Arizona were all on high alert on Wednesday when they used dogs to identify explosives.
"In this circle, you have five different explosives and you have 10 different distracter odors," said Cody Monday, lead instructor of National Odor Recognition Test. "You have two circles, 30 cans total; we want the dogs to go around these cans and when they encounter an explosive odor, we want them to show response."
The response, according to Monday, was mandated by Congress in 1997 and is administered by the ATF and varies from dog to dog.
"The main thing we know; these odors are pure odors," Monday said. "We don't have to worry about contamination of our training. We know if the dogs are hitting on them, they're going to hit in the real world."
Materials used in real-life scenarios are used. The K-9's and their handlers are getting as hands-on as they will be on the job.
"Our ATF lab, our chemist, take a look at all different criminal cases across the country," Raphael Martinez said. "Different types of IED's, explosive material, that's used to make those and they make a determination of 10 most common odors used."
The explosives change from year to year based on current criminal cases ensuring each K-9 can fully detect any and every danger.