Explosive Detection Dogs Competence in Security Operations
: An Assessment of their Performance in Responding to Command Words and Detecting Concealed Explosives

  • Donald Wachira Theuri

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Explosive detection dogs, (EDDs) are special types of dog breeds trained to detect concealed explosives widely used by terrorists across the world. They have been generalized by many studies to be reliable, efficient and a cost-effective method of detecting concealed explosive without adequate research. Evidence has also shown that many variables are known to influence their performance in security operations and these variables have not empirically been considered by the current EDDs literature. Many data contained in the current EDDs literature were obtained from secondary rather than primary sources secondary sources. In addition, an empirical method of assessing their performance in their operational and training environment is lacking. This research was conducted with the aim of assessing the competence of the EDDs teams in responding to command words and in detecting concealed explosives. To accomplish this aim, this study accomplished four objectives as follows: (i) designed an empirical method of studying the EDDs in their training and operational setting depicted by many studies to be lacking was designed; (ii) studied a large sample size was and included many variables that have been excluded by other EDDs researches; (iii) established the dependent and independent variables for the EDDs in their praxis which has not been depicted by the EDDs literature reviewed; (iv) the sample was also studied in a field rather than laboratory setting considered by many EDDs forms of literature, The data was analyzed through descriptive statistics in obtaining the frequency, mean and std deviation for the characteristics assessed. Line chart was used to compare the dependent and independent variables while one way ‘ANOVA’ was used to establish the significant difference between each dependent and independent variable considered. The Pearson’s correlation was used to obtain the relationship between the dependent and independent variables. Different frequencies, mean and std deviations were established for the dependent and independent variables obtained. The line charts depicted that variations were obtained between each dependent and independent variable. One way ANOVA between each dependent and independent variable indicated that Significant and insignificant differences were obtained. The Pearson’s correlation between each dependent and independent variable established that positive and negative relationship was obtained.
Date of Award25 Jun 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorPaul Smith (Supervisor), Jodie Louise Coulston (Supervisor) & Craig Collie (Supervisor)

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