HOW STUFF WORKS
QUIZZES

FOLLOW US
Quiz: How do bomb-sniffing dogs work?
by Staff
Your dog can roll over? Well, ours can sniff out a kilo of C-4. Take the bomb-sniffing dog quiz, and see if your score gets you a treat or the rolled-up newspaper.

A dog's nose has 20 to 40 times more of these than a human's does:

  • Odor receptors -- the better to smell you with, my dear.
  • Nose hairs -- so don't complain when you have to trim yours.
  • Sweat glands -- that's why a dog's nose is wet.

What does a trained dog do when it smells a bomb?

  • bark
  • sit
  • Disarm the bomb. Go, Lassie!

Why does the military train bomb dogs to run back to their handlers when they smell a bomb?

  • The dogs need exercise.
  • Running away protects the dogs.
  • Who trains them? They think they're playing fetch.

Which animal is especially useful for sniffing out land mines?

  • dog
  • rat
  • capybara

Which breed of dog is often used for bomb-sniffing?

  • Dalmation -- Disney didn't breed 101 of them for nothing.
  • Border collie -- no one beats Lassie.
  • German shepherd -- have you seen the size of the nose on this one?

Could a bomb-sniffing dog find a logic bomb?

  • Yes, just like it can find other explosives.
  • No, dogs aren't intelligent enough.
  • No, these bombs can't be smelled.

Dogs help humans by sniffing out more than just bombs. In medicine, researchers have explored dogs' ability to sniff out:

  • which twin is which
  • corruption
  • cancer

You couldn't hide gunpowder from a well-trained canine. The Chinese discovered gunpowder, a common ingredient in explosives, accidentally while trying to make:

  • an immortality elixir
  • weapons
  • dinner

No dog would find the first manufacturing plant for nitroglycerin, an ingredient in early forms of dynamite. Why not?

  • It blew up.
  • It was underground.
  • It was later revamped as an explosive theme park. Fun for the whole family!

A dog would NOT smell which of the following in a bomb?

  • RDX
  • ANFO
  • barium sulfate

When bomb-dogs in the Air Force sit next to helicopters, what do they wear to protect their eyes from stirred-up sand or dust?

  • a bandanna
  • Doggles
  • Nothing -- dogs only sport eyewear when owners dress them in bad Halloween costumes.

Some bomb-sniffing dogs are trained to smell wiring found in bombs. What wireless device can be used to set off a bomb remotely?

  • cellphone
  • TV remote control
  • car radio

What is a blasting cap?

  • a bullet fired out of a gun
  • a hat resistant to cold blasts of wind
  • a device that causes material to explode by hitting it with pressure waves

A dirty bomb contains:

  • dirt
  • radioactive material
  • viruses

No bomb-sniffing dog captured the Unabomber. So, which mammal led the FBI to the infamous criminal?

  • an anonymous caller
  • He turned himself in.
  • his brother

Most bomb-sniffing dogs we know aren't on the lookout for yarn bombs. What's yarn bombing?

  • throwing a ball of yarn at someone
  • dropping balls of yarn out of a plane
  • knitting or crocheting over a public structure

Based on the name, a hungry bomb-sniffing dog might like to detect a bread-crust bomb. What is one?

  • a bomb made of stale bread
  • a type of pizza
  • something that flies out of a volcano

Which Iraqi city did NOT undergo car bombings during the Iraq War?

  • Baghdad
  • Mosul
  • Both cities underwent car bombings.

Which was NOT found in the homemade car bomb that Faisal Shahzad planted in Times Square in 2010?

  • alarm clocks
  • firecrackers
  • thumbtacks

PETN has been used in terrorist plots to destroy planes and assassinate officials. PETN stands for:

  • panic, even this nanosecond
  • pentaerythritol tetranitrate
  • pretty explosive type of nitrogen

Despite its powerful explosion, PETN has failed in terrorist plots because:

  • It glows in the dark.
  • It is hard to detonate.
  • It's detectable by metal detectors.