Moscow, Dec. 15: Part Siberian husky, part Turkmen jackal ó a super sniffer dog with an enhanced sense of smell was unleashed last week by the Russian airline Aeroflot in its fight against terrorists and drug smugglers.
The animals are the product of a Russian scientific research project, launched 27 years ago, to produce the ultimate sniffer dog. Their breeders claim that they are much more effective than the labradors or alsatians that are most commonly used in the West.
A name for the new breed has yet to be chosen, although Huscal and Jacky have, apparently, been ruled out.
A new Aeroflot-run kennel in Moscow will raise the dogs and send them to airports where they will patrol and sniff passengersí bags.
ďThey can sniff out certain explosives that machines canít trace,Ē says Klim Sulimov, Aeroflotís chief dog breeder.
The husky and Turkmen jackal were picked for the breeding project because of their extremely keen noses.
The former has evolved to sniff out the faintest odours in Arctic conditions when the deep cold suppresses smells, while the jackal has a nose more sensitive than its cousin, the domestic dog. Valery Okulov, Aeroflotís general director, says it can detect microscopic amounts of explosives.
The dogs are a quarter jackal. At first sight, they look much like a normal husky, although they are a bit smaller and have a jackalís thick black whiskers.