Mold dogs are specially trained
to detect mold. For those who have not heard about
mold dogs, just think of dogs who are used to find drugs
or weapons. Dogs have much more developed olfactory
skills than people.
Mac, the dog in these pictures,
was originally trained in Germany for protection work. He
obeys commands in German, but there are many dogs trained
in other countries, including the U.S. He
was trained in mold detection by the Falco
K-9 Academy in Brea, California; and he goes there every
year for recertification. He scored 100% on odor detection
as well as searching skills.
||Sarah Keck and Mac
in the crawl space, checking foundation wall.
||Mac sniffing one of the piers supporting
||Part of the discipline is that
mold dogs must take time out. Here, Mac was told
to stay. He looks right at home on the cork floors. You
can also see that he is obeying the order to "stay" and
his handler does not have to hold him on a lead.
||When the work begins, Mac is on
a leash and managed.
||Here, we see how Mac is trained
to check the perimeter for any moisture within walls. You
can almost feel his concentration. This is the
bird room, but the birds were moved to avoid distraction.
||Here, Mac is checking inside a
cabinet. This may seem excessive, but the same
training is used to look under sinks.
||One more time out. You see
how very well behaved he is despite his youthful exuberance
and serious work ethic. The floor, for the record,
is jatoba hardwood, tribute to the herb that saved my
||Now, Mac is being prepared for
the next search.
||Sniffing does not mean he has found
something, merely that he is looking. He is trained
to sit when he has found mold.
When Mac was completely finished,
I put some dry mold in a room he had already checked.
I had taken home a sample of a prepared agar and had
allowed it to become moldy.
When Mac first checked the room, the dish had been
covered and placed inside a plastic bag. Mac
missed it while inside the sealed bag, but he found
it instantly when it was removed from the bag.
||When Mac finds mold, he sits; then,
he is rewarded with play. Finding mold makes him
very happy because he gets a toy and really positive
input for a while.
At the mold seminar, it had
been stated that mold
dogs are 97% accurate as compared to 30% for laboratories
with people examining samples. I made a mental note
that when I felt the remediation of my home was complete,
I would have it checked by a mold dog. Obviously, I
am very happy with the outcome of today's work.
It was performed by Paws
for Health, a father-daughter team. In addition
to the particulate counts and the work performed by Mac,
there was a visual inspection for signs of water intrusion
or mold. Moisture readings were taken with a protimeter. It
is worth noting that the moisture in the crawl space varied
in the 9-13% range, down from the 70s and higher prior
to the installation of the encapsulation
3 October 2006
Mold in Crawl Space || Installation
of Crawl Space Encapsulation
Installation A-Z || Air Pressure
Attire || Duct Cleaning || Particulates || Summary
Copyright by Ingrid Naiman
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