Sniffer Dogs

How Dogs (And Their Noses) Save the World

From HMH Books for Young Readers
ISBN-13/ EAN: 9780544088931

Anyone who has ever spent time with a dog knows that dogs love sniffing!

They sniff out hidden food, dirty socks, and the visitor who comes to the door. But some dogs work with police officers, soldiers, and even scientists to put their “sniffers” to work. Sniffer dogs make use of the amazing biology behind their noses to protect people from bombs, catch criminals smuggling drugs, or help researchers locate a hard-to-find snail in a forest.

A dog’s nose is so sensitive that if a human could see as well as a dog could smell, we would be able to see the small letters on an eye chart from four (four!) miles away. Is it any wonder then that dogs can be trained to find missing people in piles of rubble or a certain flower blooming amongst hundreds or thousands of other smells?

In Sniffer Dogs you will meet many dogs and their handlers and learn all about their jobs. Some of these dogs are raised from birth to detect blood sugar levels in their owners. Others are rescued from animal shelters and their boisterous personalities help make them excellent sniffer dogs. Featuring a balance between science and social science, SNIFFER DOGS will appeal to dog lovers and science lovers alike.

Now also in paperback!

Lists and Awards:

Behind the Book:

I’ve lived with dogs my entire life. They’ve brought joy, comfort, and endless fascination. You’ll see one of my dogs in the pages of this book. Gatsby, a large English Goldendoodle, was an unprofessional sniffer dog who enjoyed being with his family more than working. He, along with all of the other dogs I’ve had in my life, was an inspiration for this book. What a treat it was to spend my research time with detection dog handlers and the amazing dogs in this book. It even made me long to be a professional dog photographer. I still keep in touch with those handlers and their dogs, and follow their accomplishments. 

★ “An exemplary presentation of information in a lively, engaging way—readers will be left feeling awe for their canine companions and enthusiasm for their abilities.” —Kirkus, STARRED review

“Superb coverage of the canine contribution to rescue and safety in both text and illustration, Castaldo’s book presents both the dogs and their trainers and handlers in roles involving world peril and individual handicap.” —VOYA Magazine

“A well-organized, thoughtfully written title that celebrates the achievements of these great dogs.” —School Library Journal

“This fascinating account will leave young readers feeling wonder and gratitude for the gifts of the canine set.” —Wall Street Journal

“The adventurous element of search and rescue and military duty adds an edge to draw readers unnoticed by (or unwilling to be caught with) mere cute puppies.” —Bulletin

“Castaldo’s excellent research and lively writing along with great dog photos make this a book kids will love, and they won’t even suspect they are learning.” —San Francisco Book Review

“This is a perfectly executed nonfiction book, from its appealing subject right down to its useful appendix with bibliography of books and articles, listings of web sites, places to visit, “Ways to Get Involved,” and a useful glossary. For serious dog fanciers, research report writers, and almost any school or public library, Sniffer Dogs: How Dogs (and Their Noses) Save the World is definitely “Best in Show.” —BooksForKidsBlog

“Finally, a title that combines all of these aspects—hook, subject, relatable elements, and design—is Nancy Castaldo’s Sniffer Dogs: How Dogs (and Their Noses) Save the World (HMH, 2014). —School Library Journal, Selecting and Promoting Nonfiction in Your Library