In the decade since 9/11, the Transportation Security Administration has increased the amount of bomb-sniffing handler-and-dog teams to 800 from 200, and the TSA is studying ways to develop better canine explosive detectors as demand grows. In addition to using their noses to sniff out hidden explosives, the job requires confidence and the ability to ignore chaos around them, and only about 50% of the dogs who train for the job turn out to be suited to it, says training program manager Scott Thomas.

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