Swine may be able to work alongside scent detection canines, or replace them completely, in the scent detection field. Miniature pigs are the focus of this study since their larger counterparts can cause damage to potential evidence and to the scene itself. Ignitable Liquid Residues (ILRs) are searched for in post-fire conditions, and unconsumed explosives are searched for in major transportation hubs. Swine have more functional olfactory genes and less pseudogenes than humans, canines, and mice. Swine also have a highly functioning and exceedingly organized olfactory system. Swine are social creatures, which allows them to bond with a distinct handler. Their memorization skills show they can follow basic commands and learn tasks quickly. Swine can be trained in much the same way as canines are currently being trained for scent detection of accelerants and unconsumed explosives. Swine are receptive to play rewards, but work much harder for a sweet treat, like apples and other fruit. Much of the research done with swine was for barnyard/livestock application. Due to this, there was not enough pre-existing research to conclusively state whether or not swine have more superior odorant detection capabilities over canines in a working capacity, although both systems far surpass that of a human.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 12-8-2016


Gregory E. Gorbett

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Safety, Security, and Emergency Management

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Safety, Security, and Emergency Management

VennDiagram.NSigler.docx (28 kB)
Comparison of Swine and Canine Olfactory