So Cool At School
Animaltalk Magazine|November 2019
So Cool At School
Wendy, the Belgian Shepherd (Malinois), is the first resident narcotics detection dog to be introduced at a South African high school
Gina Hartoog

Did you know that some dog breeds have up to 300 million olfactory receptors? This means that dogs are able to detect chemical substances diluted to just a few parts per trillion. It’s this amazing physiology that has led man to train dogs to help him with his work. Narcotics detection dogs are trained to detect illicit drugs at border posts, roadblocks and airports across the world.


Edenvale High School is the first school in South Africa to obtain a resident narcotics detection dog. Dr Larry Harmer, headmaster at Edenvale High, says that costs involved in getting private companies in for drug searches at the school were significant, and only three or four classes could be searched at a time.

“Wendy is a deterrent,” explained Dr Harmer. “Her presence and daily patrols ensure that drugs are much less likely to be brought onto school property. Although she was trained as a guard dog, she is not trained in attack work, but she is trained in crowd control and can be asked to bark if required.”

Velley Hlongo, the school’s in-house security officer, went through training to work and bond with Wendy. “I didn’t really know dogs before,” said Velley, “but after my training I gained confidence and Wendy and I have bonded very well.”

Welcome, Wendy


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November 2019