Is it possible to fool a drug sniffer dog?

Is it possible to fool a drug sniffer dog?
Steven Voser

Can you fool a drug sniffing dog? Learn about how drug sniffing do it and get some tips on how to decrease your chances of detection.

There are several dangers lying in wait for cannabis users who travel with their stash. Even in countries where cannabis is legal, flying with the herb is still largely prohibited. And for those living in areas of complete prohibition, getting caught with any amount of weed can come with serious consequences. Short journeys on the ground usually aren’t an issue, but longer journeys increase the risk of stumbling across more serious obstacles, such as drug-sniffing dogs.


There’s a reason dogs have been employed by man for centuries to hunt, and why police use these intelligent creatures to sniff out illicit substances. Their sense of smell is among the most impressive in the animal kingdom, and their level of intelligence means they can be trained to use this sense to detect very specific odors.

Dogs possess around 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to the 6 million found within a human nose. Plus, the area of their brain that processes smells is 40 times larger than that of a human. Dogs can smell more than just odors; they have an additional scent-detecting organ that enables them to sense chemical pheromones.

If you think you can take a gamble when passing through a train station, airport, or busy town center with a pocket full of weed when there are sniffer dogs on patrol, you are mistaken. It’s not an easy task to conceal a stash from such a powerful snout. But if you plan on transporting some weed through a sketchy area, here are some tips that can help you evade detection.


Before we get into what works, let’s take a look at what doesn’t. It’s a common error to believe that masking the smell of weed is enough to trick a dog’s nose. Smugglers have attempted to stash substances within food, spices, and other aromatic disguises in hopes of concealing the dank smell. Although the potent smell of culinary spices might make it impossible for us to detect the presence of weed, dogs are capable of processing scents with much greater nuance.

Dogs are able to pinpoint individual scents from a mix of different odors with extreme accuracy, which makes it virtually impossible to mask the smell of weed when facing a team of police armed with canines. These amazing animals smell in stereo and receive a different odor profile via each nostril, helping them to differentiate the incoming sensory data.


You’re almost begging to be arrested if you walk through a police dog checkpoint with loose weed tumbling around in your bag or pockets. And standard plastic bags or containers aren’t much better. These vessels are often permeable and allow odors to pass through, leading to easy detection. You’ll need to choose a container or bag that is 100% non-porous and doesn’t allow any aromas to leak through. If such a container is fully sealed, and you make sure to wash your hands and anything else that comes into contact with your buds, you’ll have a much greater chance of passing through without so much as a look from these canines.

You can try and find non-porous bags and containers in shops and supermarkets, but your best bet is to invest in a product that has been specifically designed to conceal the smell of weed. Sealable odor-proof stash bags also offer a nice airtight option when it comes to concealing your weed.

Aside from bags, some companies have developed solid containers that are very efficient at keeping suspicious smells contained. The Stashbox Tightvac is a cylindrical chamber that refuses to let aromatic terpenes run wild.

Plastic isn’t the only option either. Glass is another superb material that is effective at containing smells. Standard glass jars won’t do the trick, and usually feature small gaps that allow for air exchange. You’ll need to use an airtight vessel such as a mason jar or weed curing jar to keep things odor-proof.


Some claim that encasing your cannabis within a block of ice before placing it into an odor-proof container is an effective way to completely stop terpenes from diffusing into the air. While this does make sense in some ways, it has some serious faults.

For one, if you are traveling far enough to need to conceal your weed from sniffer dogs, the ice is surely going to melt. Plus, if your container is going to get knocked around in your backpack, chances are, many of the frozen trichomes are going to fall off. This will reduce the potency of your buds when you finally get to smoke them. In general, freezing your weed can do more harm than good, especially when it comes time to defrost. Avoid this tactic in favor of the aforementioned smell-proof containers.



There is no certainty that you’ll manage to fool a well-trained drug-sniffing dog. Even if you take all the right precautions and seal your weed within multiple layers of odor-proof plastic, the slightest error, such as forgetting about a minuscule piece of weed in your pocket, could lead to the detection of your entire stash. That being said, some cannabis users who travel with vape cartridges and other discreet cannabis concentrates claim that they have no trouble swiftly breezing through police dog checkpoints. But there is absolutely no guarantee here.

The bottom line is—it’s really not worth risking if you don’t have the right tools to do it. Most people are better off simply stashing their weed at home using these tips.

Steven Voser
Steven Voser

Steven is a long-time veteran of cannabis journalism, having delved into every aspect of the subject. His particular interests lie in cannabis culture, the emerging science of cannabis, and how it is shaping the legal landscape across the globe.