A bomb-sniffing dog identified as Lulu has been fired from the CIA after she lost interest in finding explosives.
Lulu the labrador started out as a promising recruit in the latest intake of puppies for the US intelligence agency’s training programme.
Then, according to the agency, a few weeks later she started showing signs she was no longer interested in “detecting explosive odours”.
Lulu’s handlers tried to work out what was affecting her, as puppies can go through periods where they lose focus in their training.
Now, in a blogpost, the CIA said:
“There can be a million reasons why a particular dog has a bad day, and the trainers become doggy psychologists trying to figure out what will help the dog come out of its funk.
“Sometimes the pup is bored and just needs extra playtime or more challenges, sometimes the dog need a little break, and sometimes it’s a minor medical condition like a food allergy requiring switching to a different kibble.
“After a few days, the trainers work the pup through whatever issue has arisen, and the dog is back eagerly and happily ready to continue training.”
However, for Lulu there seemed to be no solving her disinterest and the CIA decided to retire her.
The agency added:
“For some dogs, like Lulu, it becomes clear that the issue isn’t temporary. Instead, this just isn’t the job they are meant for. Lulu was no longer interested in searching for explosives.
“Even when they could motivate her with food and play to search, she was clearly not enjoying herself any longer.”
Fortunately for Lulu her handler decided to adopt her and she lives with her new family and another labrador called Harry.
She now spends her days playing with her handler’s children and sniffing out rabbits and squirrels in their back garden.