MembersIsraelis Training Dogs to Detect Cancer

Stunning development could revolutionize early cancer detection and boost treatment

By Esti Eliraz |
Israeli dogs detect cancer
Photo: David Cohen/Flash90

They say that the dog is man’s best friend. To find out just how much these four-legged companions can really do, I met with Sefi Sahar, a dog trainer and co-owner of Magen Multi-Field Security (MFS), a company that specializes in using the animals’ unique senses and abilities to provide practical solutions to a wide range of problems. The company has around 30 dogs available throughout the country, including a variety of breeds, most notably the German Shepherd.

The tasks given to the canines are extremely diverse, and include guarding agricultural fields, protecting local communities, searching for missing persons, monitoring ecological conditions and providing therapeutical assistance to adolescents at risk. After their training as special facilities, nearly all of the dogs then go to live with their handlers. 

One of the most interesting jobs that Sefi is training these dogs to do is detecting early-stage cancer. Research into using dogs to detect cancer is being done in collaboration with Ben-Gurion University. The research team is headed by Prof. Pesach Schwartzman, Dr. Uri Yoel and...

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