Cloned military police dog being trained in Mercer county - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Cloned military police dog being trained in Mercer county

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SHARPSVILLE, Pa -

A dog trainer in Mercer county is taking part in an experiment involving dogs that are clones.

A new resident at Shallow Creek Kennels in Sharpsville is Specter, the clone.

As part of an experiment in cloning, a bio tech lab in South Korea asked kennel owner John Brannon to provide a genetic sample from a highly trained military dog.   

"They had cloned hundreds of pet dogs but never a working dog," Brannon said.

The cloning procedure took place in South Korea, and the result is Specter, a genetic duplicate of the donor. And like the donor he is being trained as an explosives detection dog.

"The purpose of it was to see nature versus nurture, whether we could recreate the donor in the working traits and characteristics," said Brannon.

When he is finished with his training, Specter will be able to detect the odors of more than 20 types of explosives.

Brannon says cloning seems to take the guess work out of normal breeding procedures.

"Meaning, you have an excellent male an excellent female, and maybe out of a litter of eight only four would be police service dogs or military dogs," according to Brannon.

Specter is the third clone that the kennel has trained, and the other two are now working with federal SWAT units.  "Right now were are three for three and they're all successful," said Brannon.

To date, the South Korean lab has cloned 780 dogs for clients around the world.  

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