The benefit of spunk spaniel training is obvious. The canines can help track down sex offenders and other leaky criminals (they're already adding a sixth semen-sniffer in Amsterdam). But spare a moment to consider the trainer who probably never imagined that they were going to have to teach a dog to learn the stank of human chowder. How does that even work?
According to this Dutch article, first you need a ready supply of wiener sauce. And varied sources, because you need your pup to be able to track this stuff in general and not just the jizz of one specific individual. Dutch police, who pioneered this kind of training, enlisted volunteers at the local hospital. Everyone was informed of the nature of their contribution, and samples were harvested with the help of medical professionals. I assume that means that if you broke your foot, they may hand you a cup and ask you to fire off a wrist rocket for the good of justice while a man in a lab coat silently judges your technique.
The trainer has to take the dog out into the world with a very long tool to dab semen hither and yon. Maybe a drop on a tree stump, maybe a dash on a squirrel, whatever you please. You wait a half hour or so to marinate, and then let the dog smell a control sample before sending it off into the wilds. A dog's sense of smell is so good that they can find a drop only one millimeter across -- and if the sample is indoors and well-preserved, they can find it literally months later. Good boy!
Rail And Iron Workers Learn Suicide Prevention
Regardless of their reasons for doing so, the fact is that people frequently commit suicide by jumping in front of trains. In Britain, someone does so every 31 hours, a number so baffling that I had to Google it more than once to make sure it wasn't bullshit. So, given the frequency, it's no wonder that British Rail workers are trained in suicide prevention techniques now. They learn to watch for warning signs, like people waiting on platforms who never get on trains, or those who show up in pajamas or hospital gowns and slippers.
Rail workers are trained to directly confront these people, to sit and talk with them about how they're feeling and whatever they may be going through. Between April and October of 2013, 313 people were stopped by others who noticed that something seemed off and tried to lend a hand. Since this program was started, there's been a 12 percent drop in suicides.
Likewise, in the U.S., when people find themselves drawn to the Golden Gate Bridge as a spot to shuffle off the mortal coil, it's not always psychologists or police going to save them; it's Golden Gate iron workers. They're the only people who have the skills necessary to easily navigate the bridge, specifically the dangerous parts that are super high up and past safety rails.
Iron workers aren't required to do suicide prevention, but some of them volunteer for the duty simply because no one else can. The most famous of these volunteers, Ken Hopper, had personally rescued over 30 people between the mid 1980s and 2001, which technically makes him an honorary Batman. And what kind of training do iron workers get in talking people down? Not a ton. Psychologists have offered seminars, but as Hopper points out, they often end up asking questions themselves, because the iron workers have actually lived through it, while those training them only know the job on paper.