Lerner & Rowe Music News

For whom the dog sits: Metallica, The Black Keys & Tool using COVID-sniffing pooches at shows

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A new COVID-19 test is helping keep live rock shows going, and it’s the bestest, goodest boy, yes he is.

Musicians are using a company called Bio-Detection K9, which has trained dogs to detect COVID-19 in people. According to Rolling Stone, the adorable virus sniffers were used at recent shows by Metallica and The Black Keys, and will be hitting the road with Tool on their upcoming tour.

The president of Bio-Detection K9 is Air Force vet Jerry Johnson, who’d previously worked with dogs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“People say, ‘What’s that dog doing?'” Johnson tells Rolling Stone. “It surprises them and they’re pessimistic, but if you understand the instincts of a dog’s behavior, it makes a lot of sense. Dogs sniff each other to see if that other dog has a virus. We’re training them to look for something they’d be interested in anyway.”

At first, the dogs would sniff a person’s hands and feet, and would sit down if they detect COVID-19. With the rise of the Omicron variant, however, the pooches now need to smell a person’s mask.

John Peets of Q Prime, Metallica’s management company, tells Rolling Stone that “the dogs have been knocking it out of the park,” adding he thinks “dogs are more accurate that the tests.”

“We haven’t had a dog miss anybody,” he says.

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