Metallica, Tool Have Virus-Sniffing Dogs on Tour


Metallica performing in Detroit, Michigan.

Metallica – Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Ken Settle

Major tours aren’t taking any chances with safety and are employing virus-sniffing dogs on their runs

Bands have been working to find safe ways to get on the road, even after the pandemic continues to make touring and live performance a difficult situation. While many tours were forced to cancel or postpone dates last year, other tours, such as Guns N’ Roses, seemed to go off without a hitch.

So, how does a touring band make sure to stay safe on the road? Bring in the dogs, of course. Man’s best friend, apparently, is also man’s best protector from this nasty virus.

According to Rolling Stone, some of the biggest bands in the world are using virus-sniffing dogs to find anyone in their touring parties who might have come down with the sickness. The publication states that both Metallica and Tool are using the dogs in tandem wit each band’s safety philosophies.

Metallica, according to the outlet, brought on Ohio-based Bio Detection K9 business for many of their fall tour dates. Tool plan to use a different group of dogs when their tour kicks off this month.

Bio Detection K9 has been around for more than a decade, so way before this virus surfaced. They have a long history of using trained dogs to detect viruses, bacteria and fungus. The company currently has 12 dogs in service and eight additional in training. The canines are trained for COVID-19 and its many strains only, and they do not detect regular seasonal flus and colds. Bio Detection K9’s program was begun as a partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other government groups.

“So far, knock on wood, the dogs have been knocking it out of the park,” John Peets of Metallica management company Q Prime told Rolling Stone. “We haven’t had a dog miss anybody.”

The dogs don’t sniff out audience members by the way. As for how the test is conducted, people on tour wear a face mask for at least 10 minutes prior and then do the test, to offer a more concentrated sample for the canine. Then, they hold the mask in their hand, the dog walks but and, bingo, if you have the virus, the dog detects it.

Eric Church and Twenty One Pilots have also worked with Bio Detection K9. The company has also worked with NASCAR and the Chicago Marathon.

Posted by Anne Erickson | Metal, Music, Rock, Rock News