Precautions for bands on the road during the pandemic are mostly limited to mask-wearing and social distancing. Though major artists like Tool and Metallica are employing an additional defense against getting sick – COVID-sniffing dogs. According to a story by Rolling Stone, the dogs are mostly German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, and Labrador Retrievers.
“So far, knock on wood, the dogs have been knocking it out of the park,” says John Peets of Q Prime, managers of Metallica and many others. “We haven’t had a dog miss anybody.
One company training and employing the dogs is Bio-Detection K9, run by ex-Air Force veteran Jerry Johnson.
"People say, 'What's that dog doing?'" Johnson said. "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."
Johnson added that he's not allowed to discuss how many people are flagged at shows by the dogs, but does mention that they've "had them get a couple of local guys who thought they were negative. Then those guys went and had a PCR test and it came back that they were positive.”