Malaysian authorities are again using dogs to sniff out DVD pirates — and score positive publicity.

A Labrador called Paddy last week led enforcement officers and Motion Picture Assn. reps to a cache of pirated DVDs about 12 miles from Kuala Lumpur. Arrests followed.

Dogs apparently have the ability to detect the polycarbonates and other chemicals used in optical disc manufacturing. On behalf of the MPA, their skills are honed in Northern Ireland by a former bomb squad officer.

Two dogs named Lucky and Flo rooted out numerous disc reproduction units before being transferred to New York earlier this year. The pair was recently replaced by Paddy and Manny, though Manny died while traveling and never saw active duty.

`”We are happy to hear that Paddy’s first raid was a successful one, though we can’t say we’re surprised,” says Mike Ellis, the MPA’s Asia-Pacific president and MD.

Beyond their detecting abilities, the dogs have an uncanny nose for newsmaking.

The pooches, it seems, generate the kind of positive press coverage that human anti-piracy officers and celebrity endorsements simply can’t fetch.