Human Remains Detection Dogs (commonly known as Cadaver Dogs) are trained to detect and indicate
the odor of actively decomposing or decomposed human remains.
Unlike live human beings which each have their own "signature" scent like a fingerprint, bodies become
"generic" human cadaver odor when they pass into biological death. This odor, in various stages of
decomposition (from immediate death to many years post-mortem) is used to train HRD dogs that work for
Canine Search Solutions. CSS does not now, and will not ever use or approve of using "pseudo" scent
training aids due to legal obstacles in the court, and to avoid the possibility of training an incorrect scent.
CSS firmly believes that the best and correct way to train an HRD dog is with the "real thing." Read more
about the problem with pseudo.
The dog is trained to provide a clear and controlled indication at the source of the odor upon detection.
Common indications can be a bark, a down, a touch or a sit. To preserve the crime scene, the indication
must not disturb the human remains. HRD dogs are methodically proofed off of animal remains and
HRD dog handlers must also be trained. Ideally, a dog handler who is also sworn LE is preferred during
any criminal investigation due to their knowledge of search and seizure issues, evidence collection, crime
scene investigation, report writing and testifying in court. Non-sworn CSS handlers have been carefully
selected and have passed background investigations. These handlers have demonstrated knowledge of
confidentiality aspects, crime scene preservation, report writing and sound judgement.
Please note that the HRD dogs at CSS will NEVER alert on animal blood unless it has been
cross-contaminated with human blood or remains.
While an HRD dog can differentiate between animal and human blood, they cannot assist in determining if
the blood at a crime scene came from a victim who was alive or a victim who was deceased. If there is any
uncertainty as to whether your victim is alive or deceased, we can provide recommendations to handlers
with dual-purpose search dogs that will alert on both live and deceased victims. A dog trained in HRD
only will not alert on live victims unless, for example, blood is present on their clothing. If you think your
victim is alive and relatively uninjured, a dual-purpose dog is a better option.
Please contact us for more information if you may require assistance with any of these scenarios.
HRD Canines: Using the Tool
Copyright Canine Search Solutions, Madison, Wisconsin
Canine Search Solutions
|Click on the following HRD K9 tools
for more information.