Terminology for describing and differentiating different canines used in searching:
SEARCH DOG - A non-specific term referring to a canine trained for any type of searching based upon visual, olfactory or auditory clues.
TRACKING DOG - A canine with the specific ability and training to track and locate a specific human on the basis of scent.
AIR-SCENT DOG - A canine with the ability and training to locate the presence of a human in a particular area. This is the standard for dogs used in wilderness search for lost persons.
CADAVER DOG - A narrow term, used in a search and rescue context to indicate a canine primarily trained as a tracking or air-scent dog that has also recieved cross training in the location of dead human bodies.
DECOMP DOG - A term used to describe a canine that will indicate when a scent is human tissue, blood, semen, feces and materials that have been handled or worn by humans.
FORENSIC SEARCH DOG - A canine that has been specifically trained to indicate a scent source as being from decomposed human tissue. Such animals are also trained to exclude the scent of human urine, feces, and semen and will not alert on residual scent from a live human and have never been trained to locate any scent other than that of decomposed human tissue.
This page was last updated on: April 17, 2013