"Knife Hand" - Detection
I have the honor to train with a military k9 narcotic handler for the next two weeks.
They are using a "knife hand" a lot to direct the dogs. Now I am wondering if it is a good idea to implement that in HRD for car searches or to let them search independently?
Any input on the knife hand? Don't want to start doing something that later on could be viewed as "cuing" the dog.
What the heck is "knife hand". I do not know the term. My hand is flat like a karate chop for vehicle searching so I guess that is what you mean, and the following "rules" apply as I know them.
1-always start at same point on a vehicle
2-sweep the areas to search (wheel wells, seams, etc.) with your hand walking backwards behind the dog at a steady clip. Your approach needs to be consistent and you don't point or give specific check here direction.
---not everyone walks backwards but that is how I was trained and it lets you see the dog,
3-do not stop, just let out line if dog shows interest in area-they need a quick indication. If dog pushes ahead of you spin around and return to same point with a little overlap.
4-overlap area searched so that start point gets a 2nd sniff.
5-depends on who you train with, some reverse direction after you search vehicle and do another sweep others do not. My understanding is consistency in how you do it is most important.
6-don't touch the car..which is easier said than done in uneven terrain.
7-adjust your speed to the speed of the dog (says one who has been hollered at to do it faster)
Eventually the dog won't need your help to detail a car and can work the entire pattern alone. Not cueing.... if the technique is right. I have a 6 foot 1/4 inch lead I use for detailing because it is easy to let out.
Some people do free search. When we trained in an impound lot and had to find the car out of many we let the dog free search then detail on their own but if you are asked to search a particular car, you would detail it.
Never heard that term in 25 years. with regard to directing search
New case. This is why I work all of my dogs offleash unless the situation dictates hooking them up. Tell the dog to search and shutup folks. stop talking to them and stop directing the search. Also,if the dog is passive the dog needs to reach FULL final trained response. THis is why I like aggressive alert other than bomb dogs of course.
a properly trained scent detector dog has been trained on the search commmand,searches for and works odor to point of origin,exhibits final trained response and should not need continuous direction:)
Do you not train a pattern as a training exercise on checking a car or are you entirely free search?
Everyone I know of trains a pattern and repeats it so much the dog searches systematically without any direction. Pretty much all of our vehicle search training has been led by narcotics dog folks.
Who is saying anything to their dog? The case appears to be a reversal strictly because of the dog's marginal performance records during training and the massive amount of redacted information in the training logs.
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Ps. I am working with on of their handlers currently. I was not sure if we can be as precise as they are, hence the question.
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MWD handlers do not have to concern themselves with PC.
Nancy. read the case again.
" LeBlanc testified that the dog then tried to sit,but that he did not allow him to complete THAT TRAINED INDICATION" Meaning the dog did not exhibit his final trained response which gives us PC to search
Also the case discussed the directing of the dog during the search.
Yes the records were screwed up.
My point is you must learn when you read these cases to take it all under consideration. We pay attention to tactics used whether or not they were successful in supression. We change the way we do things to make them a non issue in the future.
Yes, I train dogs to work a pattern. The point is that once the search has begun,with some exceptions, continuously directing the dog's search ,tapping/pointing , etc should not be done.
Yes, I did see about the sit (why did he stop him?) and it is definitively a point of consideration though I don't think it is the cause for throwing out the testimony.
Faced with a similar argument, our sister circuit declined
to adopt a rule “which would require the dog to give a final
indication before probable cause is established.” United
States v. Parada, 577 F.3d 1275, 1281–82 (10th Cir. 2009);
see also id. at 1275 (upholding as sufficient, the dog’s “rapid
deep breathing, body stiffening, and upbreaking from the
search pattern . . . around a vehicle”). Its rationale was on the
mark: probable cause is measured in reasonable expectations,
not certainties. Id.; see also United States v. Cervantes,
703 F.3d 1135, 1139 (9th Cir. 2012) (“An officer will have
probable cause to search if there is a fair probability that
contraband or evidence of a crime will be found in a
particular place, based on the totality of the circumstances.”
(internal quotation marks omitted)). Evidence from a trained26 UNITED STATES V. THOMAS
It will be for the district court in the first instance to determine 14
whether “on remand, a protective order or an in camera hearing is
necessary to accommodate any law enforcement confidentiality concerns.”
United States v. Budziak, 697 F.3d 1105, 1113 (9th Cir. 2012).
and reliable handler about alert behavior he recognized in his
dog can be the basis for probable cause. Whether a particular
dog displays enough signaling behavior will depend on the
facts and circumstances of each case
Clearly though a fast, unambiguous trained indication should be the goal be it passive or aggressive. Not changing how your routinely perform a search is something that has been hammered into me. The dog needs to be trained to now HOW to search and once the pattern is down, no focusing by the handler on "areas" of interest. Is that your point? They have to quickly and efficiently offer their indication without further "help" by the handler.
A very good point that a MWD handler may not be as "tuned into" civilian case law I gather because they are not dealing with civilians.
I dont know why he did not allow the full sit.. MWD handlers do not have the concerns that we do. Most of their searches are in a restricted access facility in which PC for search is not necessary. Yes my point is that actively directing the search by voice or mannerisms can be interpreted as a cue for an alert. :)
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