The science and law of detection - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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The science and law of detection

Wow, there is a boatload of information in this article on the science and law of scent discrimination and trailing/tracking dogs. Also a lot of referenced material. I didn't get through it all and the writing has some issues but interesting case references and information to chew on. Here is the article.

http://dinazaphiris.com/wp-content/u...in-the-law.pdf

I guess this is all going in a book that is to come out in March

http://www.amazon.com/Canine-Olfaction-Science-Law-Environmental/dp/1482260239
P.S. First turned on to this from another forum. Just thought some here might be interested.

Karin
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Some of the case studies are really interesting. I found a blog by one of the authors that talked about a study where something like 15 police k9 teams were sent into a church to look for drugs. Almost all of the teams alerted. All the human officers were told there were likely drugs there. But there were not. The problem of cuing the dog for false alerts is well documented. Some interesting case law in this study where handlers are shown a line up of a suspect with a bunch of police. The suspect is handcuffed. The police are not but holding hands behind them. The handler knows all the officers. Knowing how sensitive our dogs are this to me was a bit laughable.

In the article I like the scent line up... where people, including suspects, are given pebbles to hold. Then the pebbles are deposited on the ground. The dog is given a scent article, then allowed access to the pebbles with no people around. Good success for the dogs here if they are well trained.

Anyway, I liked all the info in the article.

Karin
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 09:37 AM
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Nice collection of information. Terry Fleck, I think, recently retired but I know he has been the go to guy for many years on K9 case law.

K-9 Case Law

Nancy



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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Morning Nancy! What are you doing today? Are you feeling better?
We are off to train for avalanche searches today. ;-)
Wishing you well. Karin

Karin
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 11:56 AM
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Have a great time. I had a nice long training with both dogs yesterday and am connecting with teammates a few times a week. Doing much better. I was able to keep up on airscent problems both as a flanker and a handler but was not the only one who said they were going home to take a nap yesterday and today I hurt all over.

Having to get used to Tilly ranging out so far. She gets the job done but I always hate a dog ranging out of sight while scanning for odor but she does work a pattern with me, so she is aware of where I am.....

Beau doing well also .

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 01:04 PM
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Thanks Dutch! Live reading this sort of stuff!

Good to hear you are feeling better Nancy.. Also nice to hear your new dog is doing well and you are learning her behavior and inclinations...

Had a nice aged trail laid for me yesterday in the snow storm... My girl did great until she suddenly jumped track... Not sure why, or when,iobviously past the turn... I had my gopro on and hope to see where or if her indication is for jumping track (a human track no less).. She is usually extremely loyal to scent, so, I'm curious what happened... Hate it when this happens... I know it does, but in a real setting I have had great success... Until I didn't, lol... She was dead on until she suddenly wasn't... Even with a snow plow scrapping our start twice, she had a strong start and a solid half mile... Huh... Will read this material and see if an answer is there, besides my gopro and see what I missed....
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 05:34 PM
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That is a interesting piece. While, we do not do "Scent lineups" and I do not know of any US Police Agencies doing them, they have been done in Europe. There is no doubt in my mind that a dog can do it. I train with a SAR person that does this and it is very impressive. Working a dog in several disciplines limits what we can do, but I can always aspire to be better. Training with SAR folks that put so much time, effort and emphasis on trailing has made me and my dogs better. Not as good as them, but better than we were. I often like to train with people that raise the bar on my training. I train scent discrimination tracking / trailing with our K-9's. We will take scent from a car's steering wheel or driver's seat after a pursuit and bail. Or from a place that I know a suspect touched after a burglary or robbery. I have been pretty fortunate at tracking suspects through neighborhoods, in high winds and rain or snow to the house or apartment that they were in. My dog has a whole bunch of apprehensions after scent discrimination tracking. I can attribute a lot of this success to the training that I have done with my SAR friends.

This is also interesting and I have seen this study:
I found a blog by one of the authors that talked about a study where something like 15 police k9 teams were sent into a church to look for drugs. Almost all of the teams alerted. All the human officers were told there were likely drugs there. But there were not. The problem of cuing the dog for false alerts is well documented.

Since I train narcotics detection dogs for my dept and other agencies, "false alerts" are an issue. It is certainly a question that gets raised in Court from time to time. I really do not like the term "false alert." The way we train and the way we work, "false alerts" are really not an issue.

The alert is not the trained response of sitting, downing or as I train nose to source and focused stare at the source of odor for a passive dog. Nor is the "alert" the scratching or biting at source for an active or aggressive alerting dog. In either case, passive or aggressive, the alert is the behavioral changes and the physiological changes the dog exhibits before alerting. With every dog doing detection work, the handler must look for the breathing change, the "head snap", the ear and tail set changes, body languages changes and the increased respiration that shows the dog is in odor. These are the things that the alert is based on, not the sit, stare or scratch. A "sit" or "scratch" with out the breathing change, behavioral changes and body language changes is not an alert.

A handler can "cue" a dog to sit or scratch, but you can not "cue" a behavioral change, a "head snap" or an increase in respiration from about 30 bpm to 100 - 150 bpm. This is what handlers need to be trained to realize, look for and base alerts on. When this is done there are zero "false alerts."

I set up training scenarios regularly like the one described, pressure the handler to call an alert, when he/she doesn't call an alert in a blank room for example and goes to walk out I say "are you sure that you don't want to check the room again?" "Maybe, you should check the desk?" Out handlers know to trust the dog, the dog has the nose and the super senses, and not fall victim to the added pressure and stress we put on. Running aids blind is the best way, that way the handler has to rely on the dog. Same as running blind tracks are the only way to really learn to read a tracking dog.

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance”. George Bernard Shaw

Jim
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 06:07 PM
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It has been hammered into my head. You don't call it without both the body language AND the final trained response.

Nancy



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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocoyn View Post
It has been hammered into my head. You don't call it without both the body language AND the final trained response.
Well, you can't always get the final trained response. That is why the behavioral changes, body language and physiological changes are the alert that the dog is in "odor." There are times when the dog can not go to it's trained response. My dog is an aggressive alerting narcotics dog, he is trained to scratch at the source of odor. If the aid is in the ceiling, or a high find he will not be able to scratch. Just as a passive dog may not be able to sit and stare to alert. If the ground is too hot, asphalt on a 100 degree day, a dog will not sit. If the target odor is moving, like a vehicle at a check point or a box on a conveyor belt the dog will not be able to go to it's trained response. The alert can easily and sometimes should be called before the trained response. For example, when running motel or hotel hallways, I need to call the alert before my dog hits the metal room door like a grizzly bear scratching and goes to his trained response. I may not want my dog to notiify the individuals inside that a Police K-9 just alerted to their hotel room door.

When it comes to courtroom testimony, the key is to describe the behavioral changes as the alert. When going off those and not the final response there are no false alerts, that usually shuts down defense attorneys as well.

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance”. George Bernard Shaw

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 06:40 PM
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Ok. Yes. Sometimes you cannot physically get it because of complicating factors, and I see where in your situation, you may want to prevent it. I was told to write down everything my dog does -both body language and trained response in the training records under as wide a variety of circumstances as possible.

Nancy



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