K9 Investigation Errors: A Manual for Avoiding Mistakes

K9 Investigation Errors: A Manual for Avoiding Mistakes

by Resi Gerritsen, Ruud Haak

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Make sure your K9 investigation work holds up in court. Based on Resi and Ruud’s previous book, K9 Fraud, with updated content and a new chapter.

Learn how to:

  • Avoid the most common mistakes handlers make.
  • Become a better trainer and handler with a scientific understanding of scent and tracking work.
  • Train your dog for scent-identification lineups using the scientifically proven Dutch standard.

Faulty K9 investigations often have serious consequences: the guilty might walk free, and the innocent might suffer. Internationally recognized dog handlers and trainers Dr. Resi Gerritsen and Ruud Haak use real-life case studies—historical and recent—to highlight K9 errors that can derail entire investigations. Each of these mistakes, such as influencing your dog’s results or relying on contaminated scents, damages your reputation and the value of your work. But with the right knowledge and training protocols, you can minimize investigation errors.

K9 errors have hampered investigations from the earliest uses of dogs for police work in Europe to twenty-first century cases such as the 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States. Don’t let the same mistakes happen to you and your team.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781550596755
Publisher: Brush Education
Publication date: 05/23/2016
Series: K9 Professional Training Series
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 264
File size: 35 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

Dr. Resi Gerritsen and Ruud Haak are world-renowned specialists in the field of dog work and the authors of more than 30 titles on dog training. They serve as training directors and international judges for the International Red Cross Federation, the United Nations, the International Rescue Dog Organization and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI).

Read an Excerpt


During the course of an investigation, search-dog handlers have been known to make mistakes. Sometimes these are honest errors in judgement or the result of poor training—poorly trained handlers and/or dogs—but sometimes handlers deliberately perpetrate errors. Some of the most important reasons for investigation errors include the handler's:

1. lack of knowledge about influencing dogs,
2. lack of dog-training skills,
3. desire to hide the dog's poor quality or characteristics,
4. need to solve a case quickly,
5. interest in benefiting financially from a specific result, and
6. aspiration to appear to be a better dog handler than others.

In this book we will consider at length errors and fraudulent practices committed by search-dog handlers. We will present and discuss a variety of cases and causes of errors carried out during the course of scent-identification lineups, tracking, and mantrailing. Since there is no international standard for scent-identification lineups, we've included a chapter with recommendations for just such a standard. These recommendations are based on the scientifically established Dutch standard for scent-identification lineups. We also describe the training for this method in detail. Since the beginning of the use of dogs for scent-identification lineups, tracking, and mantrailing, mistakes—both unintended and intentional—have detracted from the reputation of dogs and handlers in investigative work. In particular, handlers have often been guilty of influencing their dogs. To stress the significance of this problem, we extensively discuss the conscious and unconscious influencing of the dog by its handler or by helpers, also called the Clever Hans Effect.

Undetected errors in dog handling procedures lead to miscarriages of justice, including prosecution and incarceration (even death) of innocents, and they are absolutely unforgivable. So we also include a chapter devoted to how dog handlers (and their supervisors) can avoid making such errors—deliberate or not—with all kinds of search dogs.

Table of Contents

1. Scent-identification lineups
2. The Dutch training method for scent identification
3. Dogs’ responsiveness to human gestures
4. Tracking dogs in crime investigation
5. Scent research and tracking experiments
6. Errors in mantrailing
7. Human odor and dogs’ scent perception
8. Scent problems and training problems
9. Preventing investigation errors

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