Sign-up for our email Newsletter

Mobile Devices Note:

There's more to this site! Go to the bottom of the page for a list of posts or click "View Web Version" to see the whole site. Please excuse the Ads that keep this site free for you!

Find More Lessons and Articles

To see all the dog training posts (Over 260 pages)
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the list and most popular titles.

SEARCH Family Disaster Dogs 260+ pages

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lesson 26:Cadaver Dog Training

Lesson 26
Cadaver Scent Dog Training
For the Family Dog

Cadaver dogs find our loved ones after they have passed away. This sad aspect of disaster relief brings closure to the search in ways that one can’t comprehend until they experience it. Most people experience a sense of relief that is mixed with disbelief and an overwhelming feeling of loss.

Depending on the incident or disaster, the search for a cadaver signals hope is gone for finding a live subject. Often, to much time may have gone by for a person to survive or the disaster was on a grand scale with many causalities that put the odds of survival very low. 

In the event of a disaster our biggest fear is finding our loved ones after their death and this is not an easy subject for many people to cope with or face. 

A person can prepare themselves for this horrible possibility by training their dog to find cadaver scent so that they can tend to a loved one’s afterlife and bring closure to the search for that person. 

A Cadaver is a human body after death. The body begins to change how it smells immediately at death in ways only a dog can detect. Depending on environmental factors the scent or odor can become apparent to a person within a couple of hours after death. Sometimes longer, for instance if a body is frozen then we humans can not smell it but a dog can.

Training your dog to find the cadaver scent will result in your dog finding all cadavers or parts in the area because your dog is only looking for one scent not individual people. The scent to the dog is the same but if your dog is trained to find a person by name they will identify this person if asked to find them by name regardless if they are a cadaver or not. 

Why? Because your dog will look for individual scents associated with that person, such as soap or perfume the person wears regularly. Those familiar scents will lead your dog to the person by name.

To train a dog to find any cadaver and body parts, you first need the scent. Then you can use either the toy or hide and seek method of air scent training to teach your dog the scent with a word associating this specific odor, such as “Seek” or “Recover”. When you do a live person search you would use a command like, “Find them” or “Get Vicki” so the dog knows what to look for.

The cadaver scent is placed in a toy or in a container with holes in it, a coffee can with a lid or PVC pipe with holes and caps on the ends work to hold the scent items. These training toys objects are hidden for the dog to find.

The first thing you must do is gather cadaver scent. You might be wondering how in the world we do this.

In the United States, officials and certified SAR personnel can assess special drug company catalogs that make synthetic scents of many types for search dog training purposes. The catalogs are amazing; every scent imaginable is available, along with illegal drugs, why clearance is needed to order. 

Scent is so complex that drug companies have be able to make a scent similar to that of a person who has been drowned for a time limit, such as within 2-4 hours or 6-8 hours. They make live person scents that have the odor of fear included for searching for a person who is afraid like when they have wandered away in the woods or been kidnapped. Another scent might include an illness or age factor for searching for nursing home runaways which happens more then you might think. 

The average person can not gain access to these supply companies without authorization and it is against the law in the USA to obtain and possess a body or body parts of any kind. 

Then how do we get cadaver scent to teach the family dog? We collect our fingernails and toenails from friends and family members. We save only natural hair trimmings when somebody gets a trim or hair cut. No dyed or tinted hair or hair treated with gels or hairspray.

The nails and hair of a living person actually change from live to dead scent rather quickly once away from the living body.

For training your dog, the hair and nails are kept in a sealed baggie or container in a freezer until use to preserve and keep the scent fresh for the dog. Take the container out of the freezer before training and place some of the contents into the training toy. Afterwards, the toy should then be kept in the freezer between sessions.

Use the toy method for training your dog in this scent.

Dogs trained to search in water for a person who has been swept away in a flood or tsunamis are trained to find the cadaver scent along with live person scent. If you live in an area prone to tsunami or floods I would recommend teaching your dog the cadaver scent.

Author Amber Higgins

Author Amber Higgins
Click Pic to Visit my author page

Welcome UK and Worldwide Visitors

Welcome UK and worldwide visitors and friends to Family Disaster Dogs online! Although I'm an American author and dog professional the worldwide web has given me the opportunity to connect with some wonderful folks who have contributed pictures for my books. The "Start Mantrailing" book features RRI K9 North Scotland trained Search and Rescue Dog "Amber" on the cover and her teammates training in the book, plus American dogs using my training methods. A portion of sales of the Start Mantrailing book or copies were donated to RRI North Scotland. The children's picture book "My Puppy Can Find Me" has my daughter and bloodhound as illustrations by UK cartoonist Scotty King. You can find the books on Amazon UK or use the contact page to order from me. When you click the links will take you to your own county pages of this site.

Start Mantrailing Free Preview on Audible, Kindle and Paperback

Featured Lesson

My Dog is Prepared Are You ?

How are you Prepared?  Post answers in the comments...we'd love to hear from you! Be ready for pet medical emergencies with one of these...

Popular Posts

My Children's Picture Book

My Children's Picture Book
Click the Image to see the Book

Past Posts and Lessons

To see all the lessons and dog care articles on this site:

Look at the dates listed below and click one date to bring up all the articles and lessons published at this site in one page for each date.

There are well over 200 pages that have been published here at Family Disaster Dogs since 2011.

New lessons or dog care articles continue to be posted weekly.

The list below is the easiest way to find all the information here.

Enjoy the search and follow that dog!

Blog Archive

Let's Share on Social Media !

Let's enable each family to respond

and do something while waiting for help

during neighborhood emergency and disaster incidents,

extreme weather and terrorist attacks.

Good Luck and Be Safe !

Read a Free Preview or Buy !

Help Keep Free Books Free for everyone-Donate Today!

Dog Bug-out Bag book

Free Preview

Read and Review my books on Goodreads

Family Disaster Dogs

Advertising Disclosure

Disclosure: Some of the links on this site are affiliate links that I have reviewed and approved. Additionally links to products such as at Amazon are products I have personally used. Affiliate links means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. The proceeds earned are not much and used to keep this Family Disaster Dogs website free to the public. Thank you for your support.

Purchases from affiliate links help Keep Family Disaster Dogs Site Free!

Check this deal out and support us! Thanks

Sign up for Audible Plus, an all-you-can-listen membership that offers access to thousands of titles, including the Family Disaster Dogs audiobooks and a vast array of other audiobooks, podcasts and originals that span genres, lengths, and formats.