Canine Olfaction Science and Law: Advances in Forensic Science, Medicine, Conservation, and Environmental Remediation, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Canine Olfaction Science and Law

Advances in Forensic Science, Medicine, Conservation, and Environmental Remediation, 1st Edition

Edited by Tadeusz Jezierski, John Ensminger, L. E. Papet

CRC Press

482 pages | 69 B/W Illus.

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The value of the canine nose is well-documented, and working dogs are being utilized for their olfactory skills in an increasing number of fields. Not only are dogs used by police, security, and the military, but they are also now used in forensic science, in medical detection of disease, in calculating population trends of endangered species and eradicating invasive species in protected environments, and in identifying infestations and chemical contaminants.

Edited and contributed to by eminent scholars, Canine Olfaction Science and Law: Advances in Forensic Science, Medicine, Conservation, and Environmental Remediation takes a systematic scientific approach to canine olfaction. It includes work from scientists working in pure and applied disciplines, trainers and handlers who have trained and deployed detection dogs, and lawyers who have evaluated evidence produced with the aid of detection and scent identification dogs.

The book is divided into six sections covering

  • The anatomy, genetics, neurology, and evolution of canine olfaction as well as diseases affecting it
  • The chemistry and aerodynamics of odors
  • Behavior, learning, and training
  • Uses of canine olfaction in forensics and law
  • Uses in conservation and remediation
  • Uses in detection of diseases and medical conditions

The various contributors describe cutting edge research, some conclusions of which are the subject of vigorous debates between various laboratories and researchers. The editors have added cross-references so that readers can consider the different perspectives that are currently being advanced and understand where consensus is being built and where more research needs to be done.

A useful practical reference, Canine Olfaction Science and Law provides a wealth of information beneficial to a wide range of disciplines. It aids trainers and handlers of detection dogs as well as various professionals in healthcare, law enforcement, forensic science, and environmental conservation to gain a better understanding of the remarkable power of the canine nose while encouraging further advances in applications.


"Canine Olfaction Science and Law expands on our fascination of canine scent detection, exploring the issues from many angles with a scientific perspective. All of the sections discussed … are expanding new horizons for canine research and emphasize the importance for continued research, especially in the conservation arena. The book is a great reference for anyone working with dog detection."—Journal of Wildlife Management, February 2017

Table of Contents


The Anatomy of the Canine Nose

David Bainbridge

Evolution of the Nose

Embryonic Development of the Nose

Skeleton of the Muzzle

Nasal Planum, Cartilages, and Muscles

Vestibule and Vomeronasal Organ

Nasal Cavities and Paranasal Sinuses

Olfactory Receptor Cells and Their Connections to the Brain

Wiring of the Olfactory System and the Functional Role of Neurons and Glia during Lifelong Turnover

Konstantin Wewetzer and Gudrun Brandes

Cellular Constituents of the Olfactory System

Functional Role of Olfactory Sensory Neurons and Olfactory Ensheathing Cells during Lifelong Neural Turnover

Lessons from the Olfactory System for the Treatment of Canine and Human Central Nervous System Injury

Olfaction and the Canine Brain

Marcello Siniscalchi

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Pathways of Olfactory Stimulation to the Canine Brain

Hemispheric Specialization and Olfaction in Dogs

Olfactory Cues in Social Behavior


Genetics of Canine Olfaction

Pascale Quignon and Francis Galibert

Olfactory Systems

Odorant Receptors

The Dog’s OR Repertoire

Dog Olfaction and Its Practical Applications



Effects of Disease on Canine Olfaction

Cynthia M. Otto

Diagnosis of Olfactory Dysfunction

Causes of Olfactory Dysfunction


Olfaction in Wild Canids and Russian Canid Hybrids

Nathaniel J. Hall, Alexandra Protopopova, and Clive D.L. Wynne

The Function of the Canine Nose

Is Wild Canid Olfaction Better?




The Development of Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry and Its Uses in Odor Analysis

Joanna Rudnicka and Bogusław Buszewski

Beginnings of Gas Chromatography

The Gas Chromatograph

Mass Spectrometry

Combining Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography with Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (GC x GC-TOF/MS)

Applications of Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry


Aerodynamics of Odor Plumes and Odor Plume Structures in Different Habitats

Paul A. Moore

Importance of Scale

Physical Constraints on Odor Transmission in Air

Summary of the Physical Constraints to Odor Dispersion

Odor Landscapes at Varying Scales

Searching Odor Landscapes: Environment-Specific Odor Fields


The Practical and Legal Significance of the Chemical Analysis of Odor in Relation to Canine Forensic and Judicial Evidence

John Ensminger and Megan A. Ferguson

Volatile Organic Compounds and the Odor of Human Cadavers

Search for the Human Decomposition Profile

Relating Analytically Determined Decomposition Profiles to Canine Scent Alerts

Cocaine on Currency




Canine Olfactory Learning and Behavior

Nathaniel J. Hall and Clive D.L. Wynne

Classical (Pavlovian) Conditioning

Operant Conditioning

Delivery of the Reinforcer

Stimulus Control

Simple Odor Mixtures

Complex Stimulus Control

Conditional Discrimination: The Dual Function Dog


Conclusion and Future Directions


Training Considerations in Wildlife Detection

Aimee Hurt, Deborah A. (Smith) Woollett, and Megan Parker

Dog Selection

Handler Selection

Passive Final Response

Training Samples

Transition to Naturally Occurring Targets

Responsibilities of the Handler

Nontarget Issues

Maintaining Target Fidelity in the Field



Training Fundamentals and the Selection of Dogs and Personnel for Detection Work

Sherri Minhinnick, L.E. Papet, Carol M. Stephenson, and Mark R. Stephenson

Is Training an Art or a Science?

Axioms of Canine Training

Anthropomorphism as a Confounder

Actions and Intonations of Cueing

Selecting Dogs for Olfaction Responsibilities

Selection and Appointment of a Handler

Selection of a Trainer or a Vendor



Training a Statistically Superior Scent Discrimination Canine: Where Trainer Wisdom Meets Scientific Validation

L.E. Papet and Sherri Minhinnick


Markers as Rewards, Reinforcers, Motivators, and Commands

Preconditioning and Initial Odor Recognition Training

Training for Reliability


Statistical Reliability Confounders and Improvement in Advanced Dog Training: Patterns, Routines, Targets, Alerts, Distractors, Reinforcement, and Other Issues

Sherri Minhinnick

Independent Sniffing and Patterning During Search Routines

Types of Alerts and Indications

Distractors, Detection to Discrimination

Continuous Improvement Is Mandatory



Canine Drug-Detection Evidence: Admissibility, Canine Qualifications, and Investigative Practices

Leslie A. Shoebotham

Background and Canine Sniff Doctrine

Canine Sniffs of Vehicles

Canine Sniffs of Homes

Detection Dog Certification, Training, and Field Performance Records

Determining Canine Reliability for Contraband Detection

Canine-Reliability Determinations after Harris

Types of Canine-Reliability Evidence Submitted

Daubert Challenges to Canine Sniff Evidence after Harris

Retirement of Marijuana-Trained Detection Dogs in States Where Marijuana Possession and Use Has Been Decriminalizing

Canine Sniff of a Person



Cadaver Detection in Forensic Anthropology and Criminology: An Overview with Personal Notes

Keith P. Jacobi

History behind Forensic Anthropology and Cadaver Dogs

Search for Remains and Reliability of Cadaver Dogs

Locating Antiquated Buried Human Bone

Cadaver Dog and Scent of Burned or Cremated Human Bone

Positive and Negative: Judicial Cases with Cadaver Dogs

Cadaver Dogs and Detection of Human Remains in Water

Future Directions


Detection of Cocaine on Currency

Thomas H. Jourdan

U.S. v. $30,060

U.S. v. $215,300

Cocaine on Currency

Interpretation of the Level of Drugs on Currency



Narcotic and Explosive Odors: Volatile Organic Compounds as Training Aids for Olfactory Detection

L.E. Papet

Types of Materials

Contamination Types and Causes

Odor Concentration, Availability, and Attributes

Odor Aid Usage in Training and Deployment


Scent Lineups: Variables in Procedures and Statistical Verification

Tadeusz Jezierski

Individual Odor Theory

Rationale for Identification by Scent Lineup for Forensic Purposes

Different Scent for Different Body Parts

Evaluation of Indications and Validity of Canine Identification

Validity of Scent Lineups

Preferred Scented Items for Lineups


Familiarity and Gender

Time Factor in Scent Recognition

Cosmetics and Smoking

Control Trials

Number of Stations and Target Samples

Control and "Zero" Trials

Effect of Increasing the Number of Dogs Used

Clever Hans Effect

Location of Target Samples in Lineups

Abilities of Individual Dogs

Other Uses of Canine Lineups


How US Courts Deal with the "Black Box" of Canine Scent Identification

John Ensminger

Development of Foundational Requirements for Tracking Evidence

Scent Lineups

Scent Transfer Units

Courts Begin to Question Validity of Scent Lineups

How Do Courts Deal with the "Black Box"?



Trained Dogs in Insect Detection

Margie P. Lehnert and Emma N.I. Weeks

Beneficial Insects

Harmful Insects

Difficulties with Detecting Insects

Advantages of Canine Insect Scent Detection

Early History of Canine Insect Scent Detection

Efficacy of Canine Detection for Insect Surveillance

False–Positive Indications

Training Dogs with Live Insects

Alternatives to Live Insects for Training

Efficacy of Alternatives to Live Insects for Training Purposes

Applied Canine Insect Scent Detection


Detection Dogs in Strategies for Eradicating Pest Species from Natural Environments

Keith Springer

Macquarie Island

New Zealand Department of Conservation Pest Detection Dog Program



Canine Biodetection in Conservation, Eradication, and Border Protection: A Regulatory Perspective

John Ensminger


Use of Detection Dogs

Regulatory Requirements for Arctic Surveys

Habitat Fragmentation

Identification of Individual Tigers

Detection of Disease in Wildlife

Vultures, Poisons, and Pollutants






Detection of Human Cancer by Dogs

Tadeusz Jezierski

Malignant Melanoma

Lung Cancer

Breast Cancer

Prostate Cancer

Bladder Cancer

Ovarian Cancer

Colorectal Cancer

State of Research and Prospects for Clinical Application

Methodology Issues



Medical Alerting to Seizures, Glycemic Changes, and Migraines: Significance of Untrained Behaviors in Service Dogs

John Ensminger

Americans with Disabilities Act

Seizure Alerting

Hyperglycemia and Hypoglycemia Alerting

Migraine Alerting

Legal Status of Spontaneously Alerting Dogs

Need for Further Research


About the Editors

Tadeusz Jezierski is professor of agricultural science at the Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He has been a full professor at the institute since 1999 and is the head of the institute’s Department of Animal Behavior. He is an internationally known author on a wide range of topics and has written papers on animal behavior, genetics, and animal welfare. His recent research interests include operant conditioning of sniffer dogs, behavioral genetics, human–animal interactions and the human–animal bond, genetic and environmental factors influencing social and sexual behavior of farm animals, feeding behavior, and emotional behavior and physiological reactions in farm animals. He has written 73 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals, four monographs, four handbooks, 11 book chapters, and 111 conference reports.

John Ensminger, a member of the bar of the State of New York, who has practiced in the areas of constitutional law, mental patient civil rights, taxation of financial instruments, anti-money laundering and counterfinancing of terrorism, and most recently the law as it applies to skilled dogs. He has written over 30 papers on these topics, with articles on service and police dogs appearing in numerous journals. He is also a contributing editor for the website of the Animal Legal and Historical Center of the Michigan State University College of Law. He has written two books on specialized dogs, Service and Therapy Dogs in American Society and Police and Military Dogs.

L.E. Papet is the owner and operator of K9 Resources, LLC, a privately held licensed investigative firm that specializes in the use of detection canines. As a scientific data-driven canine trainer, handler, and consultant, his primary focus is the training, testing and use of canines in olfactory disciplines including, but not limited to, explosives, illicit drugs, humans (live and deceased), pharmaceuticals, alcohol, accelerants, and many other forms of contraband and odor for both public and private sectors. He has trained hundreds of local, state, and federal officials, has written over 170 protocols for the training, testing, safety, deployment, and implementation of detection canines, and has received commendations for his work. He enjoys contributing to works involving working dogs employing the use of their olfactory skills and may be contacted at [email protected]

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Forensic Science
MEDICAL / Veterinary Medicine / Food Animal