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HRD Teams

Human Remains Detection (HRD) teams train to locate the scent of deceased humans in a given area.  The odor that a decomposing human body presents varies based on the person’s lifestyle (chemo patient?, diabetic?, drug user?, alcoholic?, etc), length of time since death (this morning vs years ago), part of the body present (an organ vs a tooth), amount of the body present (tooth vs an entire body).  Teams train on every conceivable variable so that the dog develops a significant “library” of target odors to show their handlers if they encounter them.


HRD is a specific type of area search.  The handler’s job is to assess the environmental conditions and direct their dog to areas where scent is most likely to be.  The dog’s job is to utilize air or ground scent to locate remains.  They are typically trained to show a passive alert (lay down where the odor is strongest) so that they don’t disturb any clues that may be present to indicate how/why the person died.


Certified: Area & Land HRD

JB & K9 Phinny

Hi! My name is Phinnegan, but I go by Phinny, and I'm a Fox-Red Labrador Retriever.

I am certified in air scent and HRD. I really love going on searches because they give me a chance to run and run and run. When I find a person, I run back to JB, my handler, and jump up on him, then I turn around and show JB where the person is.  Sometimes I have to do that several times, because JB only has two legs and can be slow.  When he finally gets there, there’s a big dog party with lots of treats and everybody pets me and tells me what a good dog I am. It’s the best!

-K9 Phinny

Kitsap Dog 48


Certified: Area & Land HRD

Sally & K9 Skye

My name is Skye. I’m Sally’s second (and best) search dog.  

I’m eight years old and very experienced.  I’ve certified in airscent, HRD and avalanche and have gone on many missions.  I helped in the search at Oso, as well as going on several searches on Mt. Rainier.

My handler, Sally, works very hard and trains with me every weekend and at least once a week.  If there’s one thing I would like to tell her it’s this: trust me and let me do my thing-I really do know what I’m doing!

-K9 Skye

Kitsap Dog 34


Certified: Area & Land/Water HRD

Sally & K9 Torr

I’m Torr, Sally’s newest (and greatest) search dog.  

I’m a year old and very full of myself-my Aunt Skye (yes – we came from the same kennel) thinks she is teaching me how to do the “search game”, but I’m gonna show her!

I’ve spent most of the year learning basic obedience, the usual sit, stay, down, come, etc…etc…., but have also been training in trailing and will soon start learning how to be an area (air scent) dog.  I would tell Sally to be patient, don’t try to rush me and I’ll get there cus I”m a smart boy!

-K9 Torr

Kitsap Dog 34


march 2018-21.jpg
K9 Cody with Travis
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