John Beck and K9 Jasper are Back to Discuss Cadaver Detection

UNL Forensic Science - John Beck

February 11, 2015

As part of the FORS 200 - Forensic Seminar guest lecture series, John Beck, cadaver detection dog trainer and handler, and his K9 Jasper returned to discuss using search dogs to find human remains.

Jasper, a Labrador Retriever trained as a cadaver detection dog, demonstrated how she uses her olfactory senses to ascertain the location of human remains. Beck noted that in training a detection dog, the key is starting out with the right dog.  The dog needs to have a strong drive and desire to interact with the trainer.  According to Beck, some breeds are more suited to being working/detection dogs, however mixed breeds work just as well.

Beck indicated that anyone employing a cadaver detection team like Jasper and himself should check the dog and handler’s certifications.  He also noted that while in his experience, 80-90% of the time the searches find nothing, accuracy is important in reporting the search, which provides a record to the agency about who, what, when and the locations where the dog indicated, separating facts clearly from opinion.