HRD- Human Remains Detection

This is always nothing more than a game for the dog, it loves to play and pleasing you by finding what you ask it to is a great reward for the dog.

Anyone registering for this course will also receive upon payment  a FREE  Tractive tracker for their dog and a FULL year  paid subscription.

  HRD, also known as Cadaver is an advanced manner of searching and only a few dogs meet these standards.

There are a number of different ways of teaching and detecting deceased bodies.

 When training for this it is important to know that this can be overwhelming for your dog, the scent pool can be small or in some cases very large.

 • Class size 4-6 students

 • 8 hours usually over 2 days of up to 4 hours each.

 • Cost $695 for land only, Water is an additional $200 for another 4 hour course

 • Dates will be determined depending on availability of class time.

This is ground HRD, not water, water HRD is a different course with further achievements .

Pre-requirements: Advanced tracking class in preparation for HRD.

What is not allowed on the course:
• Choke Collar
• Prong Collar
• Electric shock collar

A regular collar and/or harness is all that is required with a leash.

We promote positive attitude with the dogs so they enjoy the time.

It has been found that 6 out of 10 certified dogs will fail to find a person in a real life scenario simply because the dog was limited in its items used to certify the dog. Some dogs have actually been overwhelmed by the finding of a whole person, because scent wise, they were never exposed.

Training at this level is intense and we used all possible ways to expose your dog to all potential, making it a better dog to help determine the location of the person they are seeking.

Human Remains Search Test - Land


To establish a minimum level of proficiency and reliability for dogs used in the detection of human remains or parts thereof.


All canine teams shall demonstrate their proficiency in the search techniques used to locate human bodies or parts of bodies, body decomposition fluids, human blood,  either above, on the surface or below the surface.

Source Amounts and Preparations:

A reasonable amount of scent source material shall be used for all testing as determined by the evaluator.

The source should be packaged in a container to prevent the dog from making contact with it.

Search Test Criteria:

1.  The search will be conducted in a minimum size area of two (2) acres or approximately 295’ x 295’ feet containing moderate vegetation.  The area does not have to be rectangular in size.

2.  There shall be a minimum of one and a maximum of two training aids used.  If two aids are used, one shall be above surface.

3.  The evaluator will provide the applicable scent materials.

4.  All search areas will be contaminated with human scent to prevent the canine from trailing to the scent sources.  

5.  The area shall contain animal remains.  Animal remains naturally occurring in the area are preferred to planted remains.

6.  The canine must locate all scent source(s) placed for testing.

7.  The handler must successfully complete the test, locating all aids with the dog offering no trained indications on distractions.

8.  The training aid(s) shall be placed in the test area a minimum of one (1) hour prior to the beginning of the test.

9.  The training aid(s) shall be either above ground no higher than six feet, on the surface, or buried no deeper that 12 inches below the soil surface.

10. Above ground sources shall be concealed so as not to be visible to the dog or handler.  The burial site shall be camouflaged so visible ground disturbance is minimal.

11. There shall be a minimum of three soil disturbances dug to ensure the dog does not alert on earth disturbance.

12. The team will be allowed a maximum of (1) hour to conduct the search.  Evaluators may extend the time limit based on weather and terrain conditions.

13. The handler must develop a search plan and advise the evaluator how they intend to begin their search.

14. The handler may deviate from their original search plan but should explain to the evaluator what they are doing.

15.  The handler must be able to control the dog and conduct a thorough search.

16. The handler will advise the evaluator what their canine's trained indication behaviour is.

17. The dog must offer the trained indication as close as possible to the scent source.  The handler cannot command the dog to perform the trained indication.  The dog must do the trained indication independently.

18. After the dog performs the trained indication, the handler must advise the evaluator of the indication and identify the source location.

19. Once the dog locates the material(s) and offers the trained indication, the dog may be rewarded at the handlers discretion.

20. The canine teams fails the test if the handler calls an alert on anything other than human remains.  An example would be (animal remains or ground disturbances)

21. The handler must complete a search report at the end of the test.

22. The canine may not compromise the scent source.  Compromise is defined as eating, rolling in or urinating / defecating on the scent source or digging up the source in a manner which exposes the source to plain sight.  If at any time during the evaluation the canine compromises the scent source, the evaluator may terminate the evaluation.          


Certification is valid for two years upon receiving a passing score.

Human Remains - Water HRD:

A.  Shoreline(moving water)

    A shoreline test shall be conducted in an area not less than 50' X 12' feet and not more than 300' X 12' feet. along the shore of a river or creek with moving water.
    The handler shall advise the evaluator what the canine's trained indication behaviour is.
    The canine must offer the trained indication behaviour and the handler will mark the location of the "find" with flagging tape perpendicular to the area on shore.
    The canine should alert within (10') feet down current of the source.  However, the evaluator may add distance compensating for wind and current.

B. Boat

    An open water test shall be conducted on a lake in an area not less than 250' X 250' feet.  The depth of the aid will be determined by the evaluator but in no instance shall be below the thermocline.
    The handler will advise the evaluator what the canine's trained indication behaviour is on a watercraft.
    The canine must offer the trained indication behaviour and the handler will mark the location of the ;find" with a floating buoy.
    The watercraft shall be a rescue type boat, stable and utilised primarily for water rescue.
    The distance between the buoy and the source material should be no greater than (20') feet, however, the evaluator may add distance compensating for wind and current.