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Canine Search Terms

Acclimate - Become accustom to a different environment or circumstances.

Active Alert -
Dog indicates the scent source by an aggressive manner, digging, barking or both.

Air Scent -
Searching for scent carried on the wind. The dog is trained to follow airborne scent to the strongest point.

Alert -
To perform a trained response when the dog has located the scent or object it has been imprinted to find.

Attitude Change -
A noticeable change in the movement, working, breathing, or intensity of the dog while working.

False Alert -
When the dog alerts for no apparent reason, or when none is present.

Free Search -
A style of searching where the dog is free to search without direction from the handler.

Grid Search -
A controlled methodical search using a grid or defined pattern, to ensure coverage of an area.

Hasty Search -
A quick search of an area, usually done in the first part of a search for a lost person. Usually covering logical areas like roads and trails.

Imprinting -
The introduction to a scent that the dog will be asked to search for.

Passive Alert -
A performed response upon locating something the dog has been trained to locate. Causing little or no damage to the crime scene.

Refind -
A trained response by the dog to show the handler what they have found. Also called pinpointing.

Scent Pool -
Scent particles that have been caught on something or collected in an area not necessarily at the source of the scent.

Scent Cone -
Scent particles are blown in the wind in a cone pattern getting wider the further away it gets from the source.

Source -
Refers to the object the dog is looking for.

Forensic Terms
Coroner - An appointed position. A person who investigates the cause of death.

Disarticulation -
To become disjointed.

Forensic -
Derived from Latin meaning "of the forum". In ancient Rome the forum was where governmental debates and trials were held. Forensic science means the application of natural and physical science to the resolution of the matter with a legal context. A argumentative exercise.

Forensic Anthropology -
The identification of human remains in medicolegal cases.

Forensic Archaeology -
Technique used in the excavation of human skeletal remains.

Forensic Entomology -
The study of insects (arthropods ) occurring on and around dead bodies.

Forensic Medicine -
Medicine in relation to the law.

Forensic Odontology -
The study of human teeth in medicolegal cases. The identification of human remains by using the teeth.

Latent Fingerprints -
Not visible to ordinary visual examination.

Medical Examiner -
Coroner-Investigator A person who researches information about a deceased person and the cause of death.
Legal Terms
Circumstantial Evidence - Evidence from which a logical and reasonable inference of another fact may be drawn.

Criminalist -
Also called a evidence technician, a person who is responsible for collecting evidence at a crime scene or the examination of evidence, linked to forensic science, using science to find the solution of a crime.

Criminologist -
A specialist in criminology. A scientific study of crime as a social phenomenon.

Expert Witness -
A person whose training, background, or experience qualifies them to render an opinion at a trial rather than stating facts. A person who has more knowledge on a subject than the average person.

Speculative Search -
A search based on information not necessarily correct, circumstantial evidence.

Medical Terms

Adipocere (Waxy fat) - A grayish-white colored substance that forms under conditions of high humidity and high environmental heat on a dead body.

Autopsy - Medical examination of a deceased body. Postmortem Examination Forensic Autopsy Examination of a deceased person to determine cause of death.

Decomposition - Disintegration of body tissues after death.

Hantavirus - A virus that can be transmitted to humans, spread from rodent urine and feces .

Lividity - Purplish-blue discoloration due to the settling of blood. Also called Livor Mortis.

Livor Mortis - See Lividity.

Medical Examiner - Usually a medical doctor who performs the autopsy's to determine cause of death.

Mummification - The results from drying of tissues under conditions of high environmental temperature, low humidity and good ventilation. Also called Parchmentation.

Osteology - The study of bones. Postmortem Rigidity See Rigor Mortis.

Putrefaction - The post mortem destruction of soft tissues by bacteria and enzymes. Usually evident starting 36-72 hours after death.

Postmortem - Occurring after death.

Residual Scent - Scent that is persisting in an area after the original source is no longer present. Scent persists in an area to the degree that environmental influences do not degrade whatever it is that forms the scent to the point that it either cannot be sensed or cannot be differentiated.

Rigor Mortis - The stiffening of the muscles in the body after death.

Thanks to the Institute for Canine Forensics

Last Updated: 03-08-2011
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