Beyond the Basics of Search and Rescue and Recovery
by Vi Hummel Shaffer
A professional development masterclass for K9 detection teams and people who work with them.
- Questions, ideas, and opinions from handlers across the United States and around the world.
- Controversies and sensitive topics such as frauds, glory seekers, and credentials.
- Methods and practical tips gathered from more than 27 years of training and field work.
It has been said that about the only thing two K9 handlers agree about is what a third handler is doing wrong. Whether in search and rescue or cadaver and human remains detection, there’s a variety of opinions in how handlers and dogs train and work. K9 Teams: Beyond the Basics of Search and Rescue and Recovery uses solid science and the experience of dozens, if not hundreds, of handlers to explore the issues teams and organizations commonly encounter in training and operations.
Vi Hummel Shaffer is a professional K9 handler who has worked in search and rescue and recovery, including mass fatality recovery, for over 27 years. Along the way she’s attended dozens of seminars, learned from some of the top trainers in the world, and spent countless hours in the field working with a wide variety of agencies. In K9 Teams, Vi compiles the questions most often asked, the issues handlers struggle with, and some of the best suggestions handlers share with one another.
K9 Teams explores dog selection, training methods, professional certification, team dynamics, issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, and much more. Everyone working with or interested in detection dogs needs this book. Those in law enforcement, fire departments, and other emergency response agencies will also benefit from the book by learning what K9s can—and cannot—reliably do. Get the most from K9 teams in the field.
Table of Contents
The Purpose of This Book
PART I: THE MAKING OF A TEAM: BUILDING A STRONG FOUNDATION
1. The Beginning: What It’s All About
2. K9 Search Disciplines: An Overview
3. Joining a TEAM
4. The Process of Membership
5. TEAM Standards, Procedures, and Bylaws
PART II: CANINE ABILITIES AND SCENT DETECTION
6. Evaluating Puppies and K9 Selection
7. The Dog’s Nose
8 Developments in Understanding Scent
PART III: INSTRUCTORS, TRAINING, AND CERTIFICATIONS
9. K9 Trainers
10. Basics in K9 SAR/R Training
11. Understanding Training Methods
12. Training Sessions
13. Training Areas
14. Field Training
15. The Scent Article
16. Training Scenarios for Live-Victim Searches
17. Training Is Training, and Testing Is Testing
18. The Controversy over Cross-Training
19. TEAM Training Sessions
20. Seminars and Workshops
SECTION IV: CADAVER AND HUMAN REMAINS DETECTION
Prelude to Human Remains Detection, Dr. William M. Bass, DABFA
22. What Is Cadaver / Human Remains Detection?
23. Odor of Death
24. Training Materials or Scent Sources
25. Handling and Storage of Training Aids
26. Training Materials Myths and Misconceptions
27. Introducing Odor, Imprinting, and Search Commands
28. The Alert
29. Training for Human Remains Detection
30. Law Enforcement and SAR/R
31. Search Briefings and Searches
PART V: DISASTERS AND DISASTER TEAMS
32. Major Disasters and Mass Fatalities
33. Searching in Mass Fatality Incidents
34. Mass Fatality K9 Team Training
35. Emotions, Stress, and Post-Traumatic Stress
PART VI: ADDITIONAL ISSUES
36. K9 Teams and Court
37. Websites and Social Media
38. Politics, Egos, Glory Seekers, Frauds, and Misunderstandings
A Final Note