Detector Dogs and Scent Movement
How Weather, Terrain, and Vegetation Influence Search Strategies
Dogs detect scent from a source that is carried to them in a plume by the wind. The most important tool for a detector dog handler to have on searches is a knowledge of scent plume movement or "scent dynamics" (the science of scent movement). Such knowledge resides primarily in scientific journals that are largely inaccessible to detector dog handlers and written in language that is difficult to understand.
Detector Dogs and Scent Movement retrieves, reviews, and interprets the results of pertinent scientific research on scent dynamics and presents these results in terms that are easier for handlers to understand.
Detector Dogs and Scent Movement will be a vital resource for K9 handles in the private and public sectors—including in Homeland Security, law enforcement, and military settings—as well as a useful guide for lawyers, forensic, and investigative professionals who need to better understand K9 operations.
Author: Tom Osterkamp
Tom Osterkamp holds a PhD in physics from St. Louis University. He taught classes in physics and geophysics—and conducted research on things frozen (primarily floating ice covers and permafrost)—for thirty years at the University of Alaska and is currently Professor Emeritus. He is a founding member, former board member, and former Training Officer for Gateway Search Dogs. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the North American Search Dog Network (NASDN). He is a former Vice President and President of the SAR Council of Missouri as well as a founding member of the Canine Search and Rescue Association.
Tom has been active in K9 SAR for 23 years, including more than 1500 hours formal instruction in NIMS, SAR, ICS, Arctic survival, and dog training specifically in: scent theory, air scenting, disaster, first responder, trailing, cadaver, water search, and evidence. His dogs have passed more than 40 national level certifications including NAPWDA, IPWDA, NNDDA, NASAR, NSDA, and US Mantrailing Association. articles have been published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, Advanced Rescue Technology, and in newsletters such as SAR Dog Alert and SAR Dog News. He has taught classes and seminars on such topics as scent theory, area search, trailing, water search, and cadaver dog training locally and nationally including Alaska, and Canada.