Cadaver Dog Training


Cadaver Dog Program 101 - Foundations

October 10-12, 2015

Registration is now closed for the October class. The class is at full capacity.

Western Carolina University is committed to creating the finest training experience of this kind in the country. Our Cadaver Dog Training Workshops are held on the campus in Cullowhee, North Carolina. The workshops are offered in cooperation with the Forensic Osteology Research Station. Canine and field instruction is provided by Lisa Higgins, Brad Dennis, and Paul S. Martin, and others with additional classroom instruction provided by Board Certified Forensic Anthropologist and WCU professor Cheryl A. Johnston, Ph.D.

These land-based workshops allow participants to work search areas including grassy fields, mountainous terrain, urban environments, buildings, and vehicle lineups. Participants will have the opportunity to work a wide range of source materials; including the ability to expose their dogs to full body decomposition in the Forensic Osteology Research Station (FOREST). Classroom instruction will include the human decomposition process, bone identification, forensic taphonomy, and much more.

REQUIREMENTS: The 101 workshop is designed for Cadaver Dogs that have a minimum of 6 months to 1 year of training. The dog recognizes odor and has a trained final response and may or may not be exposed to large source.

CDP 101 - Foundations - October 10-12.......... $399.00  (formerly Level 1)

CDP 101-Foundations will provide handlers the same great classroom instruction on the human decomposition process in regards to odor, introduction to forensic anthropology and the research at the FOREST, and Searching for the Abducted Child. On Day 1, we will also now be offering a session on solidifying the final response and reward systems, which will immediately coincide with small group exercises to reinforce the trained final response.  Beginning on the afternoon of Day 1 and carrying over to Day 2 we will maintain our distinct approach with three field exercise periods that include stations that reinforce team techniques in building searches, area search, and working in the FOREST. As an added benefit, additional instructors have been added to conduct trained final response training prior to working the station.  Day 3 is now a full day of training for 101 and will feature additional final response training, but is also set up for a return trip to work in the FOREST as well as work with isolated large source remains.

The Level 2 Cadaver Dog Workshop is designed for prior participants of the Level 1 Cadaver Dog Workshop. Completion of Level One is mandatory prior to registering. The Level 2 Cadaver Dog Workshop will be 3 full days of training. The participants will spend an entire day working in and around the FOREST, Western Carolina University’s outdoor human decomposition research facility. This workshop will focus on realistic skeletal scatter scenarios, burials, and building searches on and around the campus of Western Carolina University. We have tentatively scheduled guest speakers to include experts in the fields of victim and child safety advocacy, human decomposition odor analysis, ground penetrating radar, and others.

 Instruction for the LEVEL 2 workshops begins at 9am on the first day and concludes around 7pm on day 3. Registration includes 3 lunches and 3 dinners. Additionally, participants will receive a bound copy of the materials covered during the classroom presentations and a complimentary t-shirt. While on campus participants will have free internet access.  Continuing Education Units through Western Carolina University will be available. The workshop will conclude on Wednesday evening with the presentation of certificates after dinner.


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