HRD Archaeology: Enhancing Search and Rescue with Canine Heroes
Detection

HRD Archaeology: Enhancing Search and Rescue with Canine Heroes

Explore how HRD (Human Remains Detection) dogs are revolutionizing archaeology and forensics by locating hidden human remains, solving cold cases, and uncovering historical sites.
Almog Koren
6 min
Instagram IconFacebook IconLinkedIn Icon

HRD Archaeology: Enhancing Search and Rescue with Canine Heroes

Introduction

HRD (Human Remains Detection) archaeology is a fascinating and emerging field where the exceptional olfactory capabilities of trained dogs are harnessed to locate human remains. This innovative approach combines archaeological techniques and forensic science, significantly aiding in solving cold cases and uncovering historical remains.

‍HRD (Human Remains Detection) archaeology

The Role of HRD Dogs

HRD dogs are trained to locate human remains by scent, including those buried or submerged. Their training is extensive, ensuring accuracy in various conditions, making them indispensable in both historical and contemporary investigations.

The Science Behind HRD Dogs

  • Olfactory Power: Dogs have up to 300 million olfactory receptors compared to the 6 million in humans, enabling them to detect scents at incredibly low concentrations.
  • Training Process: Training an HRD dog typically takes 18-24 months and involves exposure to various stages of decomposition and environments.
  • Detection Capabilities: HRD dogs can detect remains several decades old, buried up to 15 feet underground, or submerged in water.

Historical and Modern Applications

Historical and Modern Applications
  • Archaeology: HRD dogs assist in locating historical burial sites, contributing significantly to our understanding of past civilizations.
  • Forensics: These dogs are crucial in solving cold cases, locating missing persons, and aiding disaster recovery efforts. Notable cases include:
    • Suzanne Morphew Case: Her remains were found in Saguache County during an unrelated search, highlighting the importance of HRD dogs in ongoing investigations The Colorado Sun).
    • Montreal Hospital Discovery: HRD dogs identified potential human remains near the old Royal Victoria Hospital, aiding in historical and possibly forensic investigations Global News.
    • DeOrr Kunz Jr. Case: In Idaho, cadaver dogs alerted to human remains in a campground where a toddler went missing, providing a critical lead in the case KTVB​.

Statistical Insights

Project: Cold Case
  • Success Rate: Studies show HRD dogs have over 90% accuracy in controlled conditions.
  • Cold Cases: Nearly 340,000 cases of homicide and non-negligent manslaughter went unsolved from 1965 to 2021, underscoring the need for effective detection methods like HRD dogs ​ Project: Cold Case.

Growth and Emerging Market

The field of HRD archaeology is steadily growing. The employment of anthropologists and archaeologists is projected to grow by 4% from 2022 to 2032, in line with the average for all occupations. This growth is driven by the increasing recognition of the value HRD dogs bring to archaeological and forensic investigations Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov​.


Challenges and Considerations

  • Environmental Factors: Terrain, weather, and the age of remains can impact a dog’s effectiveness.
  • Ongoing Training: Continuous training is essential to maintain a dog's detection capabilities and adapt to new scents and scenarios.

Benefits for Archaeology and Forensics

  • Efficiency: HRD dogs significantly reduce the time and resources needed for searches.
  • Non-invasive: Their ability to detect remains without extensive excavation preserves the integrity of archaeological sites.

Conclusion

HRD archaeology represents a fusion of science and instinct, where the unparalleled detection skills of dogs uncover hidden histories and solve contemporary mysteries. Their contributions to both archaeology and forensic investigations are invaluable, providing a unique and effective tool in the quest to uncover the past and deliver justice.

Unleash the Potential of Your Working Dog with DogBase.
Our innovative platform streamlines training, simplifies data tracking, and leverages AI to optimize performance for all working dog teams.

What our customers says about us

Quote

DogBase is one of the few K9 logs that caters specifically to Search and Rescue (SAR). I am a relatively new user, but impressed by the amount of versatility it has to offer. I've used other K9 logs in the past, but they were focused on Law Enforcement and were not as detailed for SAR work, as is DogBase. Detailed record keeping is essential if you want to learn to identify the good and the bad in your training routines and to maintain your credibility as a search team. In my opinion, DogBase does the job.

Ken M
Training Officer & K9 Team
Catron County Search and Rescue
Quote

So far it's been a great app. Starting to switch completely over to it

Curtis D
K9 Handler
SAR Unit
Quote

I am so glad that I was invited to "test" this. I dreaded do my logs books and couldn't find an easy method. This platform is easy and so far all updates have made it easier and clear to fill out. I hope that we can continue to use it. I also like that I can check on more of my own team members and what training they are logging.

Nadine R
K9 Director
GPSK9s
Quote

I have tried a lot of different ways to track my training for my Search and Recovery dogs. DOG BASE is by far the best and easiest to use. Love it!

Aaron T
K9 Handler
MOCSAR
Quote

I am loving using Dogbase! It is providing such great value in training my dogs and I plan to continue to use it for as long as I possibly can. I love the amount of information that you are able to log for each training session. Before, I was using the old school notebook method for keeping track of my training sessions. Now, with using Dogbase, I have access to SO many more variables that I wouldn't have normally thought to log before that can possibly make a difference in future training sessions.

Kristin R
K9 Handler
Pekelny Pes Working Dogs
Quote

While I am still introducing myself to the software, it has already shown its potential for replacing log books entirely for myself and others on my team. Not only is it one less item to keep track but the simplicity makes it more motivating to complete log books.

Quote

DogBase is making the administrative side of detection logs that much more efficient. I enjoy the clean and simple-to-use interface and the ability to submit logs on the go through mobile. Being able to print log reports helped to streamline my process. I like that DogBase staff are constantly working to make the program better and improve accessibility. Customer support is quick to respond and fast to problem solve and help with whatever is needed.

Samantha S
Training Coordinator
Laurel Mountain K9 Search & Rescue
Quote

This App has undoubtedly made our training more efficient with clear documentation of progress. Definitely making the training more progressive instead of just repetitive. It's easy to use, relevant for the training we conduct, and the customer support is awesome.

J B
K9 Handler
MOD
Quote

I was tired of using Excel spreadsheets where I had to remember all the information when I was finally able to sit down and enter it. I like DogBase because I can use my phone and fill it out during training while all the information is fresh. Its easy to go down the list and fill out each part and in the end I have all the information I want to keep track of for my HR and Airscent K9.

Heather S
K9 Handler & Treasurer
Alamo Area Search and Rescue
Quote

Absolutely love this application. Such ease of use and able to track everything. Same format for all trainings and love the information added based on time and location. This will be a game changer in record keeping for SAR dogs.

Berbel S
Air Scent K9 Handler
Search and Rescue Teams of Warren County

Support & Share

Get Started with DogBase

Achieve faster and more effective K9 training results with DogBase. 
Risk-free
Free hands-on onboarding & support
14-day trial, money back guarantee