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Scientific Working Group on Dog and Orthogonal Detector Guidelines (SWGDOG)

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2010
155 pages
The Scientific Working Group on Dog and Orthogonal Detector Guidelines (SWGDOG) was created as a response to concerns from a variety sectors regarding the need to improve the performance, reliability, and courtroom defensibility of detector dog teams and their optimized combination with electronic detection devices.
The current success of SWGDOG is evidenced by a shift of several national canine organizations to adopt the approved best practice guidelines proposed by the SWGDOG. Although SWGDOG guidelines are not mandatory, this positive change is the ultimate goal of the working group. The continued approval and revision of SWGDOG documents has received an increasing number of public responses and input that has shaped the documents. Establishing consensus-based best practices for the use of detection teams is expected to provide a variety of benefits to local law enforcement and homeland security. Benefits include improved interdiction efforts and courtroom acceptance facilitated by improvement in the consistency and performance of deployed teams and optimizing their combination with electronic detection devices. The SWGDOG is a partnership of local, State, Federal, and international agencies, including law enforcement and first responders. The current project was modeled after the successful precedent of a variety of other scientific working groups. Fifteen appendixes present guidance on terminology, general operation, the selection of serviceable dogs, kenneling and health care, the selection and training of handlers and instructors, the presentation of evidence in court, and research and technology. Guidelines for specific teams and operations address accelerant dogs, agriculture dogs, explosives dogs, narcotics dogs, nonspecific human scent wilderness area search, pre-scented canine searches, location checks, and article search. Figures, tables, references, and information on dissemination of research findings

Date Published: September 1, 2010