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HRD Specialized K9 Training provides educational opportunities for K9 Teams seeking to become complete resources for the communities they serve. 


HRD Specialized K9 Training was established in 2002 as a way to begin researching the capabilities of dogs to detect and respond to historic and pre-historic human burials in the Mississippi Delta. It began as a collaboration between K9 handlers and archaeologists that provided access to archaeological sites where they believed human burials to be located. 

This resulted in a five year study that saw over 40 different handlers and 40 different cadaver dogs come to the Mississippi Delta to work. The goal was to lower the responsive threshold of the canine, work known burials that could be aged from 100 years to 1000 years old, and helped further the understanding of canine capabilities to detect graves. Additional work was carried out in other locations utilizing the lessons learned in Mississippi and resulted in the presentation of the results at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archaeologists. 

In 2011, HRD Specialized K9 Training began a new adventure collaborating with Western Carolina University to create the Cadaver Dog Training Program in conjunction with Dr. Cheryl Johnston, the Forensic Anthropology Program, and the Department of Educational Outreach becoming the first university based cadaver dog training program utilizing an outdoor human decomposition facility. This resulted in the creation of the Foundations course that was held for 14 sessions, and the Burials course that was held for 6 sessions.


In the Fall of 2017, it was decided that HRD Specialized K9 Training would begin offering the Foundations and Burials courses independently of WCU. The change in venue and environment allowed for handlers and canines to experience full body decomposition in situations more similar to what K9 teams actually face.

We welcome you and your canine partner to come participate in one of our training workshops that now range from our hallmark courses of Foundations and Burials, to scenario based workshops, water recovery, and so much more.


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