Title: How Are Drug Dogs Trained and How Reliable Are They?
Description: Nebraska Interstate Drug Defense owner Daniel Stockmann explains the effectiveness of drug-sniffing dogs and how to legally challenge their findings.
Drug dogs are put through an extensive training regimen before they are released to work out in the field. Part of this training consists of practice searches which would contain what we call false positives or false negatives. In other words, during some searches, no drugs are present and the dogs are tested to determine whether they were alert on an object or vehicle that in fact does not contain drugs.
Other times drugs are present during the practice searches and the dogs are tested on their ability to alert to the odor of those substances. Records of these tests are kept by law enforcement, as are the records of any searches conducted by the drug dogs in the field. These records can become very important in the defense of the case, because an expert can review these records to determine whether or not the dog is in fact reliable.
Since the probable cause to search a vehicle is based solely off of the dog alerting to the odor of narcotics coming from the vehicle, if you can attack the credibility or the reliability of the drug dog itself, then you can attack the finding of probable cause to conduct the search.