644.2Dog Tracking

Suggested Questions
Last Updated: 12/01/23

Suggested Questions to Ask Expert in Dog Tracking Examination:

[These questions assume the dog was a bloodhound. Modify the questions if the dog is of a different breed, and ensure that the witness testifies about the breed's reputation for "acuteness of scent and power of discrimination."]

  1. What breed of dog did you use in your investigation on (give date)?
  1. Is the bloodhound pedigreed? That is, is the dog known to be of pure blood or descended from pure bloodhounds? [If not, what is the dog’s predominant breed make-up?]
  1. How old was the dog and what was its health?
  1. What is the particular characteristic of the bloodhound breed of dog in terms of ability to detect and follow a scent?
  1. Is the bloodhound able to discriminate between different human scents?
  1. How old of a scent is the bloodhound able to pick up?
  1. Had this bloodhound been trained to track the human scent? [Length of training, where trained, qualifications of trainer, how trained?]
  1. Had the dog’s reliability been tested by previous experiences tracking human tracks in real pursuits?
  1. How many times was the bloodhound successful in tracking on those occasions?
  1. Was the dog under your control on (give date)?
  1. Had you previously used this dog in conducting an investigation? What was the result?
  1. How do you put a bloodhound on a particular human track?
  1. How did you put the bloodhound on the suspect’s track in this investigation?
  1. [If dog was exposed to property or clothing of suspect, ask:]

a. Where did you get the (article belonging to the trailed person)?

b. What led you to believe that it belonged to (the trailed person/defendant)?

c. Where were you when you showed the (article) to the bloodhound?

  1. [If dog was taken to a location where the trailed person had recently been, ask:]

a. What led you to believe that the suspect had been at this location?

b. How long before you took the bloodhound there had the suspect been at the location?

  1. What did the bloodhound do?

[Ask for description of trail followed, location, time, whether human footprints were seen, conduct of dog while tracking.]

  1. Did the dog’s trail lead you to a person?

[Ask for description of conduct of dog at end of the trail—whether dog bayed or identified a person.]

  1. Do you see that person in the courtroom today?

[Have witness identify the defendant.]

  1. Where was the defendant when the dog led you to the defendant?