American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Copyright American Judges Association. Used by Permission.


Court Review - Volume 55


We present here a complement to Judge Wayne Gorman’s article on the law of sniffer-dog searches in Canada found on page 52. Similar to Judge Gorman’s article, we examine U.S. Supreme Court cases about the use of police dogs in searches.

The U.S. Supreme Court first addressed the issue of dog sniffs in U.S. v. Place 1 pursuant to the Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable government searches and seizures and requirements for obtaining a search warrant.2 We start with a brief historical 3 reminder of Fourth Amendment case law to provide context for current sniffer-dog questions. Next, we provide an overview of U.S. Supreme Court cases that have addressed what role sniffer dogs should have in Fourth Amendment jurisprudence.