Breed identification, like human origin testing, is offered by commercial companies. It requires a significant amount of uncompromised material from the dog, which is often not available at a scene where a dog has been involved. Our research seeks to be able to infer the likely breed or type for intelligence purposes from these often tiny and compromised samples, looking for patterns in the data to provide guidance as to what the dog might look like to assist in the investigation.
It's not only direct involvement of a dog in a crime that can provide useful information to an investigation. Dogs are frequently bystanders to a crime and may leave their hairs at a crime scene, or on a victim. In current forensic casework such evidence may simply be determined as non-human and not considered further. However now we can sequence the mitochondrial DNA in the hair which could provide an important link to human perpetrators in cases such as kidnapping or illegal detention of humans.