Patrol Standards
Narcotic Detection Standards
Decoy Certifications and Standards
Explosives Detection Standards
Tracking Certification
Accelerant Certification Test
SAR Ground Standards
Personal Protection Standards


 
Patrol Standards

Testing
Any or all testing may be conducted at night or during daylight hours.
The police dog must demonstrate control during the control phase before being allowed to test any further.
The dog team will be certified in the areas that he proves to be proficient.
The agility of the dog will be evaluated during all phases of the test.
The dog team will be evaluated in the following areas.


Obedience / Control

The dog must demonstrate control before being allowed to test further.

Testing May be conducted on fields, asphalt, concrete, etc. At the discretion on the evaluators and the availability. All dogs will be tested under the same conditions. This test will be conducted off-lead.

The dog team must accomplish the following in any order. However, the order shall remain the same for each dog. At the direction of the evaluator, each dog team will heel his dog approximately 300 paces including: fast and slow pacing, a minimum of one left, one right, and one about-turn, and a minimum of two (2) halts. 

The dog will be placed in a sit or down at the discretion of the handler and told to stay. Handler will then leave his dog, walk approximately one hundred (100) feet, turn, and call his dog to him by hand and verbal. The handler will halt his dog approximately half-way on command, then call the dog to him verbally.

Dog will be placed in a sit or down at the discretion of the handler and told to stay. Handler will walk away approximately one hundred (100) feet,out of site, wait a minimum of one minute and a maximum of five minutes, (judges discression),then return, and verbally call his dog to him.

Note: The dog team will not be penalized for the way he heels, sits, downs, etc (he will be evaluated only to the point of basic control that he and his handler demonstrate). If multiple teams are evaluated all team guidelines must be identical.

Evidence Search
This test will be conducted in approximately a one half (1/2) acre area with one article hidden
The dog will be tested on his ability to locate and indicate the article to his handler.
The area may consist of woods, weeds, high grass, underbrush, etc.
There will be a ten (10) minute limit for the dog to go out and locate the article.
The article will age for thirty (30) minutes before the first team is tested.
The article will be scented by breath, hand, etc for approximately one minute.
Articles will consist of the following

  • Metal Gun

  • Wrench

  • Hat

  • Wallet/Pocketbook

  • Knife

  • Bank bag

  • Screwdrivers

  • Tire Iron

The dog must indicate to the handler the article in order to be certified in this area.
Handlers may enter the area to be searched however the dog must make the actual find obvious to the evaluators .
Each dog team will be tested with a new article and in a different search area


Area Search
The area search may consist of the following types of terrain:

  • woods

  • fenced vehicle compound

  • business park/school complex

The area search may be conducted on or off-lead, at the handler's discretion.
The dog will be tested on his ability to locate a subject in an open environment.
The subject will be hidden for fifteen (15) minutes before each team is tested.
The test will have a fifteen (15) minute time limit.
The dog must make a clear indication to the evaluators as to the location of the subject.
If the dog and handler pass the hidden subject during the search this is considered to be automatic failure.


Building Search
The building search will be conducted off-lead.
The dog will be tested on his ability to locate a subject (s) in an enclosed structure.
The building shall be a minimum of fifteen hundred(1500) square feet up to five thousand (5000) square feet.
The subject will be hidden for fifteen (15) minutes before each team is tested.
The test will have a fifteen (15) minute time limit.
The dog must make a clear indication to the evaluators as to the location of the subject.
If the dog and handler pass the hidden subject during the search this is considered to be automatic failure.


Vehicle Stops
The vehicle stops will consist of three separate stops.

1)Dog stays in vehicle.

2)Dog is called to handler from vehicle, no bite

3)Handler is assaulted while dog is in vehicle.

This phase may be conducted in any order.
Evaluators will decide what will occur on each stop (i.e.; Conversation or assault). After each stop the dog will remain in the vehicle for a minimum of thirty seconds awaiting evaluators instructions.
The dog team must successfully complete the three vehicle stops to achieve certification.
Upon the assault portion of this phase, the dog and handler will be evaluated under the guidelines of the criminal apprehension certification.

Criminal Apprehension
All suspects participating in the criminal apprehension testing will be required to WEAR FULL BODY PROTECTION/Hidden Sleeves or Tactical Suits. To be as realistic as possible

The criminal apprehension phase of certification will consist of the following in any order.
The suspect will step out of concealment a minimum of one hundred (100) feet away from the team. The suspect will begin to run at a brisk pace away from the dog team. The dog will be instructed to apprehend. The suspect will then stop, turn, and surrender. The dog at this time must be recalled without apprehension.

OR

The suspect will step out of concealment a minimum of one hundred (100) feet away from the team. The suspect will begin to run at a brisk pace away from the dog team. The dog will be instructed to apprehend. The handler will be told to recall his dog, however, the suspect will continue to run away. The recall will be conducted approximately half way between the handler and the suspect. The dog may not have any physical contact with the suspect.

NOTE: PHYSICAL CONTACT BY THE DOG WITH THE SUSPECT DURING EITHER OF THE ABOVE EXERCISES WILL RESULT IN FAILURE OF THIS PORTION OF THE CRIMINAL
APPREHENSION CERTIFICATION.

NOTE: EACH HANDLER WILL HAVE HIS LEASH WITH HIM AT ALL TIMES.

 

The suspect will step out of concealment a minimum distance of one hundred (100) feet away from the team. The suspect will then begin running away from the team. The handler will send the dog to apprehend the suspect, and at the evaluators signal, the handler will command the dog to release. Then sit, down, heel, and/or to stay. The handler will approach the suspect , handcuff, and escort the suspect to the evaluators. The team will fail this portion if the certification if any of the following occur.

The dog re-bites after being called off.

The dog fails to release.

The handler makes physical contact with the dog, accept to leash the dog.

The dog bites the suspect during the escort.

 

NOTE: THE DOG WILL BE ON/OFF LEASH DURING THE ESCORT. HOWEVER, THE HANDLER MUST MAINTAIN PHYSICAL CONTACT WITH THE SUSPECT UNTIL REACHING THE EVALUATORS.

 

The suspect will step out of concealment a minimum distance of one hundred -(100) feet away from the team. He will fire one and no more than two shots from a gun. Handler and dog must seek available cover and return fire (a minimum of two rounds) The dog will not be sent to apprehend. The team will fail this portion of the certification if any of these following occurs.

The dog blatantly pulls the handler from cover/concealment.

The dog apprehends the suspect.

If it appears to the evaluators that the handler cannot control the k9.

The handler will approach the suspect and have his dog sit or down and stay. The handler and suspect will then conduct a handshake and conversation for approximately thirty (30) seconds. The suspect may then , at the discretion of the evaluators, assault the handler. The k9 must perform a  apprehension, and then release when commanded to do so. The handler must then escort the suspect to the evaluators. The team will fail this portion of the certification if any of these following occurs.

The dog re-bites after being called off.

The dog fails to apprehend.

The dog fails to release.

The handler makes physical contact with the dog, other than leashing.

The dog makes an unprovoked apprehension of the suspect.

The dog bites the suspect during the escort.

If no assault is made during any of the exercise  (above), the handler will be instructed to return to his dog, secure him, and walk away from the suspect.

To receive certification in the criminal apprehension portion, the team must satisfactorily perform the four phases.

The release of the actual apprehension (bite) will be at the discretion of the evaluators. once the evaluator has given instruction for the release, the handler will have a total of five seconds to accomplish the release. The five second period will begin after the handler's first verbal command. Any dog that does not release within the specified time will fail the criminal apprehension certification.

The dog will be off-leash during the entire phase of the criminal apprehension certification with the exception of the escort/concealment phase, which is at the handler's discretion.

Evaluators will instruct the handlers when to send the dog for apprehension, when to recall from apprehension, when to release, etc.


 
Narcotic Detection Standards

Narcotic Detection Narcotic Detection dogs are trained to detect the presence of controlled substances such as Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroin and  Methamphetamines. These dogs are trained to find these substances in various locations such as vehicles, luggage, mail packages, cargo, residence, and businesses.  Detection dogs can be trained in passive or aggressive alerts. Certifier’s must be informed of the type of alert k9 will be responding with before certification.

There will be a total of three types of searches conducted.

  • Vehicle search

  • Building or residential search

  • Parcel search ( may include luggage, envelope, boxes etc.)

The searches will include the following narcotics
 

  • Marijuana

  • Cocaine

  • Heroin

  • Methamphetamines

NOTE: ANY TEAM WISHING TO CERTIFY IN ANY OTHER NARCOTIC MUST NOTIFY THE HOSTING AGENCY IN WRITING TEN DAYS PRIOR TO CERTIFICATION.
 

  • All narcotics will be tested for quality prior to certification.

  • Pseudo- narcotics will not be used in the certification.

  • All of the tests hides will be at least 5 grams in weight, to any amount. Preferably some large amounts should be used.

  • The narcotics will be hidden in practical areas and allowed to age for (30) thirty minutes prior to the first team's test.

  • During the test, only the handler/dog and the two evaluators will be allowed in the search area.

  • In each of these searches, enticement articles such as food, soiled clothing, empty plastic bags, etc. may be used to thoroughly test the dog's ability.

  • The dog must make the alert obvious to the evaluators and as close to the hide as possible.

  • There will be a total of nine possible indications of narcotics during the test. The dog must be able to locate a minimum of eight hides in order to achieve certification, or three out of four tested.

  • One false indication during the certification will be evaluated as a failure to locate. Two false indications will result in the failure of the entire narcotics certification.

  • Dog teams will be given certification for the type of narcotics located, provided.

  • Each dog team will have separate sets of vehicles, rooms, and parcels for the narcotics detection.

VEHICLES:
 

  • There will be a total of six vehicles used. These may be of various sizes and models.
  • There will be three test hides concealed on the vehicle.
  • There will be two enticement articles hidden during the test.
  • One vehicle will remain clean of any articles or narcotics.
  • There will be a fifteen- minute time limit to search all six vehicles.
  • There will only be one hide or enticement per vehicle. There will be one outside hide and two inside hides.
     

BUILDINGS:
 

  • The building search shall consist of a minimum of two rooms with a minimum of two rooms a minimum 1,000 square feet total area.
  • There will be four hides concealed one for each of the narcotics.
  • Two of the enticement articles will be hidden.
  • The narcotic may be hidden at any height with a maximum of six feet high.
  • There will be a fifteen- minute time limit to search the two rooms.

PARCELS:
 

  • Shall consist of three columns of six packages each. Packages will be a minimum of three feet apart.
  • Two enticement articles will be hidden in each column.
  • There will be a ten (10) minute time limit to search the three columns.
Decoy Certifications and Standards

Police k9 decoys are the single most important factor in developing your dogs street worthiness. The old proverb of a good decoy can make a poor dog look good and a bad decoy can make a great dog look poor takes on a new meaning when dealing with police service dogs. Quality decoy work can be the difference between apprehending a violent suspect or watching that same criminal fight off your dog. While the skills in being an excellent decoy evolve with each generation of dog, there must be a basic skill set and set of standards we expect from our working dog decoys.

There are three levels of certification for an American Working Dog Association decoy. The following is a list of skills and testing procedures for all applicants who want to become certified AWDA decoys.

Novice Decoy: At this level of skill the decoy must be able to demonstrate his proficiency at:

keeping himself/herself safe at all times

maintaining the safety of the dog at all times

conduct building and area searches with police service dogs already on the street

engage the dog in civil agitation without the use of any protective equipment

This level of decoy is what every k9 officer should strive to have working with his dog. This level of decoy is only proficient as a suit decoy and it is not required that they be able to use a sleeve. Also, every patrol dog handler who is physically able should WANT to at this level of decoy. (nobody likes a guy who doesn’t help anyone else work his or her dog) Any AWDA certifier can hold a test for potential Novice Decoys at any time, provided there are dogs available to use in certifying.

Training Decoy: At this level of skill, the decoy must be able to demonstrate his proficiency at:

all skill levels expected of a Novice Decoy

the ability to put a dog into fight drive (make the dog want to bite skin)

the ability to use an object of opposition (whip, stick, etc.) against a dog safely

the ability to use a sleeve only when training green dogs

the ability to transition a dog from the sleeve to the bite suit

muzzle fighting the dog

This level of decoy is what every working dog kennel should strive to have. All the skills to produce excellent police service dogs are required. Any two AWDA certifiers can hold the test for a Training Decoy, provided the dogs needed are available.

Master Decoy: At this level of skill the decoy must be able to demonstrate his proficiency at:

all skills levels required of a Training Decoy

giving a accurate bite quality evaluation of individual dogs

working with puppies and young dogs in tug work

starting a young dog on a puppy sleeve

following an appropriate sleeve progression

These are the decoys that truly enjoy mangled, sweaty bodies. From puppy work to building searches with muzzled dogs, an AWDA Master Decoy has the abilities to ensure your k9 partners street worthiness in any situation.

There are some basic requirements anyone wishing to certify at any level must also pass before testing can proceed. They are as follows:

be 18 years of age or older

be able to jog continuously for ½ mile in the bite suit before attempting to certify

be able to perform a series of simple calisthenics before attempting to certify

Testing can be done at any location deemed appropriate by an AWDA certifier. If at any time, an injury occurs to either the dog or the decoy, the testing must stop immediately. In the case of an injury to the dog resulting from an action taken or not taken by the decoy, the applicant will be dismissed with extreme prejudice and not be allowed to retest for a period of 1 year. If the witnessing AWDA agent feels that more severe of an action needs to be taken, he may make such recommendation the National Director, President, or AWDAs Director of Decoys.

Explosive Detection Standardsss

1. There will be a total of three types of searches
conducted:
A. Vehicle Searches B. Building or Residential Search
C. Parcel Search
2. The searches may include any or all of the
following explosive odors:

A). TNT
B). C-4
C). Smokeless Powder
D). Water gel
E). Commercial Dynamite (Nitrate and Ammonia Based)
F). Detonation Cord
G). Sodium Chlorate
H). Potassium Chlorate
I). Black Powder
J). Flex X (C-6)
K). RDX
l). PETN

3. The explosives will be hidden in practical areas and allowed to age thirty(30) minutes prior to the first team’s test. For testing purposes weights will be no less than twenty (20) grams and no more than one (1) pound of any substance used.

Vehicle searches will consist of a minimum of ten vehicles. A maximum of two minutes will be aloud to search each vehicle. This time may be extended by a reasonable degree by the evaluator but must be justified in writing. Reasons for extension may be but are not limited to, the vehicles were not of normal size, such as buses tractor and trailers etc.

Building certification will consist of a structure(s) that total a minimum of ten thousand (10,000) square feet. The formula to be used in determining the amount of time aloud for the search will be as follows. The evaluator will allow three (3) minutes per five hundred square feet. This time may be extended by a reasonable degree by the evaluator but must be justified in writing. Reason for extension may be but not limited to, hides are located in a large building in which travel between search areas is required. Height with in building may be a reason for the extension due to the time canine may take to attempt to get to source.

Parcel searches will consist of a minimum of twenty-five pieces. Time limit for this search will be calculated with the formula of fifteen (15) seconds per piece to be searched. The evaluator may extend the time but must justify it in writing. Reason must be justifiable. Such as but not limited to, spacing, size of parcels or size of aid used for certification.

4. During the test, only the handler/dog team and the evaluators will be allowed in the test area.

5. In each of these searches, enticement articles such as balls, food, spoiled clothing, plastic baggies etc. will be used to thoroughly test the dogs ability.
 
6. The dog must make the alert obvious to the evaluators and as close to the hides as possible.

7. There will be a total of twenty (20) possible indications during this test. The dog must be able to locate at least nineteen (19) of the twenty odors.
 
8. One false alert and /or any aggressive response will be evaluated as a failure to locate, and will result in the failure of the entire explosive detection certification for that team. The k9 is allowed one missed odor per test. Any two (2) missed odors will result in a failure of the entire explosive certification.

9. Each of the dog teams will have separate sets of vehicles, rooms and parcels for the explosive detection certification, when possible.
 

Tracking Certification

Regular Tracking

The purpose of this certification is to determine the dog's ability to locate a suspected criminal or a lost person.

The track will consist of a minimum of three - (3) and a maximum of (5) of the following terrains.

  • Field

  • Gravel

  • Leaves

  • Creek Bed

  • Dirt

  • Concrete

  • Woods

  • Asphalt

  • High Grass

The track will be a minimum of thirty (30) minutes and a maximum of one -hour old.

The track will be a minimum length of three hundred (300) yards and a maximum length of five - (500) hundred yards.

There will be a one scent article placed along the track (dog team will not be penalized for failure to locate the article.

The tracking will be given a starting point, and the direction of travel by the evaluators.

There will be one cross-track laid. This person will remain in the area of the actual track, but must  remain at a minimum distance of two hundred (200) yards from the actual track -layer. This cross track may be laid in prior to, or after, the actual track.

There will be a twenty (20) minute time limit to complete the track.

The team will successfully pass this certification by locating the actual track-layer.

If it is obvious to the evaluators if the dog is not tracking/trailing the evaluators may stop the test at anytime

Master Tracking

The purpose of this certification is to determine the dog's ability to locate a suspected criminal or a lost person. There will be 3 cross-tracks laid. This person (s) will remain in the area of the actual track, but must remain at a minimum distance of fifty yards (50) from the actual track-layer. The cross tracks may be laid during or prior to the actual track

The track will consist of a minimum of three (3) and a maximum of (5) of the following terrains. Minimum concrete or asphalt track will be a minimum of 400 yards of the entire track.
  • Field

  • Creek crossing

  • Gravel

  • Leaves

  • Creek Bed

  • Dirt

  • Concrete

  • Woods

  • Asphalt

  • High Grass
     

The track will be a minimum of one and a half (1.5 hrs) and a maximum of two (2) hours old.

The track will be a minimum length of twelve hundred (1200) yards and a maximum length of fifteen (1500) hundred yards.

There will be a one scent article placed along the track (dog team must locate the article).

The team will be given a starting point from a car, door way, window or last known point of travel. There is a one hour time limit.

The team will successfully pass this certification by locating the actual track-layer.

If it is obvious to the evaluators if the dog is not tracking/trailing the evaluators may stop the test at anytime.

 

Accelerant Certification Test

Testing will be conducted in an environment acceptable to the testing participants. 100 percent accuracy is required in all three (3) tests. No more than one (1) re-test for any failed portion of this proficiency test shall be permitted within any twenty-four (24) hour period. There will be three areas of testing. There will be a total of 5 different accelerants used for the test. Gasoline, Alcohol, Diesel fuel, Kerosene and Liter fluid.

A) Basic Scent Discrimination
B) Mixed Matrix Scent Discrimination
C) Sample Location

 

Test 1- Basic Scent Discrimination

Five samples shall be prepared as listed for this test. The amount of each individual sample shall be approximately one-half (1/2) pint of debris. Placed  approx. 4 feet apart. Each sample shall be burned with a propane torch until the contents are partially charred.

A) Burned Softwood (i.e. Pine, Fir)
B) Burned High Density Polyethylene (i.e. Plastic Milk Jug)
C) Burned Styrofoam
D) Burned Carpet and Pad
E) 5ul of 50 percent weathered (diluted) accelerant (evaluators choice) on a cotton ball.

It will be the handler's responsibility to inform the administrator upon which sample the canine has alerted.

 

Test 2 - Mixed Matrix Scent Discrimination

Five samples shall be prepared as listed combining all of the following. The amount of each individual sample shall be approximately one-half (1/2) pint of debris.

A) Softwood (i.e. Pine, Fir)
B) High Density Polyethylene (i.e. Plastic Milk Jug)
C) Styrofoam
D) Carpet and pad

The mixed matrix shall be burned with a propane torch until all of the individual contents are partially charred.

After the matrix has cooled to ambient temperature, the administrator will apply 5ul of 50 percent weathered (diluted) accelerant (evaluators choice)  to at least one (1), and no more than three (3) of the samples.

It will be the handler's responsibility to inform the administrator upon which sample(s) the canine has alerted.

The handler will not know prior to testing which sample(s) are positive.

Test 3 - Sample Location

Two (2) common 1 inch X 4 inch pine boards, 24 inches in length, will be divided with pencil marks into three (3) sections approximately eight (8) inches each. The sections will be numbered 1 through 6.

The boards shall be placed at least one (1) foot apart. 5ul of 50 percent weathered accelerant shall be placed near the center of one of the numbered sections of either board and allowed to dry for 30 min.

The Canine Team shall be offered the wood to examine and it is the responsibility of the handler to inform the administrator(s) upon which section the canine has indicated.

Note: Any false indication is considered a failure to locate during any part of the test.



 

SAR  Standards

 

In the fall of 2006, the American Working Dog Association (AWDA) agreed to update and promote standards for wilderness canine search and rescue certifications. The certifications are designed to benefit the search and rescue community by offering a certification standard that reflects national trends. Standardization of measured performance and knowledge skills serve as a benchmark to agencies requesting assistance from canine teams.

Working toward this goal, input from experienced canine handlers from around the country was considered. These handlers represent a wide variety of handler experiences in various SAR working environments and represent a variety of geographic regions.

These new standards were derived from the existing standards in place. All certifications obtained will meet or exceed the requirements of the proposed NIMS Resource typing according to the FEMA publication, 508-8 Typed Resource Definitions-SAR resources, April 7, 2006 and ASTM. These standards will continue to evolve as changes occur in the FEMA typing system.

On November 10 2006, the Board of Directors of the American Working Dog Association unanimously approved this certification program.

Purpose

AWDA Certifications are designed to test the canine team, (handler and dog) in real life canine search and rescue situations. Handlers should have basic knowledge in search strategy and techniques including an understanding of POD, search tactics, effects of weather on canine search and different strategies used in canine search. These will be evaluated during certification testing. Handlers must also have knowledge in canine first aid.

The certifications range from entry level to advanced levels and each will be discussed independently of the other. The certification earned will be valid for two years from the test date. This is based upon the assumption that the canine team will continue their training after the initial certifications. 

The AWDA Certification Programs will continue to evolve and grow over the years. As the program grows, additional disciplines will be added. At this time the certifications will reflect wilderness SAR with Area, Trailing, Land and Water based Human Remains Detection.

Certifications

Upon successful completion of the certification requirements for any AWDA examination, a certificate will be issued by AWDA for that canine discipline. The certification signifies that the canine team holding the certification has met the requirements of an established standard of knowledge and performance skills that have been evaluated on the day of certification. The certificate is only valid for the canine team tested. 

A canine team may test to any certification for which they have met the pre-requisite requirements. Each examination shall be conducted as a separate test. If a team tests for more than one certification, each shall be evaluated independently of the other. A separate registration form shall be completed for each certification tested and a separate fee shall be required for each examination. 

The evaluation is based on a point system. A passing score is 80 points or higher. The examination will be evaluated by AWDA certified officials. Up to three certified officials can be present during a single evaluation. Candidate will be debriefed by the certifying official at the completion of their evaluation and will be given a copy of their evaluation report. Debriefing will include positive feedback as well as constructive criticism

No certifying official or candidate participating in an examination shall act as a “subject” or track layer during the evaluation.

No electronic, shock, prong or pinch collar may be used by any candidate during any certification examination. Canine should have a flat collar or harness.

The canine must be under the control of the handler at all times, capable of heeling through crowds, and non-aggressive to both people and other canines. When tested, the dog must not bite or snap at either humans or dogs, or growl at humans. The only exception being a dog that is attacked by another dog will not be penalized for self-defense. Canine teams will not be allowed to continue in the event that an act of aggression is observed during the evaluation.

Canine Teams will be dismissed from the evaluation site if the certifying official observes any act of aggression.

Canine teams will be dismissed from exam if the certifying official observes any act of abuse or neglect of their canine.

Retesting on the same day will be at the sole discretion of the certifying officials. Candidates will have 1 year from the date of the first evaluation to retest. If not completed within 1 year, all paperwork and additional registration fee must be submitted. Certification will be valid for two years from the date of completion.

Cancellation Policy: AWDA will make every effort to complete the testing on the day that it is scheduled. It will be the sole discretion of the certifying official to make the cancellation. Factors that could affect the certification include but are not limited to severe weather, extreme heat or sudden illness.

General Pre-requisites

The following are requirements for all certifications. Copies of all required paperwork must be submitted before testing.

  • FEMA Independent Study Course completion - IS-100.
  • FEMA Independent Study Course completion - IS-200.
  • FEMA Independent Study Course completion - IS-700.
  • CGC or Equivalent if testing to any off lead certification.
  • Current Basic First Aid or higher 
  • Canine First Aid
  • Certificate of Vaccinations
  • Training logs - 6 months shown successfully working blind problems or searches in area of testing.

Additional pre-requisites will be required for Land and Water Human Remains Detection and will be address specifically in that section.

In addition, the handler is expected to have obtained training and experience that includes the necessary knowledge and performance skills to perform as a team. 

A canine team must pass all of the search-specific tests listed for the type of search for which that dog team wishes to be certified. During these tests, the canine team must demonstrate the following required skills:

  1. Handler should demonstrate the ability to work and control the dog in a variety of areas, terrains, and conditions.
  2. Handler should demonstrate the ability to plan an efficient search, best utilizing the wind and existing environmental conditions to provide maximum coverage of the terrain.
  3. Handler should demonstrate the ability to report clearly on a map the following information after searching an area:
  1. Areas and/or routes covered.
  1. Estimated probability of detection for the dog team based on environmental and terrain condition.
  2. Location of alerts.
  3. Wind direction and other observed environmental factors which may be pertinent to the search effort.
  4. Location of any clues encountered during the search.
    1. Handler should demonstrate knowledge of how to evaluate the clues inherent in the dog's alert(s) and behavior.
    1. Canine should demonstrate adequate agility for wilderness search.
    1. Canine should demonstrate the ability to find the victim and alert handler in a way that conveys to both the handler and the certifying official that the dog has found the victim and the precise location of the victim.
    1. Handler should be able to recognize when the dog is alerting to human scent
    1. Handler should demonstrate that s/he recognizes when either member of the canine team is working ineffectively and take action to compensate for or remedy the situation.
    1. Canine team should demonstrate the ability to work effectively and find a victim(s) with an additional person or persons accompanying the dog team.

 

 

 

Wilderness Air Scent

This examination will test the ability of the canine team in finding human scent in areas of 40 to over 120 acres. Each level will be discussed individually of the other. Non-Scent Discriminating canines handlers will not be provided the opportunity to collect scent articles, while the Scent-Discriminating will be allowed to collect a scent article. One (1) flanker may be utilized during this examination. The flanker can be chosen by the candidate. If a candidate chooses to use a flanker, that person becomes part of the evaluation. Any cueing of the canine by the flanker will result in failure for the canine team. The flanker may assist the handler in mapping, distances and topography. Initial search strategy must be determined by the canine handler.

Non-Scent Discriminating Type IV

Overview

This is a basic certification which meets the proposed criteria of NIMS Canine Search and Rescue Non-Scent Discriminating Wilderness Air Scent Type IV as of April 7, 2006. This examination consists of two stations. The Canine team should be capable of searching high probability local wilderness terrain for short durations in small areas of 40-60 acres and performing hasty searches in high probability areas. This will be accomplished by locating a single, stationary victim during daylight hours. There will be no scent article available for this examination.

Equipment Requirements

The Candidate must possess all of the equipment as listed in Attachment 1 of this certification and must present this equipment for inspection during this evaluation process. This equipment can be worn as a pack or in uniform pockets by the candidate during the field test.

Certification Guidelines

These evaluations are based on a point system. A passing score is 80 points or higher. The examination will be evaluated by AWDA certified officials. Up to three evaluators can be present on a single evaluation.

Part I – Hasty Search

This portion of the examination will test the canine team’s ability to perform a hasty search in a high probability area. The canine team will be expected to locate a single subject hidden within 10 meters of a trail, dirt road or fire break. The canine team will be limited to one pass down the trail and back. The trail shall be between ¼ and ½ mile in length in moderate terrain. The test should be completed in less than 30 minutes including any breaks taken.

Part II – Small Area Search

This portion of the examination will test the canine team’s ability to perform a search in a small high probability area of wilderness in 40 – 60 acres. The examination will be completed during daylight hours. The test should be completed in less than 1 hour 30 minutes including any breaks taken. Time will also include developing your initial search strategy.

Non-Scent Discriminating Type III

Overview

This is a intermediate certification which meets the proposed criteria of NIMS Canine Search and Rescue- Non-Scent Discriminating Wilderness Air Scent Type III as of April 7, 2006. The Canine team should be capable of searching high probability local wilderness terrain for longer durations in small areas of 60-80 acres. This will be accomplished by locating a single, stationary victim during daylight hours. There will be no scent article available for his examination.

Equipment Requirements

The Candidate must possess all of the equipment as listed in Attachment 1 of this certification and must present this equipment for inspection during this evaluation process. This equipment can be worn as a pack or in uniform pockets by the candidate during the field test.

Certification Guidelines

These evaluations are based on a point system. A passing score is 80 points or higher. The examination will be evaluated by AWDA certified officials. Up to three certifying officials can be present on a single evaluation. Candidates will be evaluated using a 60-80 acre area. The test will be completed in less than 2 hours 15 minutes, including any breaks taken. Time will also include developing your initial search strategy.

Non-Scent Discriminating Type II

Overview

This is an advanced certification which meets the proposed criteria of NIMS Canine Search and Rescue- Non-Scent Discriminating Wilderness Air Scent Type II as of April 7, 2006. The Canine team should be capable of searching high probability local wilderness terrain of 120 acres or larger. This will be accomplished by locating a single, stationary victim and a mobile subject during daylight and into nighttime hours. There will be no scent article available for his examination.

Equipment Requirements

The Candidate must possess all of the equipment as listed in Attachment 2 of this certification and must present this equipment for inspection during this evaluation process. This equipment should be worn as a back pack by the candidate during the field test.

Certification Guidelines

These evaluations are based on a point system. A passing score is 80 points or higher. The examination will be evaluated by AWDA certified officials. Up to three certifying officials can be present on a single evaluation. Candidates will be evaluated using a 120 – 140 acre area. The test will be completed in less than 5 hours including any breaks taken and may be completed during nighttime hours. Time will also include developing your initial search strategy.

A candidate may choose to utilize a GPS or other electronic tracking device. No UTM or other coordinates will be given to the candidate by the certifying official. Any time utilized by the candidate to use electronic devices counts as part of their search time.

Scent Discriminating Type III

Overview

This is a basic certification which meets the proposed criteria of NIMS Canine Search and Rescue Scent Discriminating Wilderness Air Scent Type IV and III as of April 7, 2006. This examination consists of two stations. The canine team should be capable of searching high probability local wilderness terrain for short durations in small areas of 40-60 acres and performing hasty searches in high probability areas. This will be accomplished by locating a single, stationary victim during daylight hours. The handler will be responsible for collecting their own scent article. It will be the responsibility of the certifying official to maintain a non contaminated area from which a scent article can be obtained.

Equipment Requirements

The Candidate must possess all of the equipment as listed in Attachment 1 of this certification and must present this equipment for inspection during this evaluation process. This equipment can be worn as a pack or in uniform pockets by the candidate during the field test.

Certification Guidelines

These evaluations are based on a point system. A passing score is 80 points or higher. The examination will be evaluated by AWDA certified officials. Up to three certifying officials can be present on a single evaluation. 

Part I – Hasty Search

This portion of the examination will test the canine team’s ability to perform a hasty search in a high probability area. The canine team will be expected to locate a single subject hidden within 10 meters of a trail, dirt road or fire break. The canine team will be limited to one pass down the trail and back. The trail shall be between ¼ and ½ mile in length in moderate terrain. The test should be completed in less than 30 minutes including any breaks taken. There will be one other subject placed along trail. Canine must alert on correct subject.

Part II – Small Area Search

This portion of the examination will test the canine team’s ability to perform a search in a small high probability area of wilderness in 40 – 60 acres. The examination will be completed during daylight hours. The test should be completed in less than 1 hour 30 minutes including any breaks taken. Time will also include developing your initial search strategy. There will be one other subject placed within search area. Canine must alert on correct subject.

 

Scent Discriminating Type II

Overview

This is a intermediate certification which meets the proposed criteria of NIMS Canine Search and Rescue Scent Discriminating Wilderness Air Scent Type II as of April 7, 2006. The Canine team should be capable of searching high probability local wilderness terrain for longer durations in small areas of 60 or more acres. This will be accomplished by locating a single, stationary victim during daylight hours. The handler will be responsible for collecting their own scent article. It will be the responsibility of the certifying official to maintain a non contaminated area from which a scent article can be obtained.

Equipment Requirements

The Candidate must possess all of the equipment as listed in Attachment 2 of this certification and must present this equipment for inspection during this evaluation process. This equipment should be worn as a back pack by the candidate during the field test.

Certification Guidelines

These evaluations are based on a point system. A passing score is 80 points or higher. The examination will be evaluated by AWDA certified officials. Up to three certifying officials can be present on a single evaluation. 

This portion of the examination will test the canine team’s ability to perform a search in a high probability area of wilderness in 60 or more acres. The examination will be completed during daylight hours. The test should be completed in less than 2 hour 15 minutes including any breaks taken. Time will also include developing your initial search strategy. There will be one other subject placed within search area. Canine must alert on correct subject.

Wilderness Trailing

This examination will test the ability of the canine team in finding specific human scent. Each level will be discussed individually of the other. One (1) flanker may be utilized during this examination. The flanker can be chosen by the candidate. If a candidate chooses to use a flanker, that person becomes part of the evaluation. Any cueing of the canine by the flanker will result in failure for the canine team. The flanker may assist the handler in mapping, distances and topography. Initial search strategy must be determined by the canine handler.

Wilderness Trailing Type III

Overview

This is a basic certification which meets the proposed criteria of NIMS Canine Search and Rescue Wilderness Trailing Type III and IV as of April 7, 2006. The canine team should be capable of searching high probability local wilderness terrain for a subject’s trail of short distances. This will be accomplished by locating a single, stationary victim during daylight hours. The handler will be responsible for collecting their own scent article. It will be the responsibility of the certifying official to maintain a non contaminated area from which a scent article can be obtained.

Equipment Requirements

The Candidate must possess all of the equipment as listed in Attachment 1 of this certification and must present this equipment for inspection during this evaluation process. This equipment should be worn as a back pack by the candidate during the field test.

Certification Guidelines

These evaluations are based on a point system. A passing score is 80 points or higher. The examination will be evaluated by AWDA certified officials. Up to three certifying officials can be present on a single evaluation.

This examination will test the canine team’s ability to locate direction of travel and follow a subject’s scent trail in a wilderness setting. Candidate should be able to traverse through changes in vegetation and terrain features such as road or trails. It will be the candidate’s responsibility to collect their own scent article. The examination will be completed during daylight hours. The test should be completed in less than 1 hour including any breaks taken. There will be two additional subjects placed at end of trail. Canine must alert on correct subject. Trail will be ½ to 1 mile in length and aged 1 ½ - 4 hours.

Wilderness Trailing Type II

Overview

This is a certification which meets the proposed criteria of NIMS Canine Search and Rescue Wilderness Trailing Type II as of April 7, 2006. The canine team should be capable of searching high probability local wilderness terrain for a subject’s trail of at short lengths. This will be accomplished by locating a single, stationary victim during daylight hours. The handler will be responsible for collecting their own scent article. It will be the responsibility of the certifying official to maintain a non contaminated area from which a scent article can be obtained.

Equipment Requirements

The Candidate must possess all of the equipment as listed in Attachment 1 of this certification and must present this equipment for inspection during this evaluation process. This equipment can be worn as a pack or in uniform pockets by the candidate during the field test.

Certification Guidelines

These evaluations are based on a point system. A passing score is 80 points or higher. The examination will be evaluated by AWDA certified officials. Up to three certifying officials can be present on a single evaluation.

This examination will test the canine team’s ability to locate direction of travel and follow a subject scent trail in a wilderness setting. Candidate should be able to traverse through changes in vegetation and terrain features such as roads, trails or water. It will be the candidate’s responsibility to collect their own scent article. The examination will be completed during daylight hours. The test should be completed in less than 2 hours including any breaks taken. There will be five scent articles placed along trail. Canine will be evaluated on their ability to alert on the clues. There will be two additional subjects placed at end of trail. Canine must alert on correct subject. Trail will be at least 1 (one) mile in length and aged 4 -12 hours.

Wilderness Trailing Type I

Overview

This is an advanced certification which meets the proposed criteria of NIMS Canine Search and Rescue Wilderness Trailing Type I as of April 7, 2006. The canine team should be capable of searching high probability local wilderness terrain for a subject’s trail of at least 1(one) mile in length. This will be accomplished by locating a single, stationary victim during daylight hours. The handler will be responsible for collecting their own scent article. It will be the responsibility of the certifying official to maintain a non contaminated area from which a scent article can be obtained.

Equipment Requirements

The Candidate must possess all of the equipment as listed in Attachment 1 of this certification and must present this equipment for inspection during this evaluation process. This equipment can be worn as a pack or in uniform pockets by the candidate during the field test.

Certification Guidelines

These evaluations are based on a point system. A passing score is 80 points or higher. The examination will be evaluated by AWDA certified officials. Up to three certifying officials can be present on a single evaluation.

This examination will test the canine team’s ability to perform a search to locate direction of travel and follow a subject scent trail in a wilderness setting. Candidate should be able to traverse through changes in vegetation and terrain features such as roads, trails or water. It will be the candidate’s responsibility to collect their own scent article. The examination will be completed during daylight hours. The test should be completed in less than 2 hours 30 minutes including any breaks taken. There will be five scent articles placed along trail. Canine will be evaluated on their ability to alert on the clues. There will also be human distractions along the trail. There will be two additional subjects placed at end of trail. Canine must alert on correct subject. Trail will be 1 -1/2 miles in length and aged 24 or more hours.

Wilderness Human Remains Detection

This examination will test the ability of the canine team in finding human remains in small wilderness areas located above ground, at ground level or buried. Each level will be discussed individually of the other. No pseudo scent will be used.

Pre-Requisites (HRD Specific)

 

  • Prior to evaluation, the handler must provide training or search records indicating success in locating Human Remains over a period of at least six (6) months.
  • Prior to the evaluation, submit copy of a completed HazMat Awareness course that meets or exceeds 29CFR1910 (SARA Title III). This course must have been taught by a person who meets the requirements as shown in 29CFR1910.
  • Prior to the evaluation, submit a copy of a current Blood borne Pathogens training course that meets or exceeds 29CFR1910. 
  • Prior to the evaluation, submit a copy of having attended a Crime Scene Preservation, taught by a State or POST certified law enforcement instructor.

Human Remains Detection Type - Other

Overview

This is a basic certification which meets the proposed criteria of NIMS Canine Search and Rescue for Human Remains Detection Type – Other as of April 7, 2006. This examination consists of four stations. The Canine team should be capable of searching high probability local wilderness terrain of small areas of less than 1 acre. The scent source shall consist of 16 grams or more of aged blood, body fluids or other aged bone or tissue.

Equipment Requirements

The Candidate must possess all of the equipment as listed in Attachment 3 of this certification and must present this equipment for inspection during this evaluation process. This equipment can be worn as a pack or in uniform pockets by the candidate during the field test.

Certification Guidelines

These evaluations are based on a point system. A passing score is 80 points or higher. The examination will be evaluated by AWDA certified officials. Up to two certifying officials can be present on a single evaluation. The candidate will not be advised as to which part they are testing. If a candidate fails one station during an evaluation, they need only retake and pass that station. The candidates will be advised in their debriefing as to which station(s) they need to re-test. They have one year from the date of the initial attempt to successfully complete the failed station. If they retest after the one year period, they must retake and pass all stations during the same evaluation. If they fail more than one station during a testing session, the entire testing evolution must be retaken during a different testing session.

Part 1 – Elevated

This portion of the examination will test the canine team’s ability to perform a hasty search in a high probability area. The canine team will be expected to locate a single scent source elevated not less than (4) feet and no higher then (20) feet. The test should be completed in less than 30 minutes including any breaks taken. Alerts should be within 1 ½ times the height of the scent source (i.e. if scent source is elevated 6 ft., alert should be marked within 9 ft.)

Part 2 – Above Ground

This portion of the examination will test the canine team’s ability to perform a hasty search in a high probability area. The canine team will be expected to locate a single scent source above ground. The scent source may be covered with various structures such as logs, rocks, or brush. The test should be completed in less than 30 minutes including any breaks taken. Alerts should be within 2 ft. of scent source.

Part 3 – Buried

This portion of the examination will test the canine team’s ability to perform a hasty search in a high probability area. The canine team will be expected to locate a single, buried scent source not less than six (6) inch deep and no more then three (3 ) feet deep. The test should be completed in less than 30 minutes including any breaks taken. Alerts should be within 2 ft. of scent source.

Part I – Negative Area

This portion of the examination will test the canine team’s ability to perform a hasty search in a high probability area. The canine team will be expected to clear the area without alerting handler that a scent source has been found. The test should be completed in less than 30 minutes including any breaks taken. 

Human Remains Detection Type - IV

Overview

This is a basic certification which meets the proposed criteria of NIMS Canine Search and Rescue for Human Remains Detection Type – IV as of April 7, 2006. This examination consists of four stations. The Canine team should be capable of searching high probability local wilderness terrain of small areas of less than 1 acre. The scent source shall consist of 5 -15 grams of aged blood, body fluids or other aged bone or tissue.

Equipment Requirements

The Candidate must possess all of the equipment as listed in Attachment 1 of this certification and must present this equipment for inspection during this evaluation process. This equipment can be worn as a pack or in uniform pockets by the candidate during the field test.

Certification Guidelines

These evaluations are based on a point system. A passing score is 80 points or higher. The examination will be evaluated by AWDA certified officials. Up to two certifying officials can be present on a single evaluation. The candidate will not be advised as to which part they are testing. If a candidate fails one station during an evaluation, they need only retake and pass that station. The candidates will be advised in their debriefing as to which station(s) they need to re-test. They have one year from the date of the initial attempt to successfully complete the failed station. If they retest after the one year period, they must retake and pass all stations during the same evaluation. If they fail more than one station during a testing session, the entire testing evolution must be retaken during a different testing session.

Part 1 – Elevated

This portion of the examination will test the canine team’s ability to perform a hasty search in a high probability area. The canine team will be expected to locate a single scent source elevated not less than (4) feet and no higher then (20) feet. The test should be completed in less than 30 minutes including any breaks taken. Alerts should be within 1 ½ times the height of the scent source (i.e. if scent source is elevated 6 ft., alert should be marked within 9 ft.).

Part 2 – Above Ground

This portion of the examination will test the canine team’s ability to perform a hasty search in a high probability area. The canine team will be expected to locate a single scent source above ground. The scent source may be covered with various structures such as logs, rocks, or brush. The test should be completed in less than 30 minutes including any breaks taken. Alerts should be within 2 ft. of scent source.

Part 3 – Buried

This portion of the examination will test the canine team’s ability to perform a hasty search in a high probability area. The canine team will be expected to locate a single, buried scent source not less than six (6) inch deep and no more then three (3 ) feet deep. The test should be completed in less than 30 minutes including any breaks taken. Alerts should be within 2 ft. of scent source.

Part 4 – Negative Area

This portion of the examination will test the canine team’s ability to perform a hasty search in a high probability area. The canine team will be expected to clear the area without alerting handler that a scent source has been found. The test should be completed in less than 30 minutes including any breaks taken. 

Human Remains Detection Type - III

Overview

This is a basic certification which meets the proposed criteria of NIMS Canine Search and Rescue for Human Remains Detection Type – IV as of April 7, 2006. This examination consists of five stations. The Canine team should be capable of searching high probability local wilderness terrain of small areas of less than 1 acre and vehicle searches. The scent source shall consist of

5 -15 grams of aged blood, body fluids or other aged bone or tissue.

Equipment Requirements

The Candidate must possess all of the equipment as listed in Attachment 1 of this certification and must present this equipment for inspection during this evaluation process. This equipment can be worn as a pack or in uniform pockets by the candidate during the field test.

Certification Guidelines

These evaluations are based on a point system. A passing score is 80 points or higher. The examination will be evaluated by AWDA certified officials. Up to two certifying officials can be present on a single evaluation. The candidate will not be advised as to which part they are testing. If a candidate fails one station during an evaluation, they need only retake and pass that station. The candidates will be advised in their debriefing as to which station(s) they need to re-test. They have one year from the date of the initial attempt to successfully complete the failed station.

If they retest after the one year period, they must retake and pass all stations during the same evaluation. If they fail more than one station during a testing session, the entire testing evolution must be retaken during a different testing session.

 

Part 1 – Elevated

This portion of the examination will test the canine team’s ability to perform a hasty search in a high probability area. The canine team will be expected to locate a single scent source elevated not less than (4) feet and no higher then (20) feet. The test should be completed in less than 30 minutes including any breaks taken. Alerts should be within 1 ½ times the height of the scent source (i.e. if scent source is elevated 6 ft., alert should be marked within 9 ft.).

Part 2 – Above Ground

This portion of the examination will test the canine team’s ability to perform a hasty search in a high probability area. The canine team will be expected to locate a single scent source above ground. The scent source may be covered with various structures such as logs, rocks, or brush. The test should be completed in less than 30 minutes including any breaks taken. Alerts should be within 2 ft. of scent source.

Part 3 – Buried

This portion of the examination will test the canine team’s ability to perform a hasty search in a high probability area. The canine team will be expected to locate a single, buried scent source not less than six (6) inch deep and no more then three (3 ) feet deep. The test should be completed in less than 30 minutes including any breaks taken. Alerts should be within 2 ft. of scent source.

Part 4 – Negative Area

This portion of the examination will test the canine team’s ability to perform a hasty search in a high probability area. The canine team will be expected to clear the area without alerting handler that a scent source has been found. The test should be completed in less than 30 minutes including any breaks taken. 

Part 5 – Vehicle

This portion of the examination will test the canine team’s ability to perform a hasty search in and around vehicles. The canine team will be expected to locate a single scent source in a vehicle. The test should be completed in less than 10 minutes including any breaks taken. There will be three vehicles to be searched.

 


 

Personal Protection Standard

Personal Protection Personal
Protection dog are tested on courage and willingness to defend the handler in a variety of situations. These dogs will be tested on a variety of surfaces, such as slick floors, stairs, dim rooms or outside areas. These dogs will also be tested for gunfire soundness.

The Obedient Phase
Each team must pass advanced obedience to continue on to the agitation testing phase!!! Each team must do a heel on and off leash, down on command, Stay on command in site of handler and out of site of handler. The down stay out of site of handler will be a minimum of 3 minutes, a maximum of 5 minutes.

Control in a crowed. Each k9 must be walked on leash in a weaving pattern around a minimum of 4 people, to test the dogs social behavior. At no time will anyone approach the dog, but no outward aggression can be demonstrated by the k9. The dog must approach people at a minimum of Four(4) feet.

The Heel will consist of A minimum of 300 paces with a minimum of 4 turns. Two(2)left and Two(2) right at the direction of the evaluator. The down stay will be on and off leash, At the end of the heel routine. The handler will be removed from the site of the k9 for a minimum of Three(3) minutes.

The handler will return to his /her k9 re-leash the dog and two(2) shots will be fired at a maximum of 100 yards. The k9 must stay. Shyness at any point during this or any phase will be an automatic failure.


There will be a total of (2)two different areas tested. (By random drawing)

  • Outside field

  • Outside woods

  • Dim rooms

  • Parking lots

  • Stairs

  • Inside car

Each k9 will be tested to see if he /she will stand his/her ground (defensively) on leash during a normal warning from the handler. During the agitation phase a hidden sleeve or full body suit will be used. When the agitator moves to with in the boundary of a 6’ foot leash the k9 must engage the agitator. Once the agitator stops moving the dog will be commanded to out, the k9 has 3 seconds to out or fail the agitation phase. Gunfire maybe used in each or all phases of testing.