Certification Standards

Police K-9 Certification Standards of the  
National Tactical Police Dog Association, Inc.
(NTPDA) for Tracking/Trailing, Patrol, Narcotics Detection, Explosives Detection, Article Search.

© 2008 Girard Bradshaw & NTPDA, Inc. All rights reserved. The following is copyrighted material, and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without expressed written permission.

 

Eligibility for Certification

NTPDA shall have two categories of certification:

  1. Police K-9 team certification. This category of certification is a working law enforcement K-9 team certification.
  2. Professional Handler/Trainer Proficiency Certification. This category of certification allows professional trainers and/or handlers to demonstrate their training through passing the NTPDA evaluation. This is not a working law enforcement K-9 team certification, but rather a certificate of proficiency. Civilian police dog trainers and or handlers must be members in good standing of NTPDA to qualify. Examples: Professional Police Dog Trainers, Private Detection Handlers, K9 Security Officers, SAR K9 Handlers attached to a Volunteer SAR Team, Emergency Management, or Law Enforcement Agency. An official Letter must accompany the handler to the certification attesting to the affiliation dated within a week of the certification.

Certifying Officials 2013:

Girard William Bradshaw Tarheel Canine Training, Inc. 230 West Seawell Street, Sanford, NC 27330 jbradshaw@tarheelcanine.com (919)144-8044

 

  • MSgt Gregory P. Vollmer OUPD/NPD Joint Bomb Squad K-9 Handler 2775 S. Monitor Ave, Norman, Ok 73072 405-325-2864 Cell 405-615-3436 vollmer@ou.edu 
    MSgt Brian Nelson OUPD/NPD Joint Bomb Squad K-9 Handler 2775 S. Monitor Ave, Norman, Ok 73072 405-325-2864 Cell 405-615-7185 bnelson@ou.edu 
    Cpl. Gary Burgamy Dublin Police Department K-9 Unit 346 S. Jefferson St, Dublin, GA 31021 478-277-5023 (w) 912-585-2789 (C) gary.burgamy@gmail.com 
    Sergeant Franklin Bell Federal Reserve Law Enforcement (K-9 Unit) 800 Water St, Jacksonville, FL 32204 904-632-1179 or 1010 (W) 904-614-9772 (C) K9still@aol.com 
    Lieutenant Terry Davis Federal Reserve Law Enforcement (K-9 Unit) 800 Water St, Jacksonville, FL 32204 904-632-1179 or 1010 (W) 904-486-0310 (C) davis_terry@bellsouth.net 
    DFC JC Richardson Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office 401 Naylor Mill Road, Salisbury, MD 21601 410-548-4891 (W) 410-430-6738 (Cell best) dingo298@yahoo.com Sean Siggins Tarheel K9 Training, Inc. 230 West Seawell Street, Sanford, NC 27330 ssiggins@tarheelcanine.com

Qualified individuals may make application to NTPDA to become evaluators.  Applications will be presented to the NTPDA Advisory Board for approval. Verifiable credentials, references, and experience will all be considered during the approval process, for both civilian police K-9 trainers and law enforcement K-9 trainers. An applicant selected will then attend a minimum of 3 certification tests as an assistant evaluator before becoming a certifying official.

Membership

There are the following memberships available in NTPDA:

Professional Membership
Law Enforcement Membership
Departmental or Agency Membership

NTPDA Membership Application

Certification Fees

The fee for certification shall be as follows for NTPDA members.

  • Patrol Certification: $75
  • Narcotics Certification: $50
  • Explosives Certification: $50
  • Trailing certification: $50
  • Article Search Certification: $50

Seminar Fees

Members of NTPDA in good standing shall pay $50 per handler/dog per day. Non-members shall pay $75/day for seminar participation. These fees shall go to defray travel costs for travel for instructors teaching these events, and shall be collected by the instructors at the events.


Approaching Surprise Scenario Evaluations

Surprise scenario evaluations must be approached differently than certifications that can be approached through pattern training. In the typical NTPDA patrol scenario, the officer shall arrive on a scene, much as in real life, being either the first on scene, or as a secondary patrol. The first determination must be whether or not the K-9 should be deployed in this situation. This should be based on SOP, existing case law, and the circumstances of the particular scenario. After information is exchanged with other officers on scene (the evaluator or assistant evaluator will play this role), the handler will make his determination.

Once the determination is made to deploy the K-9 team, a proper tactical approach to this deployment is then formulated by the officer, and carried out.  The officer must keep in mind that information may be incomplete on scene prior to deployment, and adjustments to the approach may have to be made during the scenario. The evaluators understand that there is no one correct way to approach a given scenario. However, proper handler tactics, and conforming to departmental SOP should be followed during the deployment.

Another aspect to the surprise scenario evaluation is that decoy behavior may vary. For example, decoys can use objects to fend the dog off, feed them a (safe) object to avoid a bite like a rolled up jacket, and use ordinary (safe) objects to attempt to frighten the dog when biting (e.g. blank guns, shake cans, plastic bottles, etc.).  The dog must be conditioned to bite in these high stress encounters.

Further, the officer must employ proper tactics in making apprehensions. Whether the apprehension is made without a bite, or after a bite, the officer must himself or through use of his back up, handcuff and escort the suspect into custody. In a particular scenario, the suspect (decoy) may flee, give up, or fight his dog, and appropriate responses be made based on these behaviors. There may be more than one suspect to apprehend. This information may be available prior to deployment, or may come as a surprise during the deployment in a particular scenario.

Finally, an after-action review will take place where the evaluator will ask the handler questions regarding his approach to the scenarios, and in which the officer can make supporting statements for his actions. During this review, the evaluator will also critique the performance of the team.

NTPDA Certification Areas

Patrol Certification

The evaluation for certification will be a pass/fail evaluation.  All K-9 Certifications are valid for 1 year. If a new handler is assigned the team must re-certify. NTPDA recommends that departments have a departmental “K-9 use of force” policy prior to team utilization, and that handlers are aware of how that policy relates to the use of their K-9.  NTPDA also recommends that each team perform a departmental weapons qualification as a K-9 team.

Prerequisites:

  1. Handlers must provide a copy of  a minimum of 21 days of prior training records.
  2. Handlers must have available  a copy of a departmental SOP at the certification.
  3. For patrol certifications, the handler must at a minimum have a pistol belt with flashlight, handcuffs (with key), and a training weapon or unloaded duty weapon.
  4. The handler should bring any departmentally approved K9 training equipment to the evaluation (i.e. E-collars, harnesses, leashes and lines). If departmentally approved equipment is not referenced in the SOP, a letter from the chief of police or unit commander referencing the equipment that is departmentally approved shall be provided.

The Patrol certification will consist of an obedience pre-test (to establish minimum standards for control), area search scenario, building search scenario, and interview scenario.  The basic elements of the scenarios and the requirements of the handler during these scenarios are explained below. The evaluator will set up each scenario within the guidelines listed below to evaluate the k-9 team’s performance, with the scenarios structured to provide the realism of unknown circumstances and incomplete information.

Part 1: Obedience & Agility Test.

Equipment: Metal Chain or Fur-Saver on Dead ring, 6′ leash held in hand, or departmentally approved equipment.

The object of this pre-test is to establish a minimum standard for control. Distractions, at the discretion of the judge, may be employed during the test.  In the patrol scenarios that follow, the use of obedience & agility commands may be necessary to complete the scenarios.

Obedience Routine: The obedience routine shall be set up in a scenario, such as an alarm call, a call out for perimeter security, or some other scenario likely to be encountered in a real life deployment of a K9 team.

The following shall be required exercises for evaluation in obedience:

  • Heeling on leash (including left, right, about turns, heeling through groups, fast pace, slow pace)
  • Stays on or off leash (Sit or Down, possibly in the presence of decoy during Terry Frisk)
  • Terry Frisk & Prisoner Transport on leash (rear transport or side transport)
  • Distance control off leash or on long line (Drop on command, sit on command)
  • Motion exercises on or off leash (handler’s choice of sit, down, stand)
  • Recall to Heel on or off leash.
  • Obedience/steadiness under Gunfire
  • Obstacles to negotiate (tunnels, meter jumps, Chain link fence, sends over jumps from distance of under 5 meters – these shall be naturally occurring urban or rural objects likely encountered on patrol).

Example Obedience Routine: Handler arrives at school alarm call. Handler heels to the front door from patrol car on leash. Dog is commanded to down stay (handler drops leash) at the front door as he checks for forced entry to the door, and other doors along the outside wall of the school (within 50 meters of the dog). The handler returns to the dog, and heels back toward the car, making a right turn to proceed along the building to the corner. The handler and dog must negotiate a fence (send dog over fence and drop him on the other side using a long line). Handler uses the dog to check around the corner for activity, and recalls the dog back to him over the fence. Handler and dog then execute an about turn and heel down the building. Noise is heard in the background around the corner. The handler and dog fast heel to a position of cover. Handler rocks out around corner to check for safe passage. Handler and dog fast heel in a crouch along the wall of the building. Handler commands the dog to down in motion, as he proceeds to the next corner of the building, leaving the dog in a stay to act as his rear guard. Handler rocks out around the corner, and calls his dog to heel at his position. Handler and dog proceed together in a slow pace heel around an air conditioner, where a suspect (in a bite suit) is encountered. Handler verbally challenges suspect, makes him drop the object in his hands, and proceed out in the open. The handler proceeds to Terry frisk the suspect with the dog in a guard position. Handler proceeds to transport suspect to the patrol car.

This routine is completed using on leash heeling, dropping the leash during stays, recall to heel, and Terry Frisk. Prisoner transport is completed on leash, as is the send and down over the jump.

75% of available points required for passing the evaluation.

NTPDA Obedience Scenarios

Part 2: Patrol Scenarios: Area Search, Building Search, Felony Vehicle Stop and Interview.The team must pass the obedience test to go on to this portion of the certification. The patrol scenarios shall be comprised of an interview, area search test, felony vehicle stop test, and building search test in which specific tasks are tested for the K-9 and the K-9 handler.Patrol Tasks: The Handler & K-9 shall be judged on the performance of the following tasks:

  1. Civil Bite (Hidden Sleeve and/or Muzzle Attack)
  2. Bite under gunfire and/or return gunfire.
  3. Release on verbal command
  4. Tactical Removal (lift off) from bite
  5. Terry frisk & Handcuff with K9 Under Control.
  6. Call-off (Recall)
  7. Multiple Suspects in one of the scenarios.
  8. Transport
  9. Test of Courage
  10. Passive Bite

The Handler shall be further evaluated on the performance of the following tasks:

  1. General Tactical Awareness
  2. Control of scene & back-up officers
  3. Decision making

There shall be 4 scenarios presented to the K9 Team in which the above named elements will be tested at the judge’s discretion.

  1. Tactical Area Search
  2. Tactical Building Search
  3. Felony Vehicle Stop
  4. Interview Test (Surprise Scenario

Patrol Task: Tactical Area Search:

This test is designed to test the K-9s ability to search for and apprehend a suspect hidden in a perimetered area.

  1. The Evaluator will designate the boundaries of the area to be searched. The evaluator will have final discretion as to the suitability of the area. The hosting agency shall arrange for appropriate areas for conducting this evaluation. The terrain (rural, urban, and suburban) in the department’s patrol area shall be a major consideration in the selection of the evaluation area.
  2. The suspect shall be hidden for at least 15 minutes before the K-9 Team starts the test.
  3. The Evaluator will accompany the K-9 Team the entire test in the position of a back-up officer without assisting the team.
  4. K-9 must find the suspect and apprehend by either “Hold-and-Bark” or “Bite and Hold” appropriate to the behavior of the suspect and departmental SOP.
  5. The dog shall transport the suspect out of the area at the rear of the suspect, on-leash.
  6. The handler may choose the starting point outside the search area.
  7. The handler shall decide whether to search on or off leash, based on the scenario and safety considerations.
  8. The K-9 Team will be graded on a pass or fail basis.

Basic Scenario set-up: The K-9 Team shall arrive at a designated area that is appropriately set up with a perimeter. The handler shall exit his car and speak with the evaluator. Upon the evaluator’s signal, the handler shall open his K-9’s door and call the dog to heel position to gain initial control of the dog, affix any equipment for the specified task, and break his dog.

The K-9 team will then search the designated area for the suspect. The suspect may give up, attack or flee from the K-9, according to the evaluator’s discretion in setting up the scenario. The K-9 team must respond accordingly to apprehend, search/terry frisk, and transport the suspect out of the search area on leash. The suspect will then be escorted away by back up.

Patrol Task: Tactical Building Search:

This is designed to mimic a working situation in which the K-9 Team will be expected to search for a suspect in a building or portion of the building. The K-9 Team will be graded on a pass or fail basis.

  1. The object of this test is to determine the ability of the K-9 Team to detect, indicate and apprehend a suspect if necessary. The K-9 shall perform the apprehension according to the suspect’s behavior (under direction of the evaluator) and the department’s SOP (find/bite or find/bark).
  2. The suspect shall be hidden for at least 15 minutes before the K-9 Team starts the test. The suspect will use a hidden sleeve or full body bite suit for this test. The suspect may also be armed with a padded stick or other weapon and may use the contents of the room to deter the K-9 pursuit (chairs, tables, etc).
  3. The Evaluator will accompany the K-9 Team the entire test in the position of a back-up officer without assisting the team.
  4. K-9 must find the suspect and apprehend by either “Hold-and-Bark” or “Bite and Hold” appropriate to the behavior of the suspect and departmental SOP
  5. The dog shall transport the suspect out of the building at the rear of the suspect, on-leash.
  6. The handler shall decide whether to search on or off leash, based on the scenario and safety considerations.
  7. There may be more than one subject in the building and the handler may be directed to continue the search after the initial apprehension.

Basic Scenario Set-Up: The handler must make an appropriate announcement and tactical entry into the building.  The handler must show control of his K-9 and be able to direct the K-9 to various rooms with verbal or hand signals. After the K-9 Team has found, indicated and/or apprehended the suspect, the handler must out his dog if appropriate, and perform a search/terry frisk of the suspect. The handler must observe all prudent methods of officer survival techniques during the building search. Failure of the handler to do so may result in the K-9 team failing the test.

Patrol Task: Felony Vehicle Stop:

This test is designed to mimic a working situation in which a K9 team will be expected to deal with a felony suspect in a vehicle stop situation. The K-9 Team will be graded on a pass or fail basis.

  1. The object of this test is to determine the ability of the K-9 Team to apprehend a suspect. The K-9 shall perform the apprehension according to the suspect’s behavior (under direction of the evaluator) and the department’s SOP.
  2. The suspect shall be hidden for at least 15 minutes before the K-9 Team starts the test. The suspect will use a hidden sleeve or full body bite suit for this test. The suspect may also be armed with a padded stick or other weapon and may use distractions to deter the K-9 pursuit.
  3. The Evaluator or assistant evaluator will accompany the K-9 Team the entire test in the position of a back-up officer.
  4. K-9 must energetically apprehend the suspect, and the K9 officer must maintain proper tactical position during the apprehension
  5. There may be more than one subject in the vehicle and the handler may need to continue the search after the initial apprehension.
  6. The handler shall disengage the dog according to the direction of the evaluator.

Special Note on Integrated Task: Call-Off:The call-off (or recall, or stopped attack) shall be integrated into one of the four basic scenarios described above, or be set up independently. The officer will be directed to apprehend a suspect in hiding. The handler shall call for the suspect to come out of his hiding place. The suspect shall come out, and the handler shall alert his dog on leash. The suspect will be holding a weapon, and initially refuse to give up. The handler will deploy the K9 to apprehend the suspect, based on the suspect’s behavior and/or commands from the evaluator. When the subject “gives up” the dog must be stopped from the attack, either by calling off and returning, or being commanded to down, or continuing to the suspect and performing a hold and bark. The suspect shall become passive upon giving up. The call off shall be a maximum of half the distance to the suspect at the time he gives up.

Walk Through & Confidentiality: Handlers shall be walked through the general set up of each scenario prior to deploying for evaluation. Handlers may ask questions to clarify the parameters of what will be evaluated. Each handler shall perform each scenario one at a time. A staging area for those who have not yet been evaluated shall be designated. Upon completing the evaluation, the handler shall proceed to a separate de-brief area, and shall not co-mingle with those who have not yet performed the evaluation at hand. This shall apply to all elements of any test at every NTPDA certification. Passing information to other handlers about a scenario via any means, be it verbal, messaging, or telecommunication shall result in the failure of anyone providing or receiving the information at the evaluator’s sole discretion.

NTPDA Patrol Scenarios

Article Search Certification

This test will evaluate the K-9s ability to locate articles with fresh human scent in a designated area. The K-9 must find 3 of 4 articles specified by the evaluator to pass. Articles shall be realistic evidence, such as a hand gun, purse, wallet, etc. This certification can be attempted independently of any other certification, and is valid for one year.

  1. Evaluator will randomly place the articles within the designated area without the handler present.
  2. K-9 must search a 60ft by 60ft area of natural growth (grass, woods, brush, etc.).
  3. The test may be conducted on or off lead.
  4. Four (4) articles shall be used.
  5. The K-9 team will have Ten (10) minutes to complete the exercise.
  6. The K-9 must point out or retrieve the articles. If the dog points out the article, it must be obvious to the evaluator.
  7. The handler may give encouragement and direct the dog with verbal commands or hand signals, and the handler may enter the search area to direct his dog.

Trailing Certification

This test will determine the capability of the K-9 to track unknown suspects. The track will be laid with the handler having no knowledge of the starting direction. A scent article may be used at the discretion of the evaluator. Tracklayers shall be at the end of the track. Teams may test at the level of their choice, though a progression from level 1 to level 3 is recommended. The certification shall be set up in a scenario format with witnesses or initial patrol officers giving the K-9 team information to use. The suspect may be neutral, fleeing, or hostile upon the arrival of the team to his location, and proper procedure must be followed to apprehend and return the suspect to the staging area.

This certification can be attempted independently of any other certification, and once achieved is valid for one year. The team may try any level of certification. It is not necessary to begin at level 1 and progress if the dog is prepared to pass a higher level.

Equipment- The handler may use a harness, flat collar, choke, or pinch collar. The tracking leash will be no less than 10ft long and no more than 30ft long.

Tracking Certification Levels

Trailing Level 1 (Basic Trailing) - This Level of trailing will have 2 tests. The first test will simulate a jump and run from a vehicle, with the suspect no more than 100 yards away. The second test will be a trail as follows: The trail will be at least ¼ mile long and have at least 2 turns. The trail must cover 2 types of surfaces (grass, dirt, gravel, etc.).  Aged 30 minutes. Scent articles may be used.

Trailing Level 2 (Advanced Trailing) – This Level of trailing will have 2 tests. The first test will simulate a jump and run from a vehicle, with the suspect no more than 100 yards away. The second test will be a trail as follows: The trail will be between ¼ mile and ½ mile long. The trail must cover 2 surfaces and have 3 turns, cross an obstacle, and one backtrack.  Aged 30-45 minutes. Scent articles may be used.

Trailing Level 3 (Scent Discrimination) – This Level of trailing will have 2 tests. The first test will simulate a jump and run from a vehicle, with the suspect no more than 100 yards away. The second test will be a trail as follows: The trail will be between ½ mile and 1 mile long. The trail must be done in a suburban location across 3 different surfaces including pavement, and have one barrier requiring a re-start, and have 3 turns, and one back track. There must be human scent contamination in the area, and a scent article shall be used. There will be one suspect along the trail who is an innocent victim. The other suspect will match the scent article, and the dog must indicate by going to the suspect from which the scent article came. Aged 45 – 1 hour.

Tracking level 4 (Advanced Scent Discrimination/Suburban/Urban Tracking) - This Level of trailing will have 2 tests. The first test will simulate a jump and run from a vehicle, with the suspect no more than 100 yards away in a completely urban setting. The second test will be a trail as follows: The trail will be between 1 mile and 2 miles long. The trail must be done in a suburban or urban location across 3 different surfaces 50% of which shall be pavement, gravel, or concrete, and have two barriers requiring re-starts and have 4 turns and one back track. There must be human scent contamination in the area, and a scent article shall be used. There will be one suspect along the trail who is an innocent victim. The other suspect will match the scent article, and the dog must indicate by going to the suspect from which the scent article came. Aged  minimum 1 hour.

Suspects- The suspects will be unknown to the K-9 whenever possible.

Evaluator- The evaluator will accompany the K-9 Team the entire test and will grade the K-9 Team on a pass or fail basis.

 

Narcotic Detection Certification:

This test will evaluate the K-9 Teams proficiency in detecting the odor of narcotics. The basic narcotic odors are marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines. Odor derivatives may be used. Other odors may be tested if requested prior to the certification. The handler shall bring the training aid in a sterile glass container, and it shall be handled only with sterile gloves. Handler must provide a certified laboratory report stating that the narcotic is a minimum of 80% purity.

Minimum certification is on marijuana and cocaine. Certificates will list the odors on which the K-9 has certified. The test will use real narcotic samples only.  The basic detection certificate shall test the dog’s ability to locate and point out narcotics. The advanced detection certificate is a scenario based test, where the evaluator will set up situations for the K-9 team such as: Jump and runs, distractions from suspects, distractions around the search areas, tests of the safety check, roadside traffic stops and the like. These scenarios should be approached as actual deployments would be approached.

Narcotics Detection Certificate: Valid for one year. Two hides of each odor (marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines) shall be placed in separate areas designated by the evaluator, and four blank areas shall be designated, for a total of 12 possible problems.   These hides shall be placed between ground level and 4’ high, with minimal depth. Hides in an area shall be placed no less than 25 feet apart. In addition a scenario shall be set up by the evaluator to mimic an essential scenario for narcotics detection K9, complete with role playing by the evaluator, assistant evaluator, or an officer not testing in narcotics detection.

The K-9 must alert to and handler must indicate to the evaluator the general location of the narcotic.  One called false alert or one miss shall be allowed, however, a passing percentage score of 90% or greater must be achieved in order to certify. The evaluator or his assistant shall be allowed to reward the dog upon a successful call. The presiding evaluators shall have the final authority to throw out any portion of the test for being fouled by contamination or inappropriate set up of planted hides, and/or faulty instruction to the handlers, and may re-shoot a portion or the entire test on the next day of certification. The entire test shall be timed.

Certification on other narcotics such as ecstasy shall be at the request of the certification authority prior to the day of the test, so that appropriate testing aids may be obtained.

The Alert The dog may use a Passive or Aggressive alert. The handler must verbally indicate to the evaluator the general location of the hide correctly based on reading his own dog’s alert.

Miss: A miss shall occur in an area which contains a narcotic hide and the handler indicates to the evaluator that there are no narcotics in the area.

False Alert: A false alert shall occur in an area without any narcotic odor and the handler indicates to the evaluator that there are narcotics in the area.

Areas To be Searched: A) Vehicles B) Building C) Open Areas, D) Boats, E) Aircraft F) Luggage or Boxes. A minimum of three (3) of these areas shall be used for each certification.

General:

  1. The evaluator will determine which odor will be placed in which area, the duration of each problem and/or number of blank areas to be employed.  A minimum of 5gms will be used for certification.
  2. The K-9 can be worked on or off leash, as conditions dictate. The evaluator may require the dog to be searched on leash at his discretion.
  3. The handler will notify the evaluator as to the completion of each area.
  4. The handler may ask to skip an area, and be allowed to return to that area, one time during the test

Explosive Detection Certification:

This test will evaluate the K-9 Teams proficiency in detecting the odor of explosives. The basic explosive odors are PETN, RDX, TNT, Potassium CHLORATE AND Potassium NITRATE and SMOKELESS GUNPOWDER. At a minimum all of the basic odors will be used, but odor compounds may be used as well. Certificates will list the odors and derivatives on which the K-9 has certified. The test will use real explosive samples only.    The scenario portion of the certification shall provide situations for the K-9 team such as: Vehicle checkpoints, suspicious packages and vehicles, distractions around the search areas, and the like. These scenarios should be approached as actual deployments would be approached.

Explosives Detection Certificate: Valid for one year. Two hides of each basic odor tested shall be placed in separate areas designated by the evaluator, and a minimum of four blank areas shall be designated. These hides shall be placed between ground level and 4’ high, with minimal depth. Hides in an area shall be placed no less than 25 feet apart. In addition a scenario shall be set up by the evaluator to mimic an essential scenario for explosives detection K9, complete with role playing by the evaluator, assistant evaluator, or an officer not testing in explosives detection.

The K-9 must alert to and handler must indicate to the evaluator the general location of the explosive.  One called false alert and one miss shall be allowed, however a passing score of 90% or greater must be achieved in order to certify. The presiding evaluators shall have the final authority to throw out any portion of the test for being fouled by contamination or inappropriate set up of planted hides, and/or faulty instruction to the handlers, and may re-shoot a portion or the entire test on the next day of certification. The evaluator or his assistant shall be allowed to reward the dog upon a successful call. The entire test shall be timed.

The Alert The dog shall use a passive alert. The handler must verbally indicate to the evaluator the general location of the hide based on reading his own dog’s alert.

Miss: A miss shall occur in an area which contains an explosive hide and the handler indicates to the evaluator that there are no explosives in the area.

False Alert: A false alert shall occur in an area without any explosive odor and the handler indicates to the evaluator that there are explosives in the area.

Areas To be Searched: A) Vehicles B) Building C) Open Areas, D) Boats, E) Aircraft and F) Luggage or Boxes.  A minimum of three (3) of these areas shall be used for each certification.

General:

  1. The evaluator will determine which odor(s) will be placed in which area, the duration of each problem and/or number of blank areas to be employed.  One search will be at least 30 minutes in duration. If a short break is needed for the dog, the evaluator will indicate the time limit based on the current situation.
  2. There will be a minimum of 5 gms and no maximums for certification.
  3. The K-9 can be worked on or off leash, as conditions dictate. The evaluator may require the dog to be searched on leash at his discretion.
  4. The handler will notify the evaluator as to the completion of each area.

NTPDA Explosives Scenarios