Trailing Standards

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.