top of page

Narcotics Detection

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.


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:

  1. Vehicles

  2. Building

  3. Open Areas

  4. Boats

  5. Aircraft

  6. Luggage or Boxes


  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

bottom of page