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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We started our annual certification today. I do five handlers at a time. Drugs first, then EDD's, the trackers, then the patrol. If all goes well, we'll be finished in 4 weeks. Our certification lasts two days. We do 21 vehicles, 7 at a time. One set of 7 will have two targets, one set of seven will have two targets and one set of vehicles will have a distractor odor. This year we are using mustard smeared plastic bags. We also do 15 rooms, three sets of 5. One set will be blank. We do a drug inventory of all issued training aids, then they are set for another year. Once this is done, we start a drug detector class. I've got six students for this class. Five of them are Troopers, one is a neighboring police department. It's a good deal for them, training is free. The only requirement is, I approve the dog before class starts. I've already evaluated the dog, and it's pretty solid. The handler wants it to be a dual purpose. Drug training will come first because I don't have a patrol dog school set until September.

I've got 23 months left ha ha, or I'm one bad day away from retirement, whichever comes first.

DFrost
 

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good god. our certs are such a joke compared to that. we just did them a couple weeks ago, so my memory should be somewhat fresh...

area search. i can't remember the exact requirements for size, and i think the hides have to be aged like 15 or 30 minutes. can't remember which. two hides in the area. dog has to find one.

building search. i think it has to be like 2000 sq. feet. again, two hides, dog has to find one.

car search. three cars. two hides. dog has to find one.

out of the six hides, you need at least one from the three majors (coke, mj, heroin). if i remember correctly, there isn't anything in the certs that penalizes a team for falses. no time limit only a "reasonable" amount of time.

one handler team can do this cert in about 2 hours tops (including half hour age time). a joke right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That does seem a bit easy to me, Tim. Our room search isn't all that big a deal. We use military dorms, we are fortunate to have access to them. Searching 15 rooms doesn't take all that long. We have a 30 minute set time on hides. Targets must be a minimum of 3 grams for certification. Our dogs can have a 10% false response, which translates to 1 during this exercise. They have to have a 90% find rate as well. I also include the last 3 months of training in the equation as well. My philosophy is, certification should not be all that difficult. If a handler is doing their training properly, our certification problems will be a breeze. One thing I didn't mention, during the room search, we do conduct a residual odor exercise as well. I like the idea of documenting a residual odor find.

DFrost
 

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Are there a national standard for all militarydogs in the whole US, for PSDs there seems to be many different standards in US, or I´m wrong? And what does the bitework contains for the militarydogs in the certification? If I´m not misstaken the military has no bitingdogs here in Sweden anymore, they used to have sentrydogs and I think the MP-dogs had some training in bitework, but not nowadays, it could change in the future I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Military does have a standard that all dogs are supposed to meet. You are correct about the different standards for PSD's. There is no national standard and only a couple of states have mandatory standards. Many rely on different certifiying agencies ie, United State Police Canine Assoc.(USPCA) or North American Police Work Dog Assoc. (NAPWDA) and other similar organizations. These organizations are made up of dues paying members. Some recieve certifications from the private trainers that sold them the dog and still some pay private orgainzations for a certification. It's really quite a mish/mash of certifications.

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I have been assigned to K9 for about a year and a half, although I have been involved with training for the last 11 years. I certified my dog originally through NAPWDA and about 6 months later I went to a seminar and certified through NLECO. I got a lot of flack from several NAPWDA people about certifing through NLECO. They told me that the certification did not mean anything because the standards had not yet been recognized in Federal court. They have been upheld through several state courts though. Having certified through both, I found that the NLECO was a bit harder. NLECO also requires two officials to be present when a dog is being certified and the official can in no way have prior involvment with the dog. I really believe that this is just one group claiming to be better then another group and nothing more. In order for any group to obtain Federal recognition they first started from scratch with no recognition. What are your thoughts on this? You can visit NLECO and check out their standards at www.nleco.org
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't find it surprising that one organization would say another organization isn't as good. They do rely on paying members. What the court recognizes is, organizations have set standards. A certification means the dog was evaluated against those standards, by a third party, and met the minimum standard. With an organization they aren't familiar with, it would be smart to have a copy of the standards, the rules for the certification and how a particular dog. the rest is nothing more than testimony. They still want to see the training records (depending on the case) and how the specific dog involved measured up to those standards. I've been qualified as an expert witness in both Federal and State court. I've always found it beneficial to provide the defense, during discovery, a solid package on the dog in question. For a drug dog for example, I provide the last certification, a copy of the certification standards, a full 12 months of training and utilization records. It's all there, the good and the bad. I've found it really limits their (the defense) ability to make assumptions. It keeps them focused on a particular dog, how that dog worked on that day and year's history of that dog. It has served us extremely well. Even when the defense has their own whore dog expert.

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We do all our patrol and detector certifications through the USPCA.

David, I thought I read in a post a while back that some of the dogs you trained were at the USPCA nationals and that you went to regionals also.....so is your personal certification on top of the USPCA ones, or do some of your dogs only go through your certs and not the USPCA ones?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Some of my handlers do go to USPCA, not all of them. I leave that up them whether or not they want to compete. Our certification is mandatory, they don't have a choice. It's a bit more comprehensive than USPCA or most any of the known organizations.

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Gotcha. It seems much more thorough and I like the idea....kinda wish we had it set up like that. Do you ever have a situation where someone doesn't pass? If so, do they repeat the test right away or have to wait?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, I have decertified dogs. It's not all that common though. I get a monthly training record from all handlers. I can track the training and proficiency on a monthly basis. If a handler is being untruthful in his training records he has more problems than just failing a certification. If the dog fails to certify, he comes back to me for a training session. The length of that session would be determined by observing the dog and handler closely during training.

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Sounds like a good program. And yeah, I know people who talk up a storm on the training they do....but take a look at the dog and the available time the handler has - not a chance. It usually comes back to bite those people though - shows up somewhere on the street. That's very cool that you're so involved and aware of your K9's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sounds like a good program. And yeah, I know people who talk up a storm on the training they do....but take a look at the dog and the available time the handler has - not a chance. It usually comes back to bite those people though - shows up somewhere on the street. That's very cool that you're so involved and aware of your K9's.
Well actually, it's not all that cool, it's my job. It's what they pay me to do. The job is cool, no question. We have 45 dogs working in our program.

DFrost
 
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