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Heart of America Police Dog Association Certification Rules


Patrol Dog Team:
This is a test to determine the canines ability to perform the required tasks as well as the handlers ability to control and interpret the canines behavior.

  1. Obedience
    The home team must display off lead obedience in the following phases:
    A) Right turn in motion

    B) Left turn in motion

    C) About turn in motion

    D) Down in motion E) Recall to heel

    F) Crowds (*)

    G) Gunfire(**)
    All commands and maneuvers shall be at the direction of the judge.

    (*) The crowd should be a group of three individual walking passively while the dog performs off lead obedience.

    (**) The gunfire shall be .38 caliber blank ammunition fired inconspicuously from a distance. The canine should assume a stable portion (sit, stand or down) and shall not be fearful.

  2. Control from the vehicle
    The handler must demonstrate control of the k-9 from the patrol vehicle. The team will make a simulated pedestrian check. The canine will remain in the patrol vehicle unfit the handler is physically attacked by the helper. The canine will exit the vehicle through a door or window and defend the handler. The handler will call the canine from the fight and perform a pat down search of the helper who will offer no further resistance. (This exercise will be performed off lead with the helper wearing a full body bite suit. No automatic door or window opening devices will be allowed. All commands shall be at the direction of the judge.)

  3. Control in the field
    The handler must demonstrate control of the k-9 in a field situation: The canine team shall perform a running recall. The helper shall flee and the dog shall be sent to make an apprehension. The k-9 shall be downed or recalled to heel before the apprehension is made while the helper continues to Dee. (The commands shall be at the direction of the judge.)
    A) The canine team shall demonstrate control while guarding a suspect. Following an apprehension, the canine will be commanded to sit, down or stand and guard the helper who will offer no further resistance. The handler will approach and perform a pat down search of the helper. The handler will step back and call the canine to a heel position. (The commands shall be at the direction of the judge.)

    B) The canine team shall demonstrate control while guarding a suspect. Following an apprehension, the canine will be commanded to sit, down or stand and gurard the helper who will offer no further resistance. The handler will approach and perform a pat down search of the helper. The handler will step back and call the canine to a heel position. (The commands shall be at the direction of the judge.)

    C) The canine team shall perform a courage test. The handler shall send the canine to apprehend a fleeing helper. As the canine approaches, the helper shall turn and threaten the canine When the canine makes the apprehension the helper shall strike the canine once. (The strike shall be done with a padded stick on a less sensitive part of the dogs body.) The handler shall call the canine to a heel position. (The commands shall be at the direction of the judge.)

    D) The canine team shall demonstrate control during gunfire. The canine team shall move from a starting point to a redetermined position of cover A concealed helper shall fire one round. The handler shall return fire with two rounds. The canine shall not flee the area and must not fight the handler (This exercise shall be performed with .38 caliber blank ammunition and may be on lead.)
    All of the field control exercises, with the exception of gunfire shall be performed off lead. The helper shall wear a full body bite suit. The handler shall remain at a predetermined spot selected by the judge. The handler shall only move from that spot when directed to do so by the judge or at the conclusion of the exercise. The judge shall have complete discretion in the order/combination of these control exercises.

  4. Muzzle test
    The canine team shall perform an apprehension while the canine is muzzled and the helper is in civil attire. The helper shall appear from hiding, threaten the canine team and flee. The canine will be sent to make an apprehension. The canine must contact the helper and fight the helper as he/she falls to the ground. The canine will be called to a heel position. (The commands shall be at the direction of the judge.)

  5. Building search test
    The canine team must locate a suspect concealed inside a structure that is approximately 5,000 square Feet. The judge will hide a helper inside the structure in a location unknown to the canine team. The helper shall sit approximately 20 minutes before the search begins. The canine team, and one or two search team members, shall move to the entrance and give a verbal warning. The suspect will fail to reply to the verbal warning and the canine shall be sent off lead to search the interior. The canine must indicate to the handler that the suspect has been located. The handler shall advise the judge of the indication. If the judge confirms the indication then the handler will move to a position of cover and call the canine to heel. (The helper shall be in civil attire but may posses a sleeve for his/her protection. The judge may advise the handler to continue the search if he/she feels the canine has odor but has not pinpointed the location of the suspect.)

  6. Area search test
    The canine team must locate a suspect that is concealed within an open but defined area. The judge will hide a helper within the defined area in a location unknown to the canine team. The helper will sit approximately 20 minutes before the search begins. The canine team, and one or two search team members, shall move to a downwind stating point and give a verbal warning. The suspect will fail to reply to the verbal warning and the canine shall be sent off lead to search the area. The canine must find the suspect and give clear indication to the handler. The handler will 11 advise the judge of the indication. If the judge confirms the indication then the handler will move to a position of cover and call the canine to a heel position. (The helper shall be in civil attire but may posses a sleeve For his/her protection. The judge may advise the handler to continue the search if he/she feels the canine has odor but has not pinpointed the location of the suspect.)

  7. Tracking/Trailing
    A helper shall lay a track at the direction of the judge that is unknown to the canine team. The track should be a minimum of four hundred yards long with three or four corners. The comers shall not be ninety degrees The track should be laid at a jogging speed by the helper in civil attire and the wind at his/her back. The helper shall hide at the end of the track in an area that is not easily accessible by the canine (tree, vehicle, etc.). The track should be approximately twenty minutes old at the time the team is allowed to begin.

  8. Evidence search (optional)
    One item (shell casing knife glove, etc.) shall be placed into a grassy area of at least forty square yards. The item shall sit for at least fifteen minutes before the search begins The] handler shall advise the judge, in advance, of how his/her canine will indicate the items location. The canine must locate the item.

  9. Bark and Hold (optional)
    The canine team shall demonstrate a detain. A helper in a full body bite suit shall Dee from the canine team. A verbal warning shall be given by the handler and ignored by the helper. The canine shall be sent to apprehend. As the canine approaches the helper shall stop, turn and remain passive. The canine shall detain the helper without biting. The handler shall recall the canine to a heel position. (All commands shall be at the direction of the judge.)
Comments:

Narcotics Detection Dog Team
This is a test to determine the canines ability to identity and locate different narcotic odors as well as the handlers ability to interpret the canines behavior.
  1. There will be tests given on a minimum of three and a maximum of six different narcotic odors. Manjuana and cocaine will be two mandatory odors. The remaining odors shall be determined by each individual handler.

  2. A letter of intent shall be delivered to the Secretary/treasurer by each handier at least thirty days prior to the start of the scheduled certification. This letter of intent shall indicate the specific narcotic odors on which each team will attempt to certify.

  3. All teams shall test in at least three different environments (structure, vehicle and parcels).

  4. All of the narcotic aids shall be approximately 25 - 50 grams in weight, concealed from view in a location unknown to the handler, and sit for approximately thirty minutes prior to the start of the search.

  5. During the search only the handler, judges) and official helpers are allowed in the search area.

  6. There will be at least one judge and one official helper in each search area.

  7. No one shall discuss any details of their search until all teams have had the opportunity to complete their searches.

  8. The canine must clearly indicate each find without a false indication. The handler must confirm the indication to the judge by either lifting his/her arm or verbal communication.

  9. It the indication is correct then the judge shall confirm it as such. If the indication is false then a second canine shall be brought in to search the same area. If the second canine also gives an indication then the team may test again. If the second canine gives no indication of odor then the test shall be considered a failure).

  10. If none of the canines, in a particular group, indicate on a narcotic plant, another canine, from the opposite group, will be brought in to proof the availability of the narcotic odor, prior to any failures on that particular find. If one canine indicates correctly on any finds, that proofs that find.

Environments:
  1. Structure
    A) Shall consist of at least two separate searches. Each search shall be a furnished room of approximately 500 square feet.

    B) There shall be only one narcotic per room.

    C) The narcotic aid may be placed anywhere within the search area as long as the canine has odor available and no access to the aid.
  2. Vehicle
    A) Shall consist of at least five separate vehicles.

    B)One aid per five vehicles.

    C) The narcotic aid may be placed anywhere within the search area as long as the canine has odor available and no access to the aid.
  3. Parcels:
    A) Shall consist of ten to twenty pieces (luggage, briefcase, packages, etc.)

    B) No more than one aid per ten parcels.

    C) A parcel shall be removed from the search area if it becomes damaged or a narcotic aid is removed after completion of a test.
Comments:

Explosives Detection Team
This Is a test to determine the canines ability to identify and locate different explosive odors as well as the handlers ability to interpret the canines behavior.

  1. There will be tests given on a minimum of six of the basic explosive odors. The judge shall have access to all of the basic explosive odors and the handler will not know on which of the basic odors he/she shall test.

  2. Procurement of explosives will be the responsibility of the agency requesting certification. All explosives shall be in a safe to handle condition and shall not be excessively, old or contaminated.

  3. All teams shall test in at least three different environments (structure, vehicle and parcels).

  4. All of the explosive aids shall be at least 50 grams In weight, concealed from view in a location unknown to the handler, and sit for approximately thirty minutes prior to the start of the search.

  5. During the search, only the handler, judge(s) and official helpers are allowed in the search area.

  6. There will be at least one judge and one official helper in each search area.

  7. No one shall discuss any details of their search until all teams have had the opportunity to complete their searches.

  8. The canine must clearly indicate each find without a false indication The handler must confirm the indication to the judge by either lifting his/her arm or verbal communication.

  9. If the indication is correct then the judge shall confirm it as such. (If the indication is false then a second canine shall be brought in to search the same area If the second canine also gives an indication then the team may test again. If the second canine gives no indication of odor then the test shall be considered a failure).

The following is a list of the basic explosive odors to be used for testing:
A) Plastic Explosive (C -4 )

B) Water Gel (Tovex)

C) Smokeless Powder

D) Black Powder

E) Sodium Chlorate

F) Potassium Chlorate

G) Commercial Dynamite (Ammonia and Nitrate Based)

H) Detonation Cord

I) Trrinitrotoluene (TNT)

I) Military Dynamite

Environment:

  1. Structure
    A) Shall consist of at least two separate searches. Each search shall be a furnished room of approximated 500 square feet.

    B) There shall be only one explosive odor per room.

    C) The explosive aid may be placed anywhere within the search area as long as the canine has odor available and no access to the aid.

  2. Vehicle
    A) Shall consist of at least five separate vehicles.

    B) No more than one aid per vehicle and no more than two per five vehicles.

    C) The explosive aid may be placed anywhere within the search area as long as the canine has odor available ant no access to the aid.

  3. Parcels
    A) Shall consist of cm to twenty pieces (luggage, Briefcase, packages, etc.)

    B) There shall be two hidden aids within the search area.

    C) A parcel shall be removed from the search area if it becomes damaged or an explosive aid is removed after completion of a test.

Comments:
Accelerant Detection Dog Team
This is a test to determine the canines ability to identify and locate different accelerant odors as well as the handlers ability to interpret the canines behavior.
  1. There will be a minimum of four tests given on the basic accelerant odors (Petroleum, Acetones Alcohol and Turpentine.)

  2. Procurement of the accelerants will be the responsibility of the agency requesting certification. All accelerates will be in a safe to handle container.

  3. All teams shall test in at least three different environments (structure, vehicle and one gallon containers).

  4. All of the accelerant aids shall be between five and ten ounces. For testing purposes, it shall be either poured into a one gallon container and poured out or poured onto a 2"x8"x2' piece of raw oak and burned out.

  5. During the search, only the handler, judge(s) and official helpers are allowed in the search area.

  6. There will be at least one judge and one official helper in each search area.

  7. No one shall discuss any details of their search until all teams have had the opportunity to complete their searches.

  8. The canine must clearly indicate each find without a false indication The handler must confirm the indication to the judge by either lifting his/her am, or verbal communication.

  9. If the indication is correct then the judge shall confirm it as such. (If the indication is false then a second canine shall be brought in to search the same area. If the second canine also gives an indication then the team may test again. If the second canine gives no indication of odor then the test shall be considered a failure).

Environment:
  1. Structures
    A) Shall consist of at least two separate searches. Each search shall be a furnished room of approximately 500 square feet.

    B) There shall be only one accelerant odor per room.

    C) The accelerant aid may be placed anywhere within the search area as long as the canine has odor available and no access to the aid.

  2. Vehicles
    A) Shall consist of at least five separate vehicles.

    B) There shall be one aid in the search area.

    C) The accelerant aid may be placed anywhere within the search area as long as the canine has odor available and no access to the aid.

  3. Parcels
    A) Shall consist of ten to twenty one gallon containers.

    B) No more than one aid per ten parcels.

    C) A parcel shall be removed from the search area if it becomes damaged or an accelerant aid is removed after completion of a test.

Comments:
A) These tests of the canine team are on a pass/fail basis and no point system shall be used.

B) The judges are responsible to set up all tests to insure that each team gets a fair and equal opportunity.

C) Any unjustified false indication shall be considered a failure.

D) Each team may retest on one accelerant odor or: environment if time permits.

E) Judges shall have discretion on using a new search area. However, no more than five teams shall search the same area.

Cadaver Detection Team
This is a test to determine the canines ability to identify and locate the odor of a cadaver as well as the handlers ability to interpret the canines behavior.

  1. There will be a minimum of four tests given.

  2. Legal procurement of the testing aids will be the responsibility of the agency requesting certification.. The testing aids will be delivered to the judge in a container that is safe to handle.

  3. All teams shall test in at least three different environments to be selected from the following Structure with debris Vehicle, Field (untied brush, underwater, buried or elevated.

  4. The size of the testing aids shall be at the discretion of the judge(s). A minimum of four testing aids are required. All testing aids shall contain both bone and soft tissue.

  5. During the search only the handler, judge(s) and official helpers are allowed in the search area.

  6. There will be at least one judge and one official helper in each search area.

  7. No one shall discuss any details of their search until all teams have had the opportunity to complete their searches.

  8. The canine must clearly indicate each find without a false indication. The handler must confirm the indication to the judge by either lifting his/her arm or verbal communication.

  9. If the indication is correct then the judge shall confirm it as such. (If the indication is false then a second canine shall be brought in to search the same area. If the second canine also gives an indication then the team may test again. If the second canine gives no indication of odor then the test shall be considered a failure).

Environment:
  1. Structures
    A) Shall consist of at least one search in a room that is approximately 500 square feet. The room shall be cluttered with debris as if the stricture had collapsed.

    B) There shall be only one testing aid per room.

    C) The testing aid may be placed anywhere within the search area as long as the canine has odor available ant no access to the aid.

  2. Vehicles
    A) Shall consist of at least five separate vehicles.

    B) No more than one aid per vehicle and no more than two per five vehicles.

    C) The aid may be placed anywhere within the search area as long as the canine has odor available and no access to the aid.

  3. Open area
    A) Shall consist of at least two searches in an area of at least fifty square yards.

    B) One aid per fitly square yards.

    C) If the aid is left above ground it shall hall be high enough to be out of reach of the canine or concealed within dense brush.

    D) K the aid is to be buried it shall be at a depth of at least ten inches A minimum of five holes shall be dug in the search area.

  4. Landfill (optional environment)
    A) Shall consist of an area of at least fifty square yards.

    B) One aid per fifty square yards.

    C) The aid shall be buried in the rubbish at a depth of at least ten inches.

  5. Underwater: (optional environment)
    A) Shall consist of an area of at least fifty square yards.

    B) One aid per fifty square yards.

    C) The aid shall be placed at a depth of at least two feet below water level.

Comments:
Bloodhound Team
This is a test to determine if the police bloodhound is capable of following the path of a human, in conditions that simulate the actual working environment, as well as the handlers ability to read and interpret the animals behavior.

  1. In each test the handler and hound will be concealed from view of the helper The helper shall be an unknown person who does not regularly work with the hound being tested.

  2. The helper shall leave one scent article near the start of the track. This scent article shall be and article of clothing that has been worn by no one other than the tracklayer.

  3. The helper shall lay a track at the direction of the judge(s) which begins with the wind at his/her back. The track shall be approximately one quarter mile in length with three to four corners which are not ninety degrees. The helper shall remain at the end of the track in a concealed location.

  4. The track shall be a minimum of forty minutes old at the time the team is directed to begin. The hound must locate the helper.



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