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Leerburg Articles Article Search Test

Article Search Test

North American Police Work Dog Association

Article Test

This test is designed to test the police work dogs ability and proficiency in searching a designated area for articles having human scent on them. This would represent a search for discarded evidence or lost items. Master Trainers and handlers should review these rules in their entirety. Master Trainers will observe the test from outside the search area. The Master Trainer will designate the search area.


The area to be searched will be no less than 60 feet by 60 feet. It will be covered by heavy vegetation no less than ten (10) inches high. The search area will be contaminated prior to the test by one or more subjects crossing through the area at least twice with a dog.


Three (3) articles of different composition (metal, wood, paper, etc.) will be thrown at random into the search area. The team to be tested will not view this being done. One (1) article will be of metal composition. The articles to be used will be selected from, but not limited to, the following list:

a.) Plastic credit card
b.) Paper match book
c.) Shotgun Shell
d.) Leather Wallet
e.) Wood handle screwdriver (4"-6")
f.) Crumpled cigarette package
g.) Empty metal hand gun
h.) Empty pop gun

Articles are to be selected by the Master Trainer according to availability.


There will be a five (5) minute time limit for this test. A warning will be given when thirty (30) seconds remain for the test. Time will start when the handler sends his/her dog out to search from any point around the perimeter of the search area.


The dog, on clearly indicating or finding a search article may be encouraged to retrieve it. Preferably, the handler will elect to recover it themselves. The handler may enter the search area and direct the search as he/she would in an actual situation. After each indication and article recovery the handler will command the dog to continue to search. The dog will be judged on the alert and indication to the search article. This must be obvious to the Master Trainer. The dog must make two (2) finds out of three (3) with a strong indication on both in order to pass this test. Failure of this test may be based on lack of handler control, disinterest on the part of the dog, biting of the Master Trainer or other non aggressive personnel assisting in this test.

All tests given the K9 team will be on a pass/fail basis. The Master Trainer will determine if the team will be certified upon the completion of the test. The handler and dog will be considered as a team and it is the team who will be certified. If the dog changes handlers, a new team exists and the team will need to be certified.

This certification will be valid for two (2) years from the date of issue as defined in Certification Validity paragraph. A schedule of fees may be imposed on the team to pay for expenses for holding this test.

This section reviewed 06-22-97

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