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Leerburg Articles Tracking Test

Tracking Test

North American Police Work Dog Association

Tracking Test

This test is designed to determine if the police work dog is capable of tracking an unknown subject in an unfamiliar area. This test is intended to be closely simulative of working situations. This is a test of the dogs ability and proficiency and the handlers control of the dog.


Handlers may use leads, tracking ropes, harnesses, correction collars or leather collars while tracking. Revised 06-19-94


The suspect will be unknown to the dog when possible. The suspect will receive instruction from the Master Trainer for the method and direction that the track is to be laid. Before the track is laid, the Master Trainer will inform the Handler whether a suspect or a scent article from the suspect will be at the end of the track. Revised 06-20-93


The handler and dog will be secluded from view of the track while it is being laid. When the test begins the Master Trainer will inform the handler of the approximate area to begin. The handler will not be told in which direction the track leads. There will be one (1) fresh cross track laid at least fifteen (15) minutes after the original track is laid. The cross track will be laid by a second person to test the dogs scent discrimination. The track must be at least one quarter mile long and have at least two (2) types of surfaces which are covered (dirt, grass, concrete, asphalt, woods, etc.). The track will be at least one (1) hour old prior to beginning the test, and have at least three (3) turns in it. Due to climatic conditions the age of the track will be at the discretion of the Master Trainer. Revised 06-18-89

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.

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