For 40+ years we've helped over 300,000 dog trainers just like you!

Learn more about Leerburg

$6.99 Flat Rate Shipping

Learn more
Ask Cindy Our Newsletter Free Catalog
Leerburg Articles K-9 Trailing Test

K-9 Trailing Test

North American Police Work Dog Association

K-9 Trailing Test

This test is to determine if the police canine is capable of performing a trailing exercise in a simulation of conditions which are encountered during working situations by the police work dog team. This test is designed to test the dogs ability and proficiency and the handlers control of the dog.

Three (3) classifications will be available: Novice, Expert and Distinguished Expert. Upon the first application the handler may designate the level of classification for which he/she wish testing. Failure of the first test will require a team to be tested at the Novice level before being allowed to apply for the Expert level testing. Upon successful passing of each test the handler may then be tested at the Distinguished Expert level.

In each test the handler and canine will be hidden from view prior to the test start. Whenever possible, the suspect will be an unknown person, not regularly worked with the canine. The Master Trainer will follow the handler and in no way interfere with or distract the canine. In the event the team loses the trail and the handler is made aware of the same, he/she will be given five (5) minutes by the Master Trainer to recover the track and continue. The Master Trainer will advise the handler when the five (5) minutes have elapsed and will notify the team that they have failed this test. Due to climatic conditions, the age of the trail will be at the discretion of the Master Trainer.

Adopted/Revised 6-20-98


The canine will start the trail ten (10) minutes old and trail for one half mile. Surface cover will be vegetation, no other human trails will be present. The suspect making the trail will remain at the end of the trail until found.


The canine will start the trail one (1) hour old and trail for one (1) mile. Starting surface cover will be vegetation, but should run about 500 feet on pavement during the course of the trail. There may be old human trails in the trailing area. The suspect will remain at the end of the trail.


The canine will start the trail one (1) hour old and trail at least one and one half miles. Surface cover at the start of the trail will be vegetation but will run at least 500 feet on pavement, cross a stream if available and cross two (2) fresh human trails. The suspect will remain at the end of the trail until found.

This test will begin at the direction of the Master Trainer in the designated area. The handler will not be instructed in which direction the trail has been laid. The handler may encourage his/her dog as needed with commands and praise. Revised 06-19-94

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 06-20-98

20% off Select Michael Ellis and Ed Frawley DVDs, streams, and courses good through Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 11:59 PM CT