Advanced human Remains Detection

To be eligible to certify a K-9. You must be a full time paid law enforcement officer (Reserve officer), paid full time fire fighter, or in the military with assigned search and rescue duties, or state licensed private security company, or corrections officer, member of a Search and Rescue K9 Team, either local, state, federal or retired law enforcement or correctional officer in good standing with the state you worked for prior to retirement. Be a volunteer actively involved in Search and Rescue, Fire fighter or EMS team. The handler must be at least eighteen (18) years of age to certify with a K9.


ONLY Human remains will he used as aids. NO PSEUDO aids will be used to certify any team. Urine cannot be used as a fluid for certification. Only bone, fluid and body tissue shall be allowed.


Each handler is responsible for notifying the certifying official the type of alert (passive or aggressive) to expect. Handler must announce each canine alert to the certifying official either by lifting hand or stating to official.


   There must be at least a 30 minute set time for each aid. Certifying official will dictate how long the aid will need to sit based on the given environment. The team will be allowed the necessary time required to do a systemic search of the area based on the size of the search area presented. The handler may request a rest break if the canine tires or shows signs of heat exhaustion.


At least one hide of animal remains will be placed in one or more of the search areas. A Final Indication (alert called by handler) on animal remains results in a failed certification. Handler CAN NOT walk up to source and confirm type of bone (human or animal) before calling alert. Canine is working odor not handler!!

Consumption of any aid will result in a failure.

The second alert on a non-hide location or a second missed hide results in a failure. (alert called by handler).

The canine marking / urinating on hide (AID) will result in failure.

The handler should make effort to not let the canine urinate on the crime scene. No use of electronic collars or correction type collars shall be used during testing. Handler must maintain verbal or physical control of canine at all times.

Vehicle search

 2 sets of vehicles (7 vehicles in each set) shall be put in place a specific distance by the evaluator. The distance or placement of the vehicles shall be set to not allow odor of a hide to blow over to the opposite set of vehicles, but weather conditions may be a factor. The set of cars to start from will be selected at random. Only 1 odor/hide will be placed on the exterior of a vehicle. The amount will not be any larger than 28 oz. of source but shall be larger than trace amount.

  Hide will be placed where handler cannot see hide. This is to mimic as if the vehicle has been cleaned after an incident. As normal, handler must call canines alert at location of hide. Only 2 passes will be allowed around each set of vehicles. Meaning, a high search and low search of each individual car or around each vehicle 2 times at the handler’s choice. Once the 2 passes are complete around vehicles you are done with that section of vehicles. There will be a 15 minute time limit. A miss or a called false alert is considered a failure for this section. Running out of time is a failure.

Building Search

   Handler must break dog before entering working area. A total of 6 to 7 medium to large rooms will be selected for this portion of testing. No more than 2 hides shall be used. The size of the hides will not be larger than 28 oz. or less. Teams must complete all rooms with a total of 20 minutes search allotment. Hides maybe at random or placed in the same room. At least 1 hide must be located to continue testing. A false alert called by the handler will be considered a failure for this section.

Open Field Search

  A minimum of 6 acres and up to 10 acres in total shall be used for this portion of the advanced testing. It may be broken down into 2 sections based on location or testing conditions. Only 1 area shall have the hides placed, leaving the other section blank. 2 hides will be used for this test. Odor source maybe bone, but shall be a large source/hide of bone in one area. The amount of bone shall contain no more than a two foot area of scattered bone.

  Understanding the concerns of odor of bone is for the size of area of the placement of bone and amount to be used shall be reasonable based on history articulated bone searches in North America. The bone hide will not be covered or concealed but may be placed in a wooded area. The other hides maybe but not limited to wet bone and/or human tissue. Sources will be a fair amount based on search history in North America. These hides may be lightly concealed so that handler may not see source/hide. At least one source/hide of animal remains will be placed in one of the search areas.

A total search time for each area will be up to 1 hour each. If the search areas are split into 2 areas, the area to start shall be selected at random. If 1 search area is set up, then the canine team can have up to 2 hours to complete search and must still locate at least 1 source/hide to complete. If total time expires without a find this will be considered a failure. If a false alert is called by the handler, it will considered a miss and result in failure. Total times are up to the discretion of the evaluator.

  If an alert is called on animal remains will result in a failed certification. The handler must show proficiency in reading the body language of the canine while searching. Wind direction and speed must be taken into account. If it is clear to the evaluator that the canine is not working odor or handler is not properly reading the canine, the evaluator may stop the test. The canine marking/urinating on source/hide will result in failure. No use of electronic collars shall be used during testing. GPS collars may be used if approved by the evaluator before testing has started. Handler must maintain verbal or physical control of canine at all time.