Candidate Apprenticeship
The missing pet industry has been fraught by a lack of licensing, certification and accountability for several years. Fraught by both inexperienced amateurs who mean well and purported experts spouting theory as fact, individuals and families with missing pets have had to sift through the cavalcade of information as they attempt to figure out what to do as they suffer through the crisis of a four pawed family member gone missing.  Add to this the legions of scams and hoaxes aimed at the grieving and panicked, and you will understand why we as professionals want to insure that those who choose to do this much needed work are ethical, competent and knowledgeable. For the reasons mentioned, our evaluations and certifications are meant to encourage and empower compassionate professionals who will passionately work towards the recovery of the missing and lost.

Getting started... by invitation from another MASDN professional
The Candidate's Apprenticeship 
Evaluation and the basic skills necessary to begin scent work 

Once an invitation has been extended and reviewed, the potential K9 Handler candidate must complete an evaluation and basic introduction with a MASDN recognized Trainer or Instructor. Basic skills necessary include but are not limited to:

  • Evaluation and suitability of the candidate and their canines(s) to do the work
  • Basic management of their dog or dog team
  • Preparations necessary to begin tracking work 
  • Basic handling techniques
  • Completion of a solid alert or behaviour 

 Once the Candidate Apprentice has successfully completed this short course of training, they are eligible to begin training as a K9 Handler specializing in missing animals. Participation in MASDN is by invitation and approval by the MASDN Advisory Council. The invitation and MASDN application will generally come from the trainer or instructor who will give their recommendation that the Candidate be considered for training and participation in the network.