Certifications for Missing Dogs

All participants in the network agree to adhere to a strict Code of ethics and  to certify and work within the guidelines and limitations of their certifications, expertise and status.

 For each certification, all K9 Handlers must:

  • Complete Education & Training Classes for that certification
  • Complete and pass on location testing with their dog or dog team for each certification pursued


The Candidates Evaluation and Basic Training
The basic skills necessary to begin scent work 

Before beginning to train for this type of scent work, each candidate must complete an evaluation and basic introduction that includes but is 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 


Apprentice I SSD
Scene, Sightings & Discovery 

Upon completion of a course of study specific to missing and lost animals, the K9 handler and dog team must:

  • Provide proof of completion of an approved curriculum based on missing dog basics and behaviorLead dog Cade scans for scent.
  • With 100% accuracy, the K9 Handler and dog or team must be able to perform three scent discrimination exercises in a testing environment similar to real world case situations.
  • The K9 Handler and dog team must be able to locate a subject within a specified distance in a specific length of time on an aged trail


Apprentice II 
Basic tracking, trailing and scent work 

The K9 Handler and dog or dog team must:
Scent specific tracking dog is presented with a scent article.
  • Have completed and successfully achieved  SSD certification and met the standards
  • K9 Handler and team must complete three exercises based on CaseWork Scenarios of varying distances within specific time frames and be able to explain each scenario and situation.
  • K9 Handler must successfully follow an aged trail and locate a subject placed one half mile from the point of escape.

K9 Handler Specialist 
Advanced tracking, trailing and scent work necessary for the Roaming Dog Scenario

Field Agent Tressa English and Nico 

Upon completion of a course of study specific to the roaming dog, the K9 handler and dog team must: 

  • The K9 Handler and dog team must work a mock case based on the Roaming Dog Scenario
  • The K9 handler must exhibit knowledge of case work and proceed with specific tracking techniques necessary to locate the dog in the quickest amount of time with the least expense to the mock client.
  • The real world roaming dog scenario will include aged trails of at least 7 days as well as sightings, perimeter/boundary work and scent discrimination techniques necessary to move the case forward. 


Sanctioned Professional
Success and Proficiency in all aspects of the Missing Dog Scenarios and Casework

K9 Handler Jennifer Stephenson and Journey

Upon completion of a course of study specific to missing dogs, the K9 handler must:

  • Have satisfactorily completed a substantial number of successful cases that can be individually verified with the pet owner by the certification commission.
  • Case logs, mapping and follow-up must be initiated, completed and presented to the certification commission.
  • The K9 handler must have completed all evaluations and certifications for the specialty they work within.


Addition Levels of Certification are available.