This test is to determine the dog’s ability to detect explosive odors, proper indication, and the ability of the handler and canine to work together as a team. It is the handler’s responsibility to identify when the canine is in “odor” and when the canine had “indicated” properly, prior to rewarding the canine. The Master Trainer will use “reasonable judgment” when determining if the team is at “source” based on placement of the explosive odor (“aid” will be used interchangeably with explosive odor), wind current, and substance/aid weight. Prior to starting a search the testing team will be briefed by the Master Trainer on the search area, starting point and expectations of the team.

All training aids will be provided by the hosting organization, and will be handled with extreme care. All aids will be placed by the Master Trainer or designated assistant. Testing detection teams may be tested on at least one (1) odor from each of the first seven (7) categories. Category 8, Peroxides, may be added to the testing area as long as properly handled by an Expert in this field and approved by the Master Trainer. Each aid will be at least ½ pound except for the Peroxides which will be smaller and noted. Aids must be set at least thirty (30) minutes prior to testing. Pseudo explosive odor aids will NEVER be utilized for testing purposes.

Explosive Odor/Aid Categories

  1. Black or Smokeless Powders
  2. TNT
  3. Commercial Dynamite
  4. C-4, Flex-X, or Data Sheet, (PETN/RDX), Semtex
  5. Det-Cord, Safety Fuse
  6. Slurries or Water Gels
  7. Chlorates/Nitrates, Prills
  8. Peroxides

The testing detection team cannot “miss” any of the training aids or falsely indicate during any phase of the certification. The canine cannot show any aggression towards the training aid; such as biting, or scratching. Any aggression will count as a failure for that phase. The certification is a “pass or fail test”. If a team fails at any phase only that phase will need to be retaken.

The testing area is solely at the discretion of the testing Master Trainer. Testing must be conducted in at least two (2) of the seven (7) approved areas.

Approved Testing Areas

  1. Open Area
  2. Buildings (Interior and/or Exterior)
  3. Vehicles or Watercraft
  4. Aircraft
  5. Baggage or Luggage
  6. Commercial Carriers (Mass Transit)
  7. People

Open Area

May consist of large open rooms, such as a warehouse; exterior of buildings, open fields or wooded areas. The size of the area to be searched is at the discretion of the Master Trainer. The training aid may be placed below the surface or as high as ten (10) feet.


Will be any enclosed structure with at least four (4) rooms. Not more than one (1) aid will be placed in a room and at least two (2) rooms will be “clean”. The size of the building and rooms is at the discretion of the Master Trainer. The handler must not move, open, or disturb any portion of the structure. The training aids may be placed from the floor to a height of ten (10) feet.


Searches shall be conducted on no less than five (5) vehicles. No more than one (1) training aid will be on a vehicle at a time. Training aids may be placed on the interior, exterior, under the hood or under the vehicle, and must not be accessible to the canine. There will be a minimum of one (1) clean vehicle in the search area.


Searches may be conducted on the interior and or the exterior, depending on the size and availability of aircraft. One (1) or more training aids may be placed on or in the aircraft based on size and at the discretion of the Master Trainer. The handler must not open any cabin or compartment at any time.

Baggage or Luggage

Searches must consist of no fewer than eight (8) suitcases, briefcases, duffle bags, backpacks, or purses. The baggage or luggage may be hard or soft sided, made of plastic, leather, nylon, cloth, aluminum, etc. There shall not be more than two (2) training aids for every eight (8) articles to be searched. The handler will not open, handle, or disturb the baggage or luggage at any time.

Commercial Carriers

Carriers may consist of ships, trains, buses, tractor-trailers, etc. The number of training aids on or in each carrier will depend on the size and availability and at the discretion of the Master Trainer. The training aid may be placed on the interior or exterior of the carrier. The handler will not open any cabin or compartment at any time.


This test will be offered to those Teams “trained” to locate substances on people. The Handler will advise the Master Trainer of their training. There will be at least four (4) people in a designated area with one (1) person having the substance on their person or in a designated container approved by the Master Trainer. The Handler will advise what they are trained to do, i/e people moving, stationary, crowd, etc., to the Master Trainer.

Any urinating/defecating in training or testing area and/or around a “hide” is immediate grounds for failure!

Certificate valid as long as member in good standing, per Departmental Policy or State requirements, for maximum of 2 years.