Training and Testing

Each SCK9SAR Dog Team participates in consistent and specifically designed training. Teams are regularly tested throughout the training process to monitor the dog’s temperament and the team’s proficiency. Both the dog and handler must complete a series of tasks designed to demonstrate the skills needed to be a Certified Dog Team ready to be deployed on an actual search. Once both dog and handler have completed all the prerequisites they may apply to take their certification test. Each certification test is designed to challenge the dog and handler with a real-life scenario. Both dog and handler must complete the certification test by locating their subject and notifying command base of their location with no assistance whatsoever. Even after becoming a certified K9 team, each team must retest regularly and train consistently with the unit in order to retain their certification.

Each SCK9SAR Technical Support (“Tech Support”) member-in-training participates in consistent training with the unit designed to teach skills needed to be a certified Tech Support member. Tech Support members must complete a series of tasks in order to demonstrate the ability to perform effectively with a Dog Team when deployed. Once completing the preliminary testing, Tech Support trainees are able to take a certification test in which they are deployed on a mock search with a certified Dog Team where they perform all the skills need when on an actual search. Once certified they accompany dog teams deployed on a search and provided necessary support for the team.