A.W.D. Explosive

American Working Dogs was founded by handler's throughout the United States and now around the world to offer another practical avenue to certify their K9 teams.

The canine team shall be evaluated by an approved K-9 team evaluator prior to general law enforcement deployment and at least once annually. If the canine team fails the testing, they may re-test after a 24 hour period. Certifications are good for a period of 1 year from the date of testing. Certification Forms and copies of the Certificate are property of AWD and shall be kept on file by AWD

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Explosive Detection Certification Standards

The Explosive Detection Certification Test will determine the reliability and proficiency of the Canine Team.


The Canine Teams will certify in the following areas:

  1. Building
  2. Vehicles
  3. Boxes or Luggage
  4. Open Area

The Canine Teams will certify with the following odors:

  1. C-4
  2. TNT
  3. Smokeless Powder
  4. Black Powder
  5. Sodium
  6. Potassium
  7. Detonation Cord
  8. Anfo
  9. Ken-Pac


Only 3 certifying odors will be used in each of the certifying areas making sure all odors are used at least one time during the certification in one of the areas. The handler will be notified of the number of aids to locate prior to the start.

The canine team will have 10 minutes to search and locate the aids placed in each area. Once the handler feels that all the aids have been successfully located they may move on to the next testing area and the 10 minute time limit will start over.

The Explosive Aids used for testing will be a minimum of ¼ pound each and there will be no maximum size limit except detonation cord which will be a minimum of 15’ in length with no maximum length.

All aids must be placed 30 minutes prior to testing. The aid will not be hidden in an area where direct contact can be made by the canine.

For certification the canine team can not miss any of the aids placed in any of the testing areas. They must successfully locate all nine (9) odors to pass.

The canine team can only have one (1) non-productive response during the certification. After the second the certification will be terminated.

The canine handler is required to identify and call out a positive alert by the canine.

Building searches can consist of one large room or several smaller rooms to search but the boundaries of the entire search area must be shown to the handler prior to the start. The handlers will not be informed of the non-productive or blank areas within the boundaries of the search. At least one area will be left blank and free of aids.

Vehicle searches will have a minimum of six (6) vehicles and a maximum of ten (10) to be searched. Only 3 aids will be placed, one per vehicle. The handler will not be advised of the non-productive or blank vehicles. The handlers shall avoid allowing the canines to put there paws on or jumping on the vehicles unless the certifying official directs you to an area of a vehicle that is allowed such as larger vehicles, trailers or truck beds. In most cases the aids will not be placed high enough where the canine will have to jump up onto the vehicles.

Luggage and box searches will have a minimum of 10 articles and a maximum of 20 articles to be searched. There will be one (1) Aid placed in an article. Three (3) productive articles in this test. Non-productive articles will not be shown to the handlers prior to the search. Articles will be placed so the canine team has room to move around each article. The handler can not touch any of the articles before or during the canine search.

Open Area searches can be tested in Industrial, Wooded or Residential Areas with a search environment with ample area between the three (3) aids placed. The aids will not be placed any higher then six (6) feet above the ground and no more then one (1) foot below the grounds surface. If the weather or the environment is determined by the certifying official to be a hazard the open area search can be considered an optional search but must be noted in the canine teams certifying records.

The certification will be terminated and the canine team will NOT certify if at any time the canine becomes aggressive toward the aid or gives an aggressive response. The ruling of the certifying official is final.

The certification will be valid for one (1) year for the date of issuance.

All certification records will be kept on file and are the property of American Working Dog.

If you fail to certify you may attempt to certify again in 30 days.