A.W.D. Patrol/Tracking

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

*** Please click here to find an American Working Dogs Certifying Official in your area.***


American Working Dog

Patrol Dog Certification Standards

Purpose: The safety of Law Enforcement Officers and the citizens they serve are of paramount importance. The purpose of the AWD Patrol Dog Certifications is to test the K-9 teams’ skill at performing actions that mirror the realities of the street, as well as examining the officers’ and dogs’ competence as a team. The American Working Patrol Dog Level one certification will test the dog’s most basic skills, and the handler must show he/ she can deploy and handle his/ her dog in a proficient manner. The American Working Patrol Dog Level ll certification shall test teams that aspire to a higher level of competence above and beyond the basic skills expected of a working patrol dog team.

Validations: The AWD certifying judge shall test and evaluate the k-9 team’s performance on the day of the test. The AWD certification does not validate a handler’s actions on the street, nor does it validate any agency’s policies, Sop’s or training regarding their Police K-9 program.

Testing: An American Working Dog Certification Judge will conduct All AWD certifications. A failure in any category of the testing constitutes an automatic failure for certification title. Any K-9 team that does not appear competent in the certifying official’s view constitutes an automatic failure regardless of the dog’s performance in the events.

The handler’s skill will also be scrutinized. If He/ She does not display that he/ she possesses the skills and knowledge to handle the dog in the presence of the official, this too shall be cause for automatic failure


Tracking Certification Standards

The Tracking Certifications Test will determine the reliability and proficiency of the canine to follow a track and locate a suspect

Surfaces may be but are not limited to the following areas or surfaces:

  1. Dirt
  2. Gravel
  3. Grass
  4. Pavement
  5. Woods or Forest
  6. Swamp

The track will be at least 30 minutes old before start of certification. There will be a minimum of two turns, at least one cross track and at least three surface changes. The length of the track will be a minimum of 800 yards and a maximum of 1,000 yards. The track should be laid consistent with a fleeing suspect. When the track stops, the person laying the track should be out of sight of the canine team.

The test should be set in an area or location similar to the working environment. The handler will be out of the area when the track is laid. The person laying the track should be unknown to the dog and follow the certifying official instructions.

At any time the certifying official may have to make changes due to circumstances beyond his or her control. For the team to be able to certify the canine must locate the suspect to the satisfaction of the certifying official

The certification will be valid for one (1) year.

If you fail the certification you may attempt again in thirty (30) days.