Smith Pak Working Dogs

Rock Solid Dogs

Our K9 Handlers Course

The Handler Course is a 4-week course of specialized instruction, designed to provide the K9 handler with with a highly trained canine well versed in all detection related tasks. This course emphasizes instruction in either explosive or narcotic detection. Upon graduation of this course, the K9 Team will successfully complete a rigorous evaluation; receive a certificate of completion; and have the opportunity for third party nationally accredited certification.
K9 Handlers Course Syllabus

1. Basic Care
A. Kennel Sanitation/Maintenance
B. K9 First Aid
C. K9 Nutrition
D. Safety


2. Obedience
A. Verbiage
B. Use of Equipment
C. Reward and Correction
D. Testing & Selection for Potential
E. Puppy Temperament Testing
F. Practical Obedience Training

3. Drive Training
A. Drives & Drives Development
B. Prey Drive Development
C. Defensive Drive Development
D. Drive Channeling

4. Protection Training
A. Apprehension
B. Handler Defense
C. Out & Guard
D. Transports
E. Multiple Suspects
F. Passive Apprehensions
G. Call Back & Call Off’s
H. Types of Searches
i. Building
ii. Vehicle
iii. Area

5. Tracking/Trailing
A. Types of Tracking Dogs
B. Reading Dog’s Indicators
C. Weather Influences
D. Accelerants
E. Hunt Drive Shaping
F. Beginning Trails/Tracks
G. Scent Articles
H. Corners
I. Split Trails & Cross Tracks/Trail


6. Scent Work
A. Scent Theory
B. Narcotics & Explosives Detection
• Training Aids: Preparation & Storage
• Alerts: Aggressive & Passive
• Search Patterns
• Scent Discrimination: The Multiple Imprint
• Separation
• Search Techniques
• Problem Solving
• Advanced Detection Issues
• Interdiction
• Types of Searches
i. Area
ii. Vehicle
iii. Luggage
iv. Building


7. Decoy Training (if applicable)
A. Sleeve Work
B. Bite Suit
C. Hidden Sleeve, Muzzle Work and Civil Protection