includes the dog being trained to detect marijuana and
cocaine (including hashish and crack) with an aggressive
alert. Other substances may be added at an additional
charge. A narcotic detection dog may be a Belgian
Malinois, Dutch or German Shepherd, Labrador or retriever
The training period lasts for eight to twelve weeks. After passing a preliminary test, our dogs are put through a two weeks period of marijuana scent association and development of an aggressive alert, while we are further evaluating their drives. We prefer the aggressive alert as we feel the dogs learn to better pinpoint the source of odor and it is not as easy for an inexperienced handler to pull the dog out of the scent cone as with a passive alert dog. Your handler will be taught to read the dog's indication through his change of breathing and body posture in addition to the actual scratch indication. In training, the scratch is a release for the dog and is fun. However, by learning to read the dog, the handler is able to see the alert prior to the actual scratch and pull the dog back when scratching is not desired (as in a real search situation).
Once the dog has mastered the scent association and alert he is then taught search patterns. When the search patterns are mastered, other substances are introduced. The dogs are worked in different buildings and on a variety of types of vehicles, such as various styles of sedans, a school bus, a livestock trailer, a tractor-trailer and a camper. They are also taken to the highway to be worked around traffic.
Once the dog has completed his training, the handler will go through an intensive handler's course (two weeks minimum) with his new partner. Any capable handler desiring extra time will be given that time at no extra charge. We will help the Department in the selection of their handler and will keep them posted as to his progress and suitability. We are usually able to set up a certification with an outside national organization at the end of the course.
After the handler's course, the sale includes ten days of follow up training within the first year after the sale of the dog. This may be used as the handler sees fit (once a week, once a month, or one or two weeks at a time). The only restrictions are that it may not be used during a seminar or for the transfer training of the dog from one handler to another.
Course Outline: Narcotic Detection Training
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