1. K-9 INDICATION OF TRAIL LAYER FIND
The handler will articulate how his K-9 indicates on or identifies the person being trailed, prior to starting the K-9 on the exercise or trail.
If the indication cannot clearly be seen, or the indication is done naturally by the dog and has to be read by the handler, or the examiners feel the indication may cause confusion; the exercise or trail will require at least one decoy, but no more than two decoys, standing approximately 10 feet from the trail layer. The handler will run the trail blind, not knowing which subject is being trailed. Upon completing the exercise or trail the handler must correctly inform the examiners which person his dog trailed.
If the indication is one that is considered traditional or standard, or one that does not appear to be a concern and is easily read; the exercise may only have the trail layer at the end with no decoys. The handler may not prompt, entice, or influence the dog to indicate, either verbally or by any other means. If a question arises to whether the handler had to prompt, entice or influence the dog, a trail similar to the one cited for a nontraditional indication will have to be completed, to ensure the K-9 is capable of indicating on the person it trailed.
Some may wonder since they only use their dogs in SAR operations and are always given a complete description of the missing person why this component should be considered necessary. Although care is taken while collecting a scent article, one should never be fully confident that the scent the dog takes off of the article belongs to the person being sought. That confidence is only gained by observing the behavior of the dog after it is scented then forming a hypothesis of the quality of the scent article based on that behavior. It has also occurred in cases where the dog handler presented an article which was thought to ensure a missing child was being followed when in fact the murderer of the child was the one being followed. Through the dog’s ability to identify a fellow searcher or family member that had inadvertently touched the scent article and been out searching is critical to the overall evaluation of the search behavior of the dog itself there-by allowing the scent article to be evaluated and of course as alluded to in criminal cases the dog identifying or not identifying a perpetrator has obvious implications.
2. ABILITY TO STOP OR REST K-9
While following a trail of undetermined age and distance, the handler will stop his dog and simulate resting in some fashion. The time frame the dog will be held will not be under 2 minutes and will not exceed 5 minutes. The area the dog is stopped may contain moderate contamination. The moderate contamination may consist of some people unrelated to the exercise walking through and around the stopping area. The stopping area may consist of any type ground surface i.e. grass, asphalt, concrete or a combination of different surfaces. The dog must demonstrate the ability to recover the trail without having the scent article presented a second time.
This portion is giving because at some point while working a case it is very probable the dog is going to have to be stopped. This could be due to many factors including answering radio enquiries as to your position and what your dog is doing at that moment to quickly interviewing a potential witness. We want to see if the dog has the focus on its job to restart the trail when given the command to do so.
3. ABILITY OF K-9 TO DETERMINE DIRECTION OF TRAVEL and IF THE K-9 HAS A TRAIL
A trail layer will leave an area of moderate contamination and walk an undetermined distance. The trail will be aged between 4 to 12 hours. The moderate contamination may consist of some people unrelated to the exercise walking through and around the starting area, or at a time which will make their scent fresher than the scent of the trail layer. The starting area may consist of any type of ground surface i. e. grass, asphalt, concrete or a combination of different surfaces.
The distance walked shall be long enough for a competent K-9 team to establish
1) A trail leaves the area
2) The direction the trail is heading
The K-9 team may or may not have a find at the end of this exercise, depending on whether the exercise is done in combination with the trail evaluation exercise, the vehicle pickup evaluation or done solely to determine the ability it was designed to test.
If no find is made, the handler must articulate to the evaluation team whether or not it even had a trail and/or indicate the direction of travel of the trail.
The most critical portion of any mantrailing team’s job is the start or determining the correct direction of travel. In criminal cases, it will start providing the information or filling in the pieces of the puzzle that may be critical to the investigation or arrest. The mantrailing team should view themselves as a spoke in the investigation wheel.
4. ABILITY TO IDENTIFY NO TRAIL IN AREA (“NSI” – No Scent Identification)
The dog team will be given a bad or false scent article and a starting area of moderate contamination. The moderate contamination may consist of some people unrelated to the exercise walking through and around the starting area. The starting area may consist of any type ground surface i. e. grass, asphalt, concrete or a combination of different surfaces.
The dog handler will scent his dog and determine and articulate to the evaluation team if a trail of the scent presented to his dog is in the area.
In many investigations, the NSI is an important tool, whether it is a false report of a crime, placing a suspect at the crime scene or in a missing person’s investigation where a clue was located by a different search team (i.e. ground pounders, line searchers, air scent dogs). The ability to correctly identify that no trail of a presented scent is in the area could/should be essential to any investigation where the assistance of a dog team is requested. Although the Institute’s training method brings a quick response, a dog team not trained in INBTI’s method may still attempt this component as long as the handler can give a definitive answer that the scent is not present and that answer can be given within a hundred yards or so from the starting point. If the attempt goes beyond that distance, but the correct answer is given a note will be written on the evaluation that it is the Institute’s recommendation that the component be trained on more thoroughly.
5. ABILITY TO TRAIL
The K-9 team will successfully demonstrate the ability to follow a trail between 4 to 12 hours old. The trail will be approximately ¼ to ½ mile in distance. The trail will be laid out to cover multiple surfaces or changes of vegetation, in an area where contamination by people unrelated to the exercise is expected. Understanding how a trailing K-9 works, there will be no particular consideration given concerning the distance the K-9 works from the actual track. The evaluators will not give any assistance concerning how to work out a problem, nor will they reassure the handler in any manner. There will be no specific time limit on this exercise and it will not be stopped unless; the evaluators determine the dog has shut down or quit working and/or the K-9 team has completely left the area of the actual track with no indication of recovering.
Obviously, we want to watch the dog and handler work as a team on an unknown trail. The differential in the time a trail may be aged is designed to allow the Institute some flexibility when trying to evaluate multiple dogs at one workshop. Under no circumstances will multiple dogs be evaluated on or work the same trail. The distance is a reasonable one that will/could be encountered while working cases and one that gives some consistency and fairness to the process. Every trail is unique within itself, meaning many things that will be encountered by one dog team will not necessarily be encountered by another dog team in the same type of terrain with the same age on it. The longer the trail, the more distractions will be encountered meaning the evaluations may end up being totally unfair just because of the greater distance. We placed the wording about the distance from the actual walked path of the trail layer because some organizations have failed some trailing K-9 teams because the behavior of the dog was not consistent with what may be expected of a “K-9 tracking” team.
6. ABILITY TO CAST FOR A START OF A TRAIL
Dog team must demonstrate the ability to cast for a trail, have the dog indicate on the trail and follow it with or without using a scent article. The time this exercise ages will be undetermined and may be coupled with other components of the evaluation.
The length of the cast shall be no shorter than 30 yards and need be no greater than 80 yards. The area shall have no known contamination of recent human scent except for the trail layer used for the exercise. The ground surface shall be natural vegetation i.e. grass, leaves, or dirt or a combination of such surfaces.
If this exercise is done independently and not in combination with other components of the evaluation, the handler will notify the evaluation team when his dog has hit or found a trail and indicates a direction of travel.
Here it was felt that a dog team may encounter cases or situations where the dog team may have to determine if an individual had been through a specific area. It can be used to eliminate a direction of travel away from the PLS (place last seen) accomplished by stepping away from the missing child’s or suspect’s home and casting to determine if they went in that direction. This would allow the investigation to become focused or kept in an unknown but different direction. The ability may also be used to substantiate the claims of a suspect that he had been out searching for the missing child when in fact he had never been in the area he/she claimed to have searched. In either case, it should be easy to understand why this skill was included in our testing. If a dog team can correctly identify when or if a trail has been encountered within the tested distance then they probably have the skill to cast longer if needed.
7. ABILITY TO DETERMINE VEHICLE PICK-UP
While successfully demonstrating the ability to follow a trail of undetermined age and distance through moderate contamination, the handler will identify the area the trail layer was picked up by a vehicle. The moderate contamination may consist of some people unrelated to the exercise walking through and around the trail at various points or times, which will make their scent fresher than the scent of the trail layer. The ground surface may consist of any type of road base i.e. gravel, asphalt, concrete or a combination of different surfaces.
The K-9 may stop trailing at the area of the vehicle pick-up, or the K-9 may continue following the trail layer’s scent beyond the point of the vehicle pick-up. No particular consideration will be given to either reaction, as long as the handler can determine the area of the vehicle pick-up.
In today’s age of cell phones and vehicles, a vast number of cases will result in a vehicle being involved in the case. It may be critical to the investigation that the point a vehicle pick-up or the subject entered a vehicle to drive away be identified. Those familiar with the Institute’s training understand we train for a clean identification of the point the vehicle was entered. Consideration needs to be given that not all dog teams that request INBTI’s evaluation will have trained to identify the spot so cleanly. That is why it is worded that no consideration will be given to the dog’s reaction as long as the handler can identify the area of the pick-up. A reasonable distance from the point the trail layer entered the vehicle is expected. If the handler cannot determine the area a vehicle was entered, a note will be made on the evaluation for the dog team to train on or strengthen that component.
8. OTHER REQUIREMENTS FOR AN INBTI CERTIFICATION
ORAL REVIEW BOARD
The oral review board section of the evaluation will have to be successfully completed during the initial or first time the handler is attempting an evaluation. All re-evaluations and/or subsequent evaluations with different K-9s will not require the handler to repeat the oral review board. The oral review board will consist of one lead or senior handler and at least two experienced handlers approved by The InterNational Bloodhound Training Institute.
ORAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1) The handler must articulate knowledge of the proper foundation needed to qualify as an expert in court, by answering questions posed by the oral review board. The proper foundation cited in the 29 American Jurisprudence 2d #575 will be used as the standard.
2) The handler must articulate basic knowledge of the theory of scent, by answering
questions posed by the oral review board.
3) The handler must articulate basic familiarization with the collection process of scent articles by answering questions posed by the review board.
COMPLIANCE OF FOUNDATIONAL REQUIREMENTS
The handler will demonstrate compliance with case law requiring proof the K-9 is trained, by displaying the training logs of the K-9 being evaluated to representatives of INBTI. In the event the handler has forgotten the training logbook of said K-9 and wishes to complete the evaluation, INBTI may waive the logbook requirement; if a waiver is signed stating logs are being maintained. Two trainers approved by the Institute will witness and sign the waiver.