Basic Police Trailing Handler’s Course


Week 1 – 2  (100 hours)

* Order of events may or may not be conducted in the order of this form.  Order of training is determined by the ability levels of the handler and K9.  Training components are not mandatory and may be adjusted or deleted as determined by the agency.  Removal or addition of any part of .

Basic First Aid

  • Normal Vitals for Your K9 (Temperature, Capillary Refill/Reflex, Pulse, Repertory Rate, and Hydration)
  • Shock – Symptoms, Stages, and Treatment
  • Wounds and Bleeding – Triage and Treatment
  • Fractures/Suspected Fractures – Symptoms, Treatment, and Splinting
  • Emergency and Trauma
  • Snake Bites
  • Stings
  • Heat Exhaustion/Stroke – Symptoms and Treatment
  • Bloat
  • Poison/Overdose – Symptoms and treatment
  • First Aid/Overdose Kit – Contents and Usage


  • Proper Diet (Food, Weight, and Amount)
  • Bloat – Ways to try and prevent.

Kennel Care

  • Cleaning
  • Size
  • How Long


  • Bathing
  • Brushing
  • Nails


  • How to determine what is best
  • Proper use of the pinch collar, remote collar, and harness

Basic Obedience

  • Obedience – Why is it important?
  • Proper Correction, Motivation, and Praise
  • Hand Signals
  • Heel, Sit/Stay, Down/Stay on Leash
  • Practical Test will be given at the end of this week.  Handler must show proficiency in Basic obedience skills


  • Trailing vs. Tracking
  • Scent Theory
  • Courtroom Testimony

Field Training

  • Human scent detection, collection and preservation
  • Environmental and human impact on scent
  • Standard trailing equipment for the dog and handler
  • Basic dog reading 101- trailing dogs body language
  • Basic trail laying- what you want from an assistant
  • Scenting your dog and starting the trail
  • Long lead handling
  • Various soft surface trailing and the “alphabet”
  • High and hidden finds
  • Motivation for detector and protections style K-9’s
  • The effect of age on a trail
  • Reading and correcting animal and human distraction; basic training
  • Scent discrimination basic training, one to two distraction people at PLS

Basic Trailing Evaluation

  • K9 Team must pass evaluation by Georgia K9 Trainers

*** A 60 question written exam will be given at some point int he middle of the course. 80% correct is passing rate.

K9 University Exam 1