Patrol K9 Trainer’s Course


This course is designed to train the trainer

Primary Trainer: Jeff Schettler

Jeff Schettler is a retired police K9 handler who worked for the City of Alameda and County of Amador in California and was attached to the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Teams’ K9 Assistance Program for two years. This program was designed to locate and apprehend high-risk fugitives on the run. Jeff has worked hundreds of trailing cases across the USA and is a specialist in the areas of tactical tracking applications. Schettler is a certified military trainer graduating from the prestigious US Army’s Leadership Academy also known as Drill Sergeant School.

Jeff’s work has been seen on CNN, ABC, CBS, Unsolved Mysteries, and Mythbusters. He is considered an expert witness in tracking/ trailing. Jeff is the author of four books on K9 Tracking Work published by Alpine Publications and writes for K9 Cop Magazine.

Red Dog Rising– A K9 Tracking Autobiography
K9 Trailing; The Straightest Path Book 1– A primer on starting a K9 team on human scent discrimination and trailing work.
K9 Trailing; Tactical Tracker Teams Book 3 – A practical guide to surviving high risk fugitive manhunts.
K9 Trailing; Advanced Urban Book 2 – Working a trailing/ tracking dog in the concrete jungle. (forthcoming)


Group Training:

Standard price for 6 Handlers is $4500 per team for a 4 week course; lodging not included.

  • Lodging for two on site is $75 per day in private handler’s quarters. First come first serve.
  • Lodging for four off site at our Edisto Beach lease is $65 per night per handler and K9. Distance from facility is approximately 6 miles
  • Lodging includes kenneling for K9


Private Training:

Edisto Island Training Handler's House
The price for a four-week course with one dog and handler is $13,600.00.

  • You can add a second handler for this price.
  • Lodging is included in our private handlers quarters complete with private kitchen and bath. WiFi and Satellite TV on site. Meals not included.

Edisto, Handler’s Cabin and Location Information

Training is five eight-hour days per week with weekends off.   Pick up and drop off from Charleston Intl is available.


Basic Course Outline – Advanced/ On and Off Lead Obedience Course Throughout 4-week Training Program


  • Basic K9 Behavior
  • Balanced Training Techniques
  • Equipment: Pinch collar, patrol lead, long lead, remote collar
  • Training for real life situations
  • Control in apprehension and protection scenarios

Practical Test will be given at the end of this week.  Handler must show proficiency in advanced obedience skills

Student will work with a company K9 and bring it through advanced, on and off lead obedience. Student must pass advanced off lead obedience test with the K9 he or she trained.


Week 1-2 80 Hours – Narcotics Course


Scent Theory and a dogs sense of smell

  • What can your K9 do?
  • Training Records and Courtroom testimony

Safety/First Aid

Basic Narcotics Detection

  • Scent Association
  • Primary vs. Secondary Rewards
  • Alert (Passive/Aggressive)

Search Strategy

  • Preparation/Equipment
  • Search Strategy – Building
  • Search Strategy – Vehicles
  • Luggage/Package
  • Area Search

Problem Solving

  • Distraction Training
  • Environmental Training
  • False Alerts?

Maintenance Training

Narcotics Evaluation

  • K9 Team must pass evaluation by Georgia K9 Trainers Certification upon completion.

Week 3-4 – 80 Hours – Intermediate Trailing Course


  • 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 Trainers Evaluation

  • K9 Team must pass evaluation by Georgia K9 Trainers Certification upon completion.