Peace Officer Standards and Training Menu

In-Service Training – K-9 Program

CoverPic01Down MutleyGeneral Information:

The K-9 Program provides training and POST certification for Patrol, Narcotics, Cadaver, Explosives, SWAT, Search/Rescue, or Tracking/Trailing Dogs.  Training and certification standards are Reality -Based.  Handlers, Instructors, and Judges are trained simultaneously within each scheduled course.  Handler, Instructor, or Judge certifications are offered.  Courses are 8 weeks duration.  Dormitory rooms and an on-site kennel are available. No tuition is required for Utah officers.  Out-of-state officers pay a fee of $2,175.00 per course.


IMG_0575 edited websiteIMG_0589 edited websiteCourse Dates:

Patrol Dog:  15 Oct – 5 Dec 2019; 30 Mar – 21 May 2020; 13 Oct – 3 Dec 2020
Detector Dog:  15 Jul – 5 Sep 2019; 6 Jan – 27 Feb 2020; 13 Jul – 10 Sep 2020
SWAT Dog:  TBA
NEW!  K-9 Unit Manager:  Now on CD as a Home-Study Course … you may email a request to receive a CD to complete the course

Registration:

Click on the the Inquiry-Registration Packet link below or Contact Sgt. Wendell Nope via email at wnope@utah.gov or cell phone 801-209-5790.

K-9Program Inquiry-Registration Packet

The above link will take you to the course information/enrollment packet.

*** K-9 Program Frequently Asked Questions ***

Additional Information:

Listed below is additional  information. The details and links provide clarification for training protocols, certification standards and various documentation for each of the K-9 disciplines at Utah POST.


IMG_1490 edited websiteIMG_4060 editedPatrol Dogs:

Handlers, Instructors and Judges are trained concurrently during this course, although only one skill level may be enrolled in at a time.  During Patrol Dog training either or both of the two most common K-9 “capture” philosophies, FIND/BITE and FIND/BARK, may be taught (at the Handler’s option) to the same dog. The POST K-9 Program also teaches the DISENGAGE (shut-down) behavior to all Patrol Dogs, offering a “fail-safe” option in exigent circumstances. K-9 skills taught include: tracking/trailing of suspects/victims, criminal evidence recovery with a passive indication that does not contaminate the evidentiary value, obedience/agility and criminal apprehension. Dogs are also taught to discriminate between a fleeing or hostile suspect and a surrendering or innocent person.

Patrol Dog Training Records

Patrol Dog Certification Standards

Patrol Dog – Handler Control Grade Sheets


Drug Dogs:

Handlers, Instructors and Judges are trained concurrently during this course, although only one skill level may be enrolled in at a time.  The Drug Dog training protocol channels the K-9’s natural drives such that the K-9 perceives it is hunting simulated prey odors. K-9’s are also trained to bypass non-drug odors.  This process creates highly-motivated dogs that exercise sensitivity and discrimination of drug odors. Since the creation of the K-9 Program, over 24 billion dollars of illegal drugs have been seized by Utah POST K-9 graduates.

Narco Dog Training Records

Narco Dog Certification Standards

Narco Dog 2019 Certification Gradesheet


IMG_3814bJupp Cadaver 01Cadaver Dogs:

Handlers, Instructors and Judges are trained concurrently during this course, although only one skill level may be enrolled in at a time.  The Cadaver Dog training protocol channels the K-9’s natural drives such that the K-9 perceives it is hunting simulated prey odors. K-9’s are likewise trained to bypass non-human decomposed flesh. This process creates highly-motivated dogs that exercise extreme sensitivity and discrimination of decomposed human flesh odors.  Cadaver Dogs are deployed primarily in homicide investigations to find decomposed human tissue odor.

Cadaver Dog Training Records

Cadaver Dog Certification Standards

Cadaver Dog Certification Grade Sheets


IMG_9770 edited explo websiteIMG_9705 edited explo websiteBomb Dogs:

Handlers, Instructors and Judges are trained concurrently during this course, although only one skill level may be enrolled in at a time.  The Bomb Dog training protocol channels the K-9’s natural drives such that the K-9 perceives it is hunting simulated prey odors. This process creates highly-motivated K-9’s that exercise extreme sensitivity and discrimination of explosive odors. Bomb Dogs are deployed primarily for venue security during VIP visits or during bomb threats.

Bomb Dog Training Records

Bomb Dog Certification Standards

Bomb Dog Certification Grade Sheets


IMG_6630 edited swat websiteSWAT Dogs:STICK edited 2

Handlers, Instructors and Judges are trained concurrently during this course, although only one skill level may be enrolled in at a time.  The SWAT Dog training protocol channels the K-9’s natural drives such that the K-9 perceives it is functioning in a “pack” environment. This process creates highly-motivated K-9’s that are mentally-stable, yet highly-intense in the extremely fluid and unpredictable situations a SWAT Team encounters. SWAT Dogs are deployed primarily during incidents which have escalated to a point that conventional law enforcement practices are not sufficient to resolve the problem.

SWAT Dog Training Records

SWAT Dog Certification Standards

SWAT Dog Certification Grade Sheets


Search & Rescue Dogs:Eva PSAR Search 02Eva PSAR Search 01

Handlers, Instructors and Judges are trained concurrently during this course, although only one skill level may be enrolled in at a time.  The Search and Rescue Dog training protocol channels the K-9’s natural drives such that the K-9 perceives it is searching for a person who has its favorite toy. This process creates highly-motivated dogs that work intensely, even in unstable environments or when fatigued. Search and Rescue Dogs are deployed primarily in disaster situations or for finding lost persons.

PSAR Dog Training Records

PSAR Dog Certification Standards

PSAR Dog Certification Grade Sheets


casing 1aruger02Wildlife Detector Dogs:

Handlers, Instructors and Judges are trained concurrently during this course, although only one skill level may be enrolled in at a time.  The Wildlife Detector Dog (a.k.a. Game Dog) is a unique Detector Dog comparable in skill to a Drug Dog or Bomb Dog, with the exception that it focuses on animal odors chosen by the respective Agency.  Examples are Deer, Elk, Game Birds, etc.  Wildlife Detector Dogs are deployed primarily for Wildlife Management investigations or exotic animal smuggling.

Game Dog Training Records

Game Dog Certification Standards

Game Dog Certification Grade Sheets


POST Webpage Tracking 02Tracking Dogs:

Handlers, Instructors and Judges are trained concurrently during this course, although only one skill level may be enrolled in at a time.  The Tracking Dog variety of K-9 is sometimes referred to as a “Footstep Detector Dog” since it focuses on finding footsteps (ground disturbance) and not human odor. This produces highly-focused dogs that follow the exact path of a person, whether a lost victim or a criminal. Tracking Dogs are deployed primarily in investigations where the exact path of a person is critical to determine.

Police Tracking Dog Certification Standards

Police Tracking Dog (PFH) Certification Grade Sheets


Trailing Dog 01Trailing Dogs:

Handlers, Instructors and Judges are trained concurrently during this course, although only one skill level may be enrolled in at a time.  The Trailing Dog variety of K-9 focuses on finding human odor along the path of a person’s movements.   This produces highly-focused dogs that can rapidly locate a person, whether a lost victim or a criminal.   Tracking Dogs are deployed primarily in investigations wherein the a person needs to be located as quickly as possible and the actual footstep route is not critical.

Police Trailing Dog Certification Standards

Police Trailing Dog Certification Grade Sheets


K-9 Handler:

A properly trained and certified K-9 Handler is the “operator” of a highly-trained extremely sensitive law enforcement tool.  The US Supreme Court has said, “We are aware of no other investigative procedure that is so limited both in the manner in which the information is obtained and in the content of the information revealed by the procedure.”  (United States v. Place, 462 U.S. 696 (1983).  Tremendous responsibility and accountability rests upon the shoulders of K-9 Handlers of all disciplines.  The POST K-9 Program employs Reality-Based training and Single-Blind certification to assure that Handler skills are suitable for this critical function of law enforcement. A Handler student must attend with a K-9.


K-9 Instructor:

An Instructor acquires specific knowledge and develops skills necessary to train K-9’s and Handlers from entry level to certification.


K-9 Judge:Judge 02bombjudges

The integrity of the Police K-9 profession rests upon the shoulders of its Judges.  After intense scrutiny and evaluation, a K-9 Judge declares a K-9 and Handler to be streetworthy … if the skill-set is suitable.  The K-9 Program offers extensive and detailed training to student Judges, providing the skills necessary to perform this critical function.  The government certification a K-9 Judge receives from the K-9 Program is recognized nationally and internationally.