In order to achieve the United States Police Canine Association's Police Dog II, or Tracking Certification, an officer and his/her canine must score a minimum of 130 (70%) out of a possible total of 180 at a regionally sanctioned USPCA trial. This test is comprised of a three legged track, 150 to 300 yards in total length. The age of the track must be at least 30 minutes old but not exceed one hour. The following paragraphs provide an overview of the Rules & Regulations for Police Dog II/Tracking Certification. Click to download a complete copy of the PDII/Tracking Rules & Regulations.
Somewhere on each leg an article of evidence will be dropped by the track layer. These articles will be selected from the articles used for the Police Dog I Certification Trial, i.e., a shotgun shell, key on a ring, credit card, etc. At the end of the track an end article will concealed. This end article will be determined by the testing region prior to the test. Some examples are a towel or a tennis ball. There will also be a cross track laid over the initial track within 15 minutes of the start of the initial track to introduce contamination.
The team will be brought to the start of the track and given an area 10 feet wide to find the beginning of the track. From that point on they will be judged on the dogs ability to follow the track and locate each of the leg articles and the end article. There is no time limit for this test. However, the judges will conclude the test if the team has stopped working or is obviously unsuccessful.
For officers who have certified PDII/Tracking, and who live in rural areas, an additional certification known as Police Dog IIX, or Tracking Certification Exceptional is often available. This test is basically the same as the PDII/Tracking test but with the total length expanded to between 1/2 mile to 1 mile. There will also be five legs, four turns, two types of surfaces to cross (asphalt, concrete, grass, etc.), two cross tracks, and must age between 1 and 2 hours. The minimum score for this certification is 190 points out of a total of 270.
For the dates, times and locations of upcoming Police Dog I Certification Trials please check our Calendar of Events page.