The Certification Process
Working K-9s are considered Certified when an expert in the field of working dogs tests the K-9 to industry standards. If and when the dog passes all the exams, then the expert gives a written statement stating what the dog can do. In some cases, the handler and the dog are tested, and certified, together as a team.
There are literally dozens of certifying associations and organizations that will certify working dogs. Some of these organizations certify only Police Work Dogs, and some will certify both Police Work Dogs and Civilian Work Dogs.
As a recognized expert on dog training, Stephen B. Phillips can Certify K-9 teams based on Nationally accepted standards.
Steve trains K-9s for both Law Enforcement and private detection work. He is also the author of a Narcotics Detection Dog training manual that is used as a guide for canine handlers. As a K-9 training expert, Steve can certify K-9s on his own and can issue certificates for both the K-9 and handler. The standards that Steve uses for certification exceed the minimum standards for many of the existing certifying associations.
K-9s in training go through a rigorous eight to ten week training program before being assigned to a handler. The handler must then go through eight weeks of training as well under the Training Consultant's supervision.