RE-CERTIFICATION

I. General Description of Re-certifications

In order to encourage currently certified dog / handler teams to expand the breadth of their training, alternative mission readiness evaluations (MREs) may be used to re-certify teams. These re-certifications cannot be used to establish the initial mission readiness of a team. Alternative MREs for re-certification are available for tracking / trailing and air scent.

II. Eligibility

To be eligible to request an alternative MRE, the dog / handler team must be currently certified for the particular specialty (tracking / trailing, air scent (scent generic), air scent (scent specific) and have demonstrated consistent attendance at practices. The board will review attendance records and other service to the team, as well as dog/handler training and competency, to determine eligibility.

III. Alternative MREs

1. Tracking/trailing MREs

a) Night tracking / trailing - The MRE will consist of a 20-24 minute long track, aged at least 2 hours. There will be three articles, spaced at 5 to 6 minute intervals. The articles will be larger items, hats, t-shirts, etc., so that they may be more easily seen at night. In order to maintain the safety of the subject, the subject will be accompanied by another person or dog. The MRE will be conducted between the period 30 minutes after sundown to 30 minutes before sunup. The track may be laid prior to sundown. A practical limitation for the search duration is 3 hours. If the subject has not been found after 3 hours, the handler, observer, and subject should negotiate whether or not to continue the exercise. All other MRE rules, requirements and evaluation criteria are the same as for the normal tracking/trailing standard.

b) Urban tracking/trailing - The MRE will consist of a 20-24 minute long track, aged at least 1 hour. There will be three articles, spaced at 5 to 6 minute intervals. Articles must be clearly marked as training articles and indicate that they are not to be moved. The track will be predominantly on asphalt / concrete surfaces but may encompass park, playground or other grassy contaminated surfaces. In order to maintain the safety of the team and evaluator, high-traffic streets (e.g., Trinity Drive, Diamond Drive, Central Ave.) should be avoided. A practical limitation for the search duration is 3 hours. If the subject has not been found after 3 hours, the handler, observer, and subject should negotiate whether or not to continue the exercise. All other MRE rules, requirements and evaluation criteria are the same as for the normal tracking/trailing standard.

2. Air scent night MRE - The MRE will consist of a search area of at least 20 acres. The area should use natural boundaries to establish the area boundaries (e.g., Rendija Canyon). For both scent-specific and scent-generic dogs, there will be either one subject and a dog or two people that are together in order to maintain the safety of the subject. The MRE will be conducted between the period 30 minutes after sundown to 30 minutes before sunup. The subject(s) may enter the area prior to sundown. A practical limitation for the search duration is 2 hours. If the subject has not been found after 2 hours, the handler, observer, and subject should negotiate whether or not to continue the exercise. All other MRE rules, requirements and evaluation criteria are the same as for the normal air scent standard.