Does anyone here have any experience at all in this type of training? What materials do you use during training? How long did it take you to complete your training? Did you receive any type of certification? What method did you use during training?
I do narcotics training and I am running a narcotics detection school right now. We use the actual narcotics, Marijuana, Heroin, Meth, Ecstasy and Cocaine. It takes about 3 months to train a green dog and handler. we certify under the VPWDA, Virginia Police Work Dog Association. It is the same as a NAPWDA certification.
We use rolled up towels and scent them with the target odor. The towels are 16x27" and rolled into a tug. We toss the towels and get the dogs to chase and find them. Then we hide the towel and make the dog use it's nose to find it. Then we separate the towel form the odor and begin to hide actual training aids. The training is all based on praise and reward and getting the dog into high drive. Then we add in a final response which is a passive indication. That is a very general description.
Good luck with your training, detection work is fun.