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NAPWDA is current [Beau passed his 7th annual cert in April] but it is a different org so I don't know if IPWDA would accept and have heard others suggest that it is probaly not wise to start certifying under a grouping of different organizations....

Truth be told the boat certs are never as extensive or unusual as the real world. I don't like it tied with the land testing either because so many variables can cause a miss and one of those is the luck of the draw and changing scent picture not as predictable as the land problems. given the distance requirements and the fact that just the act of driving the boat through the same area repeated times can cause crazy things with the odor. Oddly, the real thing seems easier and more precise than most tests I have taken though. ...but we are refocusing on water and getting a new boat...and I have turned down a couple of boat searches since that cert is expired so there you have it.

No certification test I know of truly reflects real world conditions so you test to the test and train for the real world. NAPWDA is annual with a one month tolerance and if the dog should fail, they would be taken out of operational status until passed again so failure is not an option (fortunate for us that between Beau and Grim we have not failed our annual NAPWDA hazing ritual since we started in 2008 - our most recent certifications have had, among testing teams about a 50% pass rate so it is not an easy test)
 

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I agree Nancy on pretty much everything you stated, lol! Real life is always more odd, and yes, at the same time 'easier' then the test.. But test are tests, pass/fail. And real life is a team endeavor and usually not a pass/fail situation..

My dogs need to recert for water this year and they have been successful with water finds. I know you and Beau and Grim have been highly effective and successful teams. Your consistent certifications through NAPWDA is definitely a bragging right. Dogs are not perfect as we are not and so many variables on any given day could affect a test and cause a fail. To be so consistent is a testament to your team work and training.

I have heard the same on multiple certs, however, in general, I believe it to be someone who is trying to get multiple certs on the same discipline within same period... To go with another organization due to the availability and need of a cert should not reflect poorly on you in a court situation. For instance, getting evidence cert or a GSR for a dog who certifies with organization that does not have that test.. A better example would be NSDA offers large source air scent with larger acreage then the usual 40acres..i don't believe another organization currently offers this test, so if they normally tested through NAPWDA OR IPWDA etc they may go to NSDA to get that large source/air scent cert.

Either way, we both know that as important as it is to certify with a respectable third party organization, it is not the end all be all.. We have seen the dogs and handler's that should NEVER be out there, and those teams that may not yet hold a cert but are more then ready to deploy if needed. SAR is expensive and a cert should not hold a good team back from helping if it can save a life or close a case.. (a good team being professional, good documentation, reliable, etc)..
 

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Hinen - Yes I have thought about extending some of those certifications of course the mor important thing is the training records need to reflect those things (like larger area search) that some of the tests may not. It is more likely that drowning and large area search outcomes do not wind up in court than shallow graves etc. and have the higher find rate. Honestly, in our area are the more common search though there are a good number of cold case searches

NSDA does have some good tests. A complaint I have heard from some is that people do the large area test and think that makes them suitable for low level forensics work and buried and it really does not anymore than training on small low level materials sets you up to find a whole body. Definitely need to train how you work more than how you test and the test should take care of itself.

I have also heard NNDDS is challenging. With NAPWDA the fact that you have x number of hides in specific areas makes it easy though some of the scenarios have really been set up to push the team and the master trainer has a lot of leeway - (like our bloody peice of string on the roof of a school bus that was leaking diesel)
 

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Yes, the unfortunate facts are some people will assume a cert gives them encompassing permission. I've heard of air scent handler's believing they are trail certified because of that air scent certification. And, the large source test is a perfect example of people assuming that means they are now forensic experts... It is sad and requires a good team and integrity..

I like NAPWDA test. There are different areas, you don't know where the negative area is nor whether if the area has one to two source... Now it does not give nose time, and that is where I believe a team should have their own bylaws that require a mission ready handler and their dog to prove that their dog can work over a large area and for up to two hours. It does not need to be a test, but a benchmark. We've seen teams that can find anything successfully if it is within 15min.. Any longer and the success rate dramatically drops because the dog and or handler lose focus. These teams should not be deployed on wilderness or in areas where a longer nose time is required..

And yes, documentation seems to be the end all be all even above certifications if called into court. Varying the type of source, size, hides, nose time duration, etc... Truly quite extensive and above what a normal log book would reflect... Clandestine graves, forensic or crime scene cases are much more likely to be called into court for sure... We just never know until we get there what is what...

Either way, whatever you chose I know you and Beau will do great! Are you and Tilly still working urban trail?
 

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Beau has had a busy year and you know what it is like juggling more than one dog. I have not invested the time in Tilly as needed and need to seek some help to get her through some issues with distraction. But I have been spending 2 hours a day myself on personal fitness exercise, traning and searching with Beau and am planing on surgery this summer (skin removal-about 8 weeks downtime) after a large weight loss. I am in great shape but it seems so many hours in the day anre ore won't shake free until I retire in 2020.

So Tilly has been catch as catch can and not enough. She might be able to pass a basic test but no plans to test her until she is actually operational. If we ever get there.
 

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Understand.. Good for you on the health and weight loss! That takes commitment and dedication, good job!

Yeah, I have 3 now and know how the effort in keeping them sharp and ready.. Hope you heal quickly from the skin removal surgery.
 
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