It is our belief that clients benefit by dogs maintaining a dual certification. CADA and WDDO testing may appear similar but there are subtle differences that create unique challenges for both the canine and handler. Attending multiple conferences each year allows us keep up with changes in the industry and interact with scent dogs from unrelated disciplines (bomb, narcotic, bed bugs, mold, termites), exposing us to training methodologies being used in other fields.
Industry standards require that the canine/handler team recertify as a team, annually. The certification process is extremely important to assure that the accelerant detection canine and handler can demonstrate the expertise necessary to pass a proficiency test. The certification is not transferable, requiring a new dog or handler to certify with their respective partner.
The canine team is tested for basic scent discrimination, mixed matrix discrimination and pinpointing odor. Before proceeding to the Practical Skills test, the team must demonstrate 100% accuracy on all three sections. During the Practical Skills Test, searches are conducted of buildings, outdoors, vehicles and a “lineup” of clothing or people.
Proficiency exams, administered by disinterested third party organizations like WDDO and CADA, should utilize scientific based protocols in the design and test administration. For instance, tests administered by the WDDO are double blind and overseen by one of the premier scent authorities, Dr. Larry Myers, Auburn University Veterinarian School. Double blind testing is considered the most rigorous testing protocol in the industry and many experts believe it provides a more reliable examination of the dog and handler.
Less than 200 Accelerant Detection Canines teams are certified in the United States with over seventy five percent of the certified dogs working for either the Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF) or local fire departments.
Additional information and published testing protocols for CADA and WDDO can be found at each organizations web site.
Canine Accelerant Detection Association (CADA) http://www.cadafiredogs.com/
World Detector Dog Organization (WDDO) http://www.wddo.org/