Training Academy


Available for Search and Rescue and Law Enforcement

The purpose of this program is to ensure that a professional and/or working dog have the qualities to be an effective and respectable dog in their line of work on and off duty. Whether it be a detection dog attending to duties at an international airport luggage claim looking for contraband or a disaster search dog in a down stay waiting patiently for their handler to return from a briefing. This evaluation will appraise and then credit these dogs as having the appropriate behavior and temperament for most types of working environments.

The PAWD test is given through an International Network of evaluators consisting of experienced canine trainers.  To acquire information on becoming a PAWD Evaluator or to arrange a testing in your area contact PAWD thru RITA for details.

The PAWD Test is given by sponsor groups at a minimal cost.  A base registration fee of $15 is charged by PAWD at RITA to take the test and complete the online exam.  Other costs may be added by the sponsoring group to cover expenses.  The average cost to test is $25 to $35 per canine/handler team.  The PAWD student manual is available on the RI Online Training Academy with complete testing rules, test check-list, hands on testing Registration Form and detailed description of each test. 

The PAWD Evaluation carries no time frame for re-testing, but we recommend re-testing every 24-30 months.   To find a scheduled test site near you check the PAWD calendar.  PAWD is the equivalent of K9 Good Citizen and goes beyond to meet the demands of a working dog.  PAWD meets and exceeds the AKC Canine God Citizen test for the SAR community it serves.


All dogs being tested must be 15 months of age or older.  At sign-in for the evaluation, the handler must provide a current rabies vaccination certificate and any other required certificates or licenses for the geographic area where the test is conducted.

The evaluator will verbally note the start and completion of each test. After each test the handler may praise reward their dog, but only after the evaluator has said that the test is complete. A praise reward is allowed, no food or toy reward should be present at the testing as in a real situation the handler may not be carrying the dog’s reward.

All Handler/Dog teams that pass the evaluation will be registered in the PAWD data base, issued a certificate of completion and an embroidered patch for the dog’s ID vest.  Test takes about 1 hour

PAWD Testing Categories

1. Vehicle Conduct – this test shall demonstrate that the dog can enter and exit it's own transport vehicle in a controlled and proper manner at the hands of another person.  It must also show that it can wait for extended periods of time in the vehicle with out excessive barking, separation anxiety or other poor behavior. This conduct will be monitored through out the time period that the dog is at the evaluation site.

2. Accepting a Stranger – this is a 2 part procedure and is designed to show the dogs ability to accept the approach of a stranger to it's handler and to allow the stranger to exert a minor amount of control over the dog in the handler's absence. This will be done in 2 parts, first with the approach of a stranger and secondly with the dog being removed from the handler by the stranger. This may be used in the event the handler becomes injured and a stranger takes temporary control over the dog.

3.  Body Check–this test will show that the dog will allow it to be physically touched and handled during the process of an examination or a bath as a part of a decontamination procedure.

4. Walk and Show Control on a Leash in a Working Environment* - the dog should show respect and be attentive to the handler and not strain on lead in an environment with distractions such as mingling people and other dogs on lead. This is too show if the dog is confident and under control in busy environments such as command post, staging area, disaster sites, bus or airport terminals, etc.

* This environment may be customized to fit a particular working discipline (i.e. disaster site, command post, baggage area, crime scene, SAR, etc.)

5. Stay for 5 Minutes– this test is to ensure that the handler can leave the dog under supervision for a short period of time and that the dog acts in a well behaved manner, staying without moving out of an area no greater than the dog's body length. Minor distractions such as a person walking about or minimal noise should not bother the dog or cause it to break the stay. The dog must show no excessive separation anxiety.

6. Coming When Called–this test is used to demonstrate handler control of the dog. Dog must respond eagerly to this command and must show that it is willing to return to the handler.

7. Emergency Down or Stop –in this test the dog must show that is capable of stopping when commanded. This could be a life saving command if used near traffic or disaster areas.

8. Lifting and Carrying the Dog -this test demonstrates that the dog can feel secure in allowing the handler to lift and carry it a short distance. The dog should not show obsessive objection to the procedure. A second person maybe used to assist the handler in lifting and or carrying the dog at the handler’s request with the evaluator’s approval.

9.  Reactions to Distractions – Visual and noise distractions should be present through out the testing. The dog should also show control around visual distractions such as a person riding a bike, horse or an ATV. Distractions will be of a type that are realistic to the dogs and the testing agencies environment. For example, siren and gunshot disturbances for law enforcement dogs or generators and chainsaws for disaster dogs.

10.  "Leave It" Command - The handler must be able to have the dog leave a distraction such as  food, critter smells or other distractions.  A food object will be placed on the ground. The handler may either put the dog in a sit or down stay  for one minute or complete 2  figure 8's around the object.  If the dog does not  ignore the object it must respond to a " leave it"  or another similar command..


E MAIL for up comming dates or to sponsor a test

 Please Pre register by e-mail with your plans to attend to


  Evaluators Wanted please contact RI if you have a track record of SAR and LE K9 training experience and want to be able to give the test.

For More Information Please contact:

PAWD International c/o Rescue International

PO Box 544

Delaware Water Gap, PA 18327-0544



ALL INFORMATION ON THIS WEB SIGHT IS COPYRIGHTED 1998-2018 BY RESCUE INTERNATIONAL, PAWD and Bruce Barton.  RI Logo and the Rescue Cross are copyrighted and are the artistic property of Bruce Barton.  The PAWD program and related materials are not to be copied, re-transmitted or used in any way without the permission of PAWD  a division of Rescue International.