Why keep records?

Recording what you do with your pup on a weekly basis is very important. Weekly records allow you to track your dog's progress as he develops, and give you a means of reviewing what worked and what didn't work on an individual level. Additionally, weekly records from participants provide us with a gold mine of data, which we can use to improve the program and provide better guidance to you, thereby increasing success rates for everyone. This data also gives us real evidence for the suitability of detection dogs sourced from U.S. breeders, which is critical for enabling federal agencies to purchase your dogs. Never underestimate the power of record keeping!

How do I get started?

Access the Google Form here:

Ideally we'd like to see one record per dog per week. If you have a particularly productive training day, you might even want to fill out a record just for that day. Remember that for records to be useful, they have to capture the whole story so don't skip records when your training doesn't go as planned. Those days often provide the best opportunities to learn and improve!

How do I assess my dog's performance?

The rubric, which you can download below, gives assessment criteria for each of the eight categories of training/activity:


Environmental Stability


Reward Engagement


Olfactory Acuity

Physical Exercise


Cross Training. 

The dog's performance in each category is evaluated in terms of motivation/ability (how the dog's behavior helps or hinders his ability to complete the task) and excitement/arousal (how much energy the dog directs at the target behavior). These factors combine to produce the dog's score for that category. The score is based on a nine point scale, where "1" indicates a dog that shuts down and fails to perform and "9" indicates a dog that exceeds expectations. There are no half points so round down to the nearest whole number.