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At an EU/US working group meeting I recently attended, there was much reference to the national odor recognition test that was established by the ATF. The ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms), DOS (Department of State), and FPS (Federal Protective Service) all mentioned the use of the preliminary test for their certification/validation standards. It is not the only test, but it sets the foundation with basic recognition of all the odors the dog is trained on.

This is somewhat similar to what I have been doing with young puppies to generate search and sniffing behavior. Paint cans are used by these federal agencies, since empty cans can be bought in volume to perform this basic search test. This is only for odor recognition and passing this standard allows the dogs to progress to searches in operational settings for certification/validation.  IT IS NOT A PROCUREMENT STANDARD.  It simply allows us to get a puppy on a behavioral pathway to sniffing and simple searching with minimal effort. With very young pups we can easily use food the generate this behavior; for operational dogs it could be food or toy reward based on the agency’s preference.