IWDA Tracking Instructor


Ethology  What is ethology? Evolution and domestication of dogs. Similarities and differences in the behavior of different dog breeds. Analysis of behavior, theory and practice.

Psychology of Learning  Learning types: non-associative learning, associative learning (classical conditioning, operating conditioning), social learning. Reinforcement programs. Impact of stress and arousal on learning.

Olfactory  perception The perceptive world of the dog: the physiology of the smell. Odors and odorants. From the nose to the brain. Active and passive transport of odors into the air. Effects of climate and environment. Human Scent. Human scent on track/trail.

Health & Safety Conservation of training aids. Evaluation of risk. Risks related to the handling of substances.

Training methods: search and alert Advantages and disadvantages of the main training methods. Active alert vs. passive alert. Build a training progression plan. Learned vs. emotional alert. Working on leash .Search pace. Working in urban and rural. Match to sample.

Planning and analysis of training Working with protocols. Set goals and training steps. Data collection and analysis. Students must plan their entire training.

Rewards Positive reinforcement techniques. Social and non-social rewards. The consequences of behavior: reinforcements and punishments.

Science at the service of business Search and use scientific publications.

Test Build and use aptitudinal and performance tests.

Conflict management How to prevent and manage conflicts with students and clients.

Tracking dogs vs. Trailing Dogs Motivation How to built up and maintain.

Handling techniques

Use, creation, conservation of scent articles

Pick up 

No scent identification

Working in urban setting and rural one

Different starts

Differents ends

Plan and evaluate training 

How to fix troubles

Code of ethics

Structure of the exam

  • The examination committee must be composed of at least two IWDA members
  • The first part will consist of a multiple-choice written test with 100 questions
  • The second part will consist in the preparation of a training plan for a randomly drawn pair (instructors) / for your dog in the chosen discipline (conductors)
  • The third test will consist of the demonstration of n.2 practical exercises drawn up by the commission
  • The fourth test will consist of an interview on ethics – deontology and the profession


  1. The written test is passed with a minimum score of 75/100
  2. The second test is passed with a minimum score of 18/30
  3. The third test is passed with a minimum score of 18/30
  4. The fourth exam is passed with a minimum score of 18/30
  1. Upon passing the exam session, the candidate must submit an application for registration to the IWDA Instructor / Handler Register within and not more than 60 days after the exam. In case of failure to submit within the specified time, the candidate will have to pass a new exam session.