Laser Directional Training for Police and Military Dogs

Skill Level: Intermediate

Length: 8 Modules

Access Period: Unlimited

Price: $75.00

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The instructor for this course is Jens Frank. Jens is one of the owner/instructors at the Scandinavian Working Dog Institute. He is also an associate Professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.  


2 minutes and 6 seconds



Laser directionals are an easy way of sending the dog to a specific spot or object at a distance from the handler. It is far less time-consuming than training a dog to be guided with verbal directional cues over radio.


The laser directionals have several applications, especially for law enforcement and military use, and is today used in most countries. By most dog teams it is not used daily, but a very useful tool for specific situations that would be difficult or riskier without the laser. Below are some example of how it is used:


- to send a dog with a camera to do recon.

- to send an explosive detection dog to a vehicle, building, bag, or other object to do scent detection at a distance from the handler and other personnel.

- to send a patrol dog to a specific door or vehicle to check for and indicate the presence of humans.

- to send an intervention dog to search for and attack potential threats ahead of the operators.

- to send a dog to a specific location to search for and indicate or retrieve evidence where it is less preferable to have the handler walking around a crime scene.

- to send a small detection dog to the far end of cargo inside a trailer to search also where the handler cannot access.
- With a little creative thinking this training can be applied to teaching the send-away to sport dogs. 
Independent of the operational use of laser directionals, the first part of the training will be to train the dog to go to the laser dot on cue, and sit in front of it. When the dog can do this, the laser directionals can be combined with detection, bite work, etc. 

The course outline is:


Module 1   Introduction
  Segment 1 Which type of laser should you use?
  Segment 2 Decisions to Make
  Segment 3 Setting Subgoals
Module 2   Expectation on Laser Point
  Segment 1 The Laser Chase Game
  Segment 2 Boxes
  Segment 3 Send to Treats
Module 3   Go to Laser Dot and Sit
  Segment 1 Sit in Front of a Target
  Segment 2 Replace Target with Laser Dot
Module 4   Adding Contexts and Distance
  Segment 1 Send to 10m
  Segment 2 Send to 15m
  Segment 3 Send to 20m
  Segment 4 Send to 30m
  Segment 5 Send to 50m
Module 5   Sending From an Angle
  Segment 1 Send to Three Doors From the Same Spot
  Segment 2 Send to Three Doors From 45 Degree Angle
Module 6   Obstacles
  Segment 1 Stairs
  Segment 2 Go Around, Over, & Under
Module 7    Competing Motivators
  Segment 1 Pass Over one High-Value Reward to Sit by the Laser Dot
  Segment 2 Go to Spot Between Rewards From 10m Distance
Module 8    Additional Videos
  Segment 1  
  Segment 2  
  Segment 3  
  Segment 4  
  Segment 5  




Primarily dog handlers working in law enforcement and armed forces


Must have a laser. We recommend the Firefield Laser Designator available at The dog needs to know to "sit" on cue. The dog also needs to have at least one reward signal trained. Up to a distance of 50m a clicker or verbal cue works fine, but at longer distances a "pipe whistle" is the most convenient alternative.

Course Outline


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This course goes into a great deal of detail on how to train a scent detection dog to go to a laser dot and sit, waiting for an additional command to search (either for explosives, a human or contraband). 

The course does not teach the dog to indicate on explosives, or how to apprehend a suspect, or how to indicate on narcotics etc. Teaching a scent detection dog to search and indicate on odor is not covered in this course. That training will be covered in other courses. 

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