Standard Active Last Updated: Jul 07, 2022
ASTM F1848-14(2022)

Standard Classification System for Canine Search Resources

Significance and Use

4.1 This standard may be used to classify canine search resources (commonly referred to as search dog teams or crews) for emergency management operations, including search and rescue and law enforcement missions.

4.2 Classification of canine search resources is based upon the training of the dog and its handler and their ability to perform specific tasks.

4.3 Canine search resources are classified by category, kind, and type.

4.4 A canine search resource may be more than one category.

4.5 A canine search resource may be more than one kind.

4.6 A particular kind of canine search resource can only be one type.

4.7 A canine search resource’s type can vary, depending on its kind.


This classification aids search and rescue managers in ordering resources for search and rescue incidents and to aid dog handlers in communicating the types of tasks for which they and their dogs have trained. This classification is intended as a supplement to the resource typing specifications of the Incident Command System and specifically as a means of typing search and rescue dog resources and is suitable for classifying dog resources for a wide variety of emergency management purposes including both search and rescue and law enforcement incidents. This classification does not attempt to put forth standards of performance or training for dogs or their handlers. Search and rescue dog under this classification is either Type I or Type II, based upon whether or not the dog can effectively discriminate between the human scent of different individuals. Kind classifications of SAR dog resources are based upon the specific tasks for which dogs are deployed and include: Kind A, area search dog; Kind B, avalanche search dog; Kind C, cadaver search dog; Kind D, disaster/collapsed structure search dog; Kind E, evidence search dog; Kind F, railing search dog; Kind G, tracking search dog; and Kind H, water search.


1.1 This classification system defines canine search resources in terms of their training and capabilities.

1.2 This classification system is intended to aid emergency managers ordering resources for search and rescue incidents. These classifications also provide a means by which dog handlers can convey to emergency management the tasks for which they and their dogs are trained.

1.3 This classification system does not define standards of performance or training for canine search resources.

1.4 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 13.02
Developed by Subcommittee: F32.02
Pages: 3
DOI: 10.1520/F1848-14R22
ICS Code: 13.200