C: Candidate

LEVEL C – BASIC SEARCH (Candidate Dog.) The Candidate Level is the first step in the progression from puppy to a fully certified Level “A” WBR avalanche rescue team. Responsibility for determining Candidate Level status is given to each WBR member organization.

A Candidate Level dog should be able to consistently perform Phase I of a IV Phase progression. Phase I consists of:

  1. The handler runs away to a shallow snow pit.
  2. The handler gets the Candidate dog’s attention and ducks into the hole.
  3. The Candidate dog is released.
  4. The Candidate dog should dig and bark at the handler in the snow pit for a tug reward.


At this level, the dog must demonstrate the basic behaviors necessary for a successful avalanche rescue K-9. These behaviors include a strong desire to dig in snow, energetic response to a positive reward (i.e. tug), proper social skills, and basic obedience.

Rescue Dog Testing

Levels of Validation

A: Operational

B: Resort

C: Candidate »