Bed Bug Canine Detection Test

General Guidelines

Certificates are awarded to teams that successfully challenge all phases of the test. Teams awarded certification under this test will have demonstrated their ability to locate evidence of a bedbug infestation in conditions similar to those encountered in the field.

Hides are to be placed in scenarios and allowed to remain there for a minimum of thirty minutes prior to beginning testing.

During the test, handlers are not allowed to move, open or disturb any items or otherwise in any manner alter an area in an attempt to visually confirm or reveal the presence or absence of a hide. Doing so will result in disqualification. After the testing of all handlers is completed the Master Trainer should meet with the tested handlers and proctors to explain where hides and distracters were placed.

This test is to be structured and planned by a WDDO certified Master Trainer or other WDDO properly qualified and appointed individual under WDDO guidelines and procedures as possessing the knowledge and experience to properly structure such a test.
After planning the test and placing the hides in the test area, the Master Trainer is to record the location of the hides on the proper form and maintain control of that form until after the testing is complete.

The test is to be proctored by a third disinterested party (Certifying Official) with no financial or other interest in the outcome of the test. The test proctor (Certifying Official) is to accompany tested handlers during the test and record all areas chosen by the handlers as containing hides. Upon completion of the testing, the Master Trainer returns to the area and reviews, along with the test proctor (Certifying Official), the choices made by each handler. Based upon this review a pass/fail determination is made by the test proctor (Certifying Official) who attests through his or her signature to the test’s accuracy and propriety.

Hides used in this test are to contain a varying number of live insects to present varied amounts of odor in search scenarios. Hides may also include eggs and instars at various stages. If a substrate is included in the hide it should be a neutral material such as blank cardboard.

No containers or insects or substrate or any other items or materials are to be used in these tests that have ever been treated with or exposed to any pesticides of any type or form whatsoever, whether natural, chemical or any other method besides heat treatment.

No pseudo scents or scented toys are allowed for use in the tests.

Tests are conducted based on “Double Blind” testing methods. Double blind refers to the fact that neither the tested team nor the test proctor (Certifying Official) nor anyone else present during testing is aware of how many hides are placed or the location of hides in search areas or if hides are placed in given area or room. The number of hides and/or location(s) of hides are based on randomized choices, typically by rolling a six-sided dice. The appropriate choices based on the dice roll are outlined below. All phases of the test shall include at a minimum one blank search area or item.

All alerts indicated by the handler must be within three feet of the specific location of the hide or the alert is considered false. It is the sole responsibility of the tested handler to clearly communicate and ensure that the proctor (Certifying Official) understands and records the specific area(s) identified by the dog as the areas indicated.
No person other than the tested handler is allowed to interpret the canine’s behavior or to offer advice or assistance to the handler in interpreting a tested canine’s behavior. Upon becoming aware that such assistance is being offered to a tested handler, the proctor (Certifying Official) is to stop the test and notify the Master Trainer and at the discretion of the Master Trainer and the proctor (Certifying Official) the handler may be disqualified.

Alerts are to be recorded on the appropriate form by the proctor (Certifying Official). The form is reviewed with the tested handler to ensure agreement concerning the handlers choices of alerts. The form is then signed by both the handler and the proctor (Certifying Official) and submitted to the Master Trainer.



Basic Scent Recognition Phase


Live Only Option

Scent boards are constructed for each tested team as follows:  on an eight to ten-foot long 2 X 4, eight to ten three inch pieces of two inch diameter PVC pipe are evenly spaced and mounted vertically.  Each pipe has a properly fitting cap with at least three holes drilled through. These holes are to be one eighth of an inch in diameter minimum and clustered near the center of the cap. The scent board should resemble the drawing below.

The choice as to how many of the pipes will contain which type of hides is based on rolling a six-sided dice.  If a one or two is rolled, one pipe is to contain a hide the remainder of the pipes are blank. If a three or four is rolled two pipes are to contain hides and the remainder are blank. If a five or six is rolled, three of the pipes are to contain hides and the remainder of the pipes are blank.  The hides are to be placed on the board with at least one blank pipe between pipes containing hides.

Room Searches

If a one or two is rolled, one hide is placed in one of the rooms, the other three rooms are blank. If a three or four is rolled, two hides are placed, one in each of the two rooms, the other two rooms are blank.  If a five or six is rolled, three hides are placed, one in three of the rooms and the fourth room is blank.


In order to be awarded certification as a WDDO bedbug detection canine team, the team must complete the basic odor recognition phase of the test with no false alerts (false positives) and no misses (false negatives).  During the Room Search phase of the test, the team is allowed one false alert (false positive).  The team must find and properly identify the location of all target odors and is not allowed to miss any hide.

Retests – Teams that are unsuccessful on this test are allowed to retest once within 24 hours of the first test.  The team must then wait thirty days and should obtain additional training before taking the test again.