World Class Training by Leading K-9 Instructors

For those that have a misconception as to how beneficial K9’s can be in a high-risk patrol operation or to a SWAT team this class is for you.  We encourage all patrol officers, military, SWAT and supervisors to attend this class.  You will learn how to utilize your dog to find the suspect quicker, yet safer, while maintaining your tactical advantage and officer safety.

We will discuss what to look for during your selection of a Tactical Patrol dog or SWAT dog as well as the handler.  Learn how a properly trained patrol dog and the handler can be utilized during a in a high-risk patrol deployment or SWAT operation when it comes to tracking, barricaded suspects, approaches, entries, blind corners, room clearing, hallways, stairs, attics, crawl spaces, vehicle assaults, arrest techniques and even in a gas environment.

brad.smith.18Over the year’s handlers have improved their training regimen, increase their monthly maintenance training, documentation, and have improved their report writing skills. The one area that is still severely absent is their preparation for a deposition or testifying in a civil courtroom when it comes to answering the basic questions of your job.  Know the hard questions any good plaintiff’s attorney will ask you to be prepared to give the correct answer because you are a new question.
 class will take handlers deeper into why detection dogs do what they do. Ken will delve into what “drives” are and how they are utilized. The term obedient to odor refers to the dog understanding that odor drives the reward, not the handler. This fast pace class will cover everything from odor imprinting, to reward, to search patterns and the why’s behind each of these components of detection dog training.  Not only is this class highly entertaining, but most of all, it is highly informative.



daus.18ONLY AT HITS – U.S. Supreme Court Case Rodriguez V. United States heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on January 22, 2015. 

Nationally recognized for prosecuting drug trafficking cases, Ted Daus tells it like it is. What a perfect opportunity for K-9 handlers to learn straight from the prosecutor what he needs to hear from you on the stand when presenting your drug cases to the jury. Ted navigates his way through the latest courtroom decision about police detection dogs and takes us along for the wild and sometimes crazy ride. Ted’s abilities as a communicator will keep you on the edge of your seat as he opens everyone’s eyes to what’s been happening in the courtroom and what the future looks like for drug detection K-9 teams across America.

barrett.18With 30 years of police K-9 experience, Jeff has tracked down every type of violent fugitive imaginable. By far the most dangerous conditions we’re faced with today is deploying a police dog to track in a rural/woodland environment. This class examines the murders of Deputy Sheriff Matt Williams and K-9 DiOGi in intricate detail and how their deaths have initiated a national movement toward advanced tactical training for K-9 tracking and woodland operations. Jeff has delivered this training to well over two thousand police officers and counting. We cannot afford to sacrifice our tactical edge when the stakes are this high! These practical training drills and training scenarios are applicable to every member of your agency. The training you provide others about being your cover officer during a tracking deployment may very well be the training that saves your life or makes a positive difference in securing a safe outcome.

hammondPaul completed a 2yr Advanced EDD study at VWK9`s Academy, in which 100+ Police, Military and Private Sector EDD dog teams were tested on an operational based training and Intel gathering exercise and the results will surprise you & reinforce why this speaker session is a must to attend. Correct operational based training and use of task intelligence is the number one factor for EDD team success during operational Tasks.

morris“The growing weapon of choice for criminals and terrorists throughout the world are improvised (homemade) explosives and improvised explosive devices (IED). More than ever before, first responders are increasingly more likely to encounter this type of hazard while performing routine operations. This course provides the basic, yet critical information needed to stay safe, while remaining effective. Students will learn to identify common improvised explosives, chemical precursors and the equipment used in the illicit manufacture of improvised explosives; the hazards associated with precursors and manufacturing; and safe operating procedures.”

furtonDr. Furton will cover the history, state of the art and projections for advances in the science of canine olfaction relating to drugs, explosives and human scent and the standardization efforts of the past 15 years starting with SWGDOG, evolving to OSAC Dogs & Sensors, National Standards from the Academy Standards Board and ultimately accreditation of certifying organizations.

Have you wondered what you would do if you encountered Fentanyl.  Have you wondered if your dog will detect Fentanyl.  Have you wondered how you would handle Fentanyl if you found it. We as law enforcement canine handlers know little about Fentanyl, but we should know more!

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police RCMP have developed a unique method in combating this dangerous drug.   Listen to S/Sgt Gary Creed explain;

– Basics on Fentanyl and its dangers

– Why we need to train PSD on Fentanyl

– Challenges/dangers related to training with Fentanyl

– Creation of a system on how to safely train PSDs’ on Fentanyl

– Explanation of how to create Fentanyl training aids

– Explanation of how to train PSD on Fentanyl

– Safety protocols while handling and training with Fentanyl

– Suggested SOP’s for operational and training searches with Fentanyl body worn cameras to improve your canine unit and protect yourself and your department

The use of Body Worn Cameras (BWC) is possibly the most revolutionary change to policing since the portable radio.   Departments across the country are requiring their use by uniformed officers and specialized units, including Canine Teams.  As with any new piece of equipment, it is imperative that officers learn to use this new tool properly and that policies are developed considering the rights of the officer, the integrity of the investigative process and the public demand for transparency.  These policies must be developed with input from department managers, labor organizations and prosecuting agencies.   Television and movies have given the public – our potential jurors – a flawed view of what police use of force looks like.  It is our responsibility to educate them as best we can and provide proper context for the sometimes-violent nature of police work that they will now see though our BWC video.  Learn from the mistakes and successes of other agencies to ensure that your agency has the advantage in criminal and civil court, as well as the court of public opinion.


flynn.bioThis 2-hour training seminar will focus on police canines in correctional environments, with an emphasis on CDS introduction and trafficking trends.  These trends covered will include detecting and interdicting contraband on Staff, visitors, volunteers, and support personnel, cell phone detection canines, prevalence of buprenorphine (brand name Suboxone, very widespread in the mid-Atlantic correctional systems), K-2 and Spice, and the value of passive alert dogs and PEOPLE scans.

The course will also cover the development of relationships and use of the rescue dog organizations, and the use of unconventional breeds in detector work (English springier spaniels, Beagles, Etc.).

In this class intended for the dog handler / trainer, odor will be described on a molecular level as it relates to the detection of a target. This will include the basics of odor development from an odor source into an odor plume that is detectable by the dog. We will describe how odor emanates from a target object and how the dog might perceive this odor. We will then discuss the variety of factors that affect how the dog experiences the target odor, such as target mass versus odor quantity, differences between manufacturers, changes with time and environmental conditions, challenges related to wrapping and burial. Factors affecting odor availability and methods to prevent contamination of training materials will also be covered. This seminar will be appropriate for handlers of any type of detection dog, including human scent tracking dogs.

lewis.bill.18“Do you think ‘it’s my way or the highway’ is a good way to lead a K9 program?  Can everyone be a leader?  To be a successful K9 program, leadership isn’t merely restricted to the supervisors and command-level personnel.  This presentation will explore a few challenges and leadership opportunities that can be shared within a K9 unit by all its participants – handlers, supervisors and commanders.  As a former handler and K9 supervisor, Bill Lewis II will share some of his opinions and recommendations for developing or sustaining a positive program through active leadership development – and he will also solicit attendee input to assist that development to potentially guide willing participants.”

lewis.bill.18Sergeant Bill Lewis II (retired) comes to HITS 2018 as a critical thinker whose forthright and sobering look at some of our most common and reoccurring issues should make us all reevaluate how we operate daily. From the perspective of hindsight, we can clearly see the roadmap to a better, safer and profoundly more effective K-9 industry. By using real world experience and by examining many of the cases that have affected us all, Bill Lewis is able to pattern a better solution to avoid the trouble that faces us daily in the law enforcement K9 realm.

jakubian.18In today’s day and age all bomb dog teams need to be one step ahead of the game.  We all must think outside the box and train for today’s threat.  Today’s bomb dog is not only needed before special events but also during these events.  Ask yourself this…can your dog work during a 4th of July Parade.  Consider all the distractions that occur during such an event.  In Chris Jakubin’s class you will learn how and where to prepare your dog teams.  You will learn training techniques to get your dog to hunt and what to hunt without any stimulus.  These techniques are solidified in how we practice…how are you practicing?

rosner.bioAre you looking for ways to fund your K9 unit?  Use Shawn’s experience and knowledge to get you started on the right road.  Course covers best practices on format and content for presentations that provide maximum exposure for your audience and minimum liability for the agency. It discusses the bridge established by an agency and the community because of these events. It provides options for off-setting costs to an agency through various means, including partnerships with not for profit organizations that support the dogs and handlers, specialized fundraising events and/or forming an agency’s own not for profit organization. It discusses how to create rapport with the public, local businesses and vendors, and the roles they can play in your fundraising efforts. It provides various types of fundraising ideas as examples to assist departments in the planning process. It discusses the pros and cons of starting their own not for profit; this includes how to go about establishing 501(c)3, and how to best work with an established not for profit should they choose not to.


klappenback.bioThe law enforcement community has been under extreme scrutiny the past several years and so has the marine mammal training profession for even longer. The movie Blackfish has changed the marine mammal animal training profession forever. And the working dog profession is not immune from this type of scrutiny. As a K9 handler in today’s climate it is imperative the handler understands the basic principles of animal training. This understanding will assist in avoiding court challenges by defense experts, poor public perceptions on how our K9s are treated and more importantly improve your K9’s performance. Scott will review basics of animal learning and share his concerns regarding how we can collectively best avoid the next “Blackfish effect”.


roberts.don.18The DHS Science & Technology (S&T) Detection Canine program serves as a Federal focal point for the detection canine community by providing tools, techniques and knowledge to better understand, train and utilize the detection canine.


The DHS S&T canine program manager, Don Roberts will provide an overview of how the State and Local law enforcement community can leverage the program to assist you with meeting your agency’s K9 program needs.


Mr. Roberts will also bring expert staff from his program to discuss:

– Chemistry of odor detection – specifically for explosive detection

– Best practices for maintenance training and operation readiness testing and evaluation

– Recently established Regional Explosives Detection Dog Initiative (REDDI)


Through REDDI, S&T is providing a series of regionally-based events for detection canine teams in the law enforcement community. The events will include classroom instruction and exercises demonstrating common issues which will improve explosives and odor knowledge and appreciation for the participating canine handlers. Fundamental odor recognition evaluations and operational searches based on real-world scenarios will help identify strengths and weaknesses within the HSE and inform the direction of priority S&T program investments. REDDI’s goal is to improve explosive detection canine team training effectiveness and efficiency in order to improve overall operational proficiency.


degreef.bioExplosive detection canines are deployed to battle threats at home and abroad. They are utilized in the detection of explosive devices that threaten civilian and military personnel lives, as well as aviation and transportation security, such as landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The type of explosive materials most commonly encountered in the past included nitro-containing high explosives such as TNT and C4, or low explosives, such as smokeless and black powders. As availability and ease of access to such explosives diminished, terrorists abroad began relying on HMEs (homemade explosives), assembled from easily attainable and commercially available materials. The ease of obtaining such commercial products for explosives was accentuated by the growth of the Internet, which brought information of HMEs home for use by domestic terrorists. Also, after the events of 9/11, security technology was enhanced, which pushed terrorist to shift to HMEs and novel explosives that were not readily identifiable. Use of HMEs is expected to continue to increase as such extremist groups continue evolving new methods improving predictability, long-term stability, and streamlined manufacturing of HMEs involving cheap, more easily accessible materials and less sophisticated equipment. Explosives detection capabilities, both canine and instrumental field detectors, however, have been slow to evolve with the changing threat. Canine training protocols are currently being put in place to address detection of these types of explosives, although HMEs present a number of new detection concerns that should be considered when initiating these new protocols. Issues associated with canine detection of HMEs will be discussed.

ford.bioK-9 Learning and Clear Communication. This class covers the principles of learning (classical and operant conditioning), the use of markers/bridges. We cover how information is taken in by your K9 as well as how to best deliver the information you wish to train. We go over how to introduce these methods and how to use them in problem solving. In this class you will conduct hands on experiments where participants get to feel for themselves how to communicate and give information. All of this will allow you to become better handler and trainer for your dogs.

dean.bioAll over the world the police, military, government agencies and private contractors are placing a strain on the supply of quality adult dogs. When demand is high, so are prices and many police departments are finding it difficult to find the right quality dogs at the right price. One option is to source and train new or replacement K9’s from a puppy.

In the UK the largest police department, the London (UK) Metropolitan police have been breeding their own service dogs since 1961 supplying German Shepherds, Malinois, Labradors and Spaniels to their own K9 officers and those from other police departments in the UK and abroad.

Steve Dean was the officer in charge of this extensive breeding and puppy training program for 13 years breeding and supervising the training of well in excess of 1500 police puppies. In this presentation he will cover the topic of sourcing & selecting the right puppy, how to conduct puppy character profiling, the importance of socialization and the rights and wrongs of preparing a puppy for basic police service training.

soonIf success and longevity are the benchmarks for quality, then Ken Pavlick has achieved a lifetime award. With over 35 years of K9 experience, Ken owns and operates the highly successful Pacific Coast K9 facility which has produced some of the most enthusiastic and energetic detector dogs in the world. Pacific Coast K9 has placed over 1100 detector dogs into service over the last 11 years. Knowing what works when it comes to selecting and training detector dogs is Ken’s business. But more importantly, knowing what to do when what you’re doing isn’t working is Ken’s specialty. Come listen as Ken provides an overview of various methods for imprinting a detector dog. And how sometimes, combining some of these methods into a hybrid system, allows you to be successful.

mcclellen.bioThis class is ideal for the new handler. The class will cover how animals learn and how we apply that to K9 training. When it comes to training it is easy to fall into a rut and start to simply go through the motions, especially in monthly maintenance training. In this class we will review past events throughout history in the United States and around the world and how law enforcement responded to the incidents. We will then discuss the fundamentals of K9 training, to include, your monthly in-service training. In law enforcement we need to ask ourselves are we training for what we may face or setting up our training in response to something that has already happened? This goal of the class is for you to be able to analyze and adapt to meet the threat of the ever-changing world we live in.

suarez.bioguzman.bioThis class covers the 4 parts of K9 aggression instincts. This is to simplify the many questions that handlers and trainers have in properly identifying aggressions in their K9 partners.

This class will assist them in identifying the aggression to assist them in the selection of future working dog applicants and to resolve current issues they may have relating to behavior dispositions.

heiser.bioIn this course Bill will review multiple steps that need to be taken in successfully selecting single and dual purpose canines. Bill Heiser has been hand selecting his dogs from Europe and testing dogs for over 25 years. Southern Coast K9 is known in the industry to offer some of the best dogs available. He will share with you the process of selection testing by reviewing the following:

• The drives in the dog; prey, hunt, play, fight, retrieve, rank and survival.
• First Impression of the dog: Appearance, condition, teeth , ears, coat, feet, genitals and over confidence
• Environmental Soundness: Flooring, stairs, darkness, confined area or space, obstacles, noises, vehicles, desks and tables will the dog jump up
• Testing of Ball or Toy drive

Additional testing for dual purpose would include:

• First check civil drive no equipment
• Equipment Fixated
• Bite on sleeve or suit and is it a full mouth bite
• With Suit will he bite legs or arms
• Power Bite? Is Dog committed?
• Bite under stress with whip and yelling
• Multiple Distraction Scenarios & Obstacles
• Dogs focus on bite
• Gunfire reaction
• What type of force and approach does he have.

lukason.bioThe K9 unit, depending on size is made up positions that make that unit “work”. From the Unit Supervisor, to the Trainers and Instructors, senior handlers, the most junior canine teams, to the mission support personnel, the need for supervision is a necessary function. It is important to have member of the unit that is responsible for the “Math” of the unit. Every unit has a “one best arrangement” of organizational assignments to assure the optimum performance level of the team as a synergistic whole. The successful Supervisor is the one who knows what that one best combination is to attain a cohesive unit.

davisbioA discussion of drive state, bite progression, and how to create a training plan that fits your dog.

A clean out is one of the more difficult behaviors to train and maintain for many teams. This class will explore factors that directly affect your dog’s ability to reliably respond to the out command. Different approaches will be discussed identifying the pros and cons of each. Students will gain a better perspective of the dynamics of biting behavior and have tools to design a system that will benefit their dog.

The training you need to be your best.