World Class K9 Instructors

Meet the K-9 Instructors at HITS 2021

HITS presents leading K-9 instructors with an amazing wealth of experience to share.   These qualified instructors will present classes on all aspects of K-9 handling.

Meet Eric Stanbro
A 23-year veteran of law enforcement. Previous assignment was full time K9
trainer for Canton Ohio as well as head trainer for the Police K9 Association, which
consists of 40 K9 teams. He worked 4 dogs as a handler to include 3 as a member of
a busy, inner city SWAT team. He worked patrol, undercover narcotics, as well as K9. He was a member of SWAT for 14.5 years. Assistant team leader, sniper, and handled K9s. His specialty was training hostage rescue and room entries as well as K9 integration. Additionally, he worked as trainer for west coast contract providing training for Naval Special Warfare (SEALs) Multi-Purpose Canine program in 2013 and 2014.  Currently commissioned to Alliance Ohio Police Dept.  Eric Owes Vaness K9 academy and co-owns and instructs for High Risk Police K9 and co-owns and-cohosts Working Dog Radio.

Meet Ted Summers

Ted has been involved in working K9’s for over a decade in various forms from retrievers, to hunting terriers, to protection and police service dogs.  His specialties are grip work and development, patrol and utility work, proper decoy work, detection training, and K9 policy and procedure, K9 selection and green dog testing, and Scenario Based Training.   Ted is a certified Senior level PSA decoy.  Ted teaches our decoy and handler schools and our SWAT/SORT integration seminars as well as our decoy camp for police service trainers and handlers and does numerous camps for military special operations.  Ted is the co-owner at Torchlight K9.  Torchlight has K9 teams working in 18 states and 3 countries.  Torchlight K9 hosts several CLEET accredited courses.  Ted is also one of the co-hosts and Co owners of Working Dog Radio.   Ted is also a co-owner and instructor for High Risk Deployment K9.

Course Presentations:
Scenario Based training for Patrol teams

Meet Daryll Pleasants

Daryll Pleasants has over 29 years dog training experience. He served for the first half of his career in the British Army, within the Royal Army Veterinary Corps as a class 1 dog trainer and specialist K9 Instructor/operational handler. Following on from this after working in Africa for several years as a combat tracker he founded the wildlife organization Animals Saving Animals, its role to assist in the prevention of wildlife crime through providing specialist Anti-Poaching /tracker dogs and handler training to wildlife conservancies and national parks throughout the world. Daryll has provided combat tracking instruction to six countries in Africa, India, Europe and is presently working in South America. Most recently he has been assisting K9 law enforcement and special operations agencies with technical tracking Instruction.

Course Presentations:
Introduction to Combat tracking

Meet Dave Dourson

Dave is the co-owner and co-founder of Kinetic Performance Dog Food (KPDF).  Dave has 30 years of experience in various blue-water business ventures that focused on filling a “need” that, many times, in the corporate world, are overlooked by CFO’s that focused on profit, over quality.

Dave and his partner, John Howard, met while working for a large, mid-west based, pet food company in 2009, witnessing firsthand the real factors that go into ingredient selection of most foods.  With a desire to focus on animal health over profitability, the two left corporate America and started their own company in 2011. The pair spent countless hours working with various kennels across the United States on K9 nutrition with a goal of discovering the best ingredient formulation for working and sporting dogs.

Dave has conducted numerous seminars across the USA, Canada, Hawaii, Alaska and Great Britain for various divisions of the DOD, Homeland Security, USSS, Military, DEA, DHS/TSA, Intercom, State as well as hundreds of State and Local PDs teaching the Handler how to quickly identify nutritional deficiencies in their K9 partner.

Meet John Howard

John is Co-Owner and Co-Founder of 3-Amigos Nutrition Group and Kinetic Performance Dog Food. John has nearly 30 years of experience in Sales, Marketing and Animal Nutrition and formerly managed the Pet Food Division of a large animal nutrition company. An owner and amateur bird dog trainer, John has been directly entrenched in nutrition for working and sporting dogs for more than a decade. John oversees all the Marketing and Nutrition activities for 3-Amigos and the Kinetic brand. When he’s not in the field with his Labrador Retrievers, you’ll most likely find him conducting nutrition seminars, working on new products or marketing programs, or writing nutrition articles for working and sporting dog publications.

Course Presentations:
K-9 Nutrition: Is your dog on the right fuel and how do you know?

Meet Taylor Rahn

Taylor is an attorney from Albuquerque, NM who specializes in representing law enforcement officers and agencies in civil litigation arising out of use of force.  Ms. Rahn has successfully defended law enforcement officers and agencies in New Mexico state and federal court as well as the Tenth Circuit of Appeals.  Ms. Rahn is a New Mexico Department of Public Safety certified professional lecturer on civil liability for officers and frequently lectures at academies and advanced training courses throughout New Mexico.  Ms. Rahn is especially passionate about representing officers due to her close family ties to law enforcement.

Course Presentations:
Civil Liability and Use of Police Canines

Meet Justin Rigney

Justin Rigney has over 25 years of professional dog training experience and was a Law Enforcement Officer for 17 years, 10 of which he spent as a K-9 handler and trainer. His unique back ground and experience in civilian dog training as well as Police service dog training sets him a part from other trainers in his field. Justin’s passion for dog training is evident as he has assisted thousands of pet dog owners in enhancing their relationship with their dogs, bridging the gap of communication with their beloved four legged family members. Justin utilizes a proven, reliable, humane and clear, real world training system, which produces results and a dog who knows its job and loves its job. During his Law Enforcement career, Justin was fortunate enough to have been able to work three patrol dogs. Justin is a former member of the Davie Police Department and their K‐9 unit where he was a handler for K‐9 “Vader”, a Belgian Malinois who was produced from his own breeding program. Going from watching Vader take his vey first breath in life, to becoming a productive K-9 partner was extremely rewarding. K-9 “Bosko”, an all black GSD (German Shepherd Dog) was responsible for hundreds of arrests and apprehensions of violent felony offenders and has been instrumental in the recovery of numerous articles of valuable evidence. Post retirement, Bosko obtained his Brevet in French Ring sport. His last patrol dog K‐9 “Zeke” is a sable GSD who has been raised from a puppy by Justin and his wife Alison. Zeke was a proven, JUSTIN RIGNEY vigilant and tenacious police service dog during his career. Most notably defending his handler during a deadly force encounter and officer involved shooting. Zeke will continue to work and compete in civilian dog sport. Justin was a Corporal and trainer for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, which had 60 dogs department wide. During his professional dog training career he has trained with hundreds of Police K‐9 teams, competed in Schutzhund, Ring Sport and other dog sports. He has also trained dogs for celebrities, professional athletes and thousands of pet dog owners. Justin graduated and has been awarded a diploma in the NePoPo Gold training system, the modern language of dog training by Bart Bellon. Justin was formerly the President of the Florida Law Enforcement Canine Association ( and was one of the founding members. He was also a judge and instructor for FLECA. Justin has also been retained in civil litigation as an expert witness in K‐9 training, use of force and deployment. He has had the opportunity to certify and train hundreds of Police K‐9 teams. Justin continually pursues further knowledge of dog training in many different applications by training with some of the top canine trainers in the world.

Course Presentations:

Meet Don Blair


Canine Intelligence Academy (CIA): Founder and President

1984 – Present

CIA offers consulting, training, seminars and workshops for working and sport K9 teams

including 1:1 training, law enforcement / military department level consulting, and

weekend/week-long seminars in operant conditioning, detection work,

tracking/trailing and protection/apprehension. Chicago Police K9 Contractor for all Vapor Wake K9 Teams and other K9 Government K9 Explosive K9 agencies

Canine Therapy Corps: Program Leader/K9 Team Trainer

2011 – Present

Oversee interactive canine physical therapy program with volunteer K9 teams. Train and advise and assist K9 teams with patient activities to facilitate recovery at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago/Shirley Ryan Ability Labs.

Mass Transit Canine Services: Owner/Partner


Train, maintain and operationally prepare explosive and narcotic K9 detection teams for Amtrak Police Department nationwide.

Mass Transit Canine Services: Owner/Partner


Train, maintain and operationally prepare explosive and narcotic K9 detection teams for Amtrak Police Department nationwide.

Scientific Working Group for Dog and Orthogonal Detector Guidelines

(SWGDOG): Executive Board Member

2008 – 2015

Provided recommendations, oversight and consulting for the development of best practices for world-wide use for detector dogs.

Strijder Group K9: Cooper, Texas: Vice President Research & Development

5/2011 – 11/2012

Worked as a consultant to Auburn University’s Canine Detection Training Center

(Ft. McClellan AL developing training curriculum, evaluating current policies, and

canine evaluation of prospective detective and patrol dogs. Oversaw all aspects

of the canine training program and was responsible for evaluating and rehabilitating

under-performing dogs, or returned dogs with temperament or

behavior issues.

Specialized assignments included

• Developed a Navy SEAL basic canine handler’s course

• Development of an advanced course for traditional and vapor way canines

• Oversight of tracking patrol work, detection work and article search work

• Performed annual field certifications for explosive detection dogs

• Oversaw training that met certification for US Military Special Forces, US

Capital Police, Transportation Security Administration, Federal Protective

Services and various state and local agencies.

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – Canine Center, Front Royal, VA:

Canine Training Specialist

7/2007 – 5/2011

Performed a variety of activities including:

• Scientific research study on canine detection of smuggled fire-arms

(resulting in a new national training and certification process)

• Environmental enrichment study for kenneled working dogs

• Development of a canine behavior and temperament test

• Advised on a course of study on advanced field training on canine

aggression and on canine detection of HU-210 (synthetic


• Human remains detection training and team evaluations

• Oversaw the CPB canine breeding program (GSDs and Labradors)

Securitas Security Services USA, Inc. Chicago, IL: Canine Training /


3/2007 – 7/2007

Provided advice and oversight of US canine operations with regard to narcotics,

patrol and apprehension, kenneling, record keeping, training aid storage and

handling. Specialized in the development of training protocols and provided

trained teams for Chicago’s metropolitan train systems. Coordinated over a

hundred explosive searches in a variety of environments including Chicago’s

Soldier’s Field, The United Center, several high rise buildings and mass transit


Canine Associates International, Leland, IL: Managing Director

12/2004 – 3/2007

Responsible for the development of a proprietary canine training system for

detection work. In addition, oversaw canine selection testing, and canine/handler

evaluation criteria. Instructed and participated in a variety of training seminars

including law enforcement, SWAT and anti-terrorism/narcotics courses. Traveled

extensively overseeing CAI global canine operations including the deployment of

teams to South Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan and Jordan.

Customs Border Protection, Nogales, AZ: Canine Branch Chief

10/2002 – 12/2004

Responsible for supervising and directing the Nogales Canine Section in all

DHS/CBP anti-terrorism inspections and special enforcement operations.

Detection work included explosive, narcotic, human, agricultural and chemical.

Managed enforcement operations involving off site call-outs and pre-primary,

primary and secondary screening and inspection areas for various conveyances

and passenger operations. Performed research and development projects and

was a technical advisor to CBP and DHS management for Canine Enforcement

Program activities. Implemented cost preserving activities that still maintained

overall training effectiveness.

Customs Border Protection/US Customs: San Luis, AZ: Supervisory Canine

Enforcement Officer

3/1999 – 10/2002

Responsible for the supervision and direction of the canine section of CBP

inspections and special enforcement tasks including weekly/monthly

performance evaluations. In addition, oversaw the conduct of various R&D

projects involving temperature testing of ground cover materials and detection

assessment of canines in the presence of ozone generators. Generated training

courses on K9 selection and evaluation of K9 body language, and procurement

protocols and entrance evaluation tests. Was called as an expert witness on

canine detection skills, training and application to the US Attorney’s office.

Canine section in 2001 was the lead in narcotics seizures for the three year


US Customs – Canine Enforcement Training Center, Front Royal, VA:

Instructor/ Course Developer

8/1991 – 8/1999

Responsible for developing specialized training courses for detector dogs and

their handlers. Topics included: canine procurement, principles of detector dog

training, canine search patterns, developing green canines and handlers, canine

department supervision. Was also responsible for monitoring, testing and

evaluating field and classroom performance of canine enforcement teams, and

assessed and reported on training effectiveness. Provided training to outside

agencies in detection (narcotics, human remains, search and rescue,

tracking/trailing). Provided training to foreign groups. Received numerous awards

for training contributions.

US Customs, El Paso, TX: Canine Enforcement Officer

7/1989 – 8/1991

Responsible for inspections, law enforcement and canine handling/training

across a variety of environments (airports, railroads, border crossings, etc).

Provided technical and behavioral assessments of other teams including problem

solving and expansion of training environments to improve effectiveness.

Received multiple awards for narcotics seizures.

Pueblo County Sheriffs Department, Pueblo, CO: Sheriffs Deputy / Canine


2/1989 – 7/1989

Responsible for law enforcement activities including handling a patrol/detection

dog for narcotics, cadaver, building, article/evidence searches as well as

tracking/trailing and apprehension work. Was selected to assist in the training of

all department dogs. Generated department Standard Operating Procedures

(SOPs) for canine deployments, use of force policy, specialized training

requirements and overall use. Routinely provided testimony in court. Led the

region (AZ, WY, CO and UT) for number of narcotics seizures and arrests made.

Ignacio Police Department, Ignacio, CO: Police Canine Officer

10/1988 – 2/1989

Served as the sole canine officer in the department responsible for law

enforcement. Generated SOPs for canine applications, use of force policies and

training/deployment. Actively deployed in narcotic, human remains and building

searches; tracking/trailing and search and rescue activities. Received Letter of

Commendation for currency and drug seizure.

Durango Police Department, Durango, CO: Police Canine Officer

1/1988 – 10/1988

Served as the sole canine officer in the department. Coordinated the start-up of a

narcotics detection program and oversaw training in narcotics, cadaver,

obedience, article search, tracking/trailing and apprehension. Generated

department SOPs. Worked as an Assistant Instructor with Colorado State

Patrol/Drug Enforcement Administration in the Criminal Interdiction Program.

Qualified and competed in the National Police Dog Championships placing 11th

out of 126 teams.

La Junta Police Department, La Junta, CO: Police Canine Officer

12/1984 – 1/1988

Served as a canine officer responsible for law enforcement. Was selected to

assist in the training of the department’s canines eventually serving as the head

trainer. Developed and implemented a complete Police Dog Training Program.

Assisted the Durango Police Dept in the creation of their canine program. Served

as an Assistant Child Abuse – Sexual Assault Investigator and handled special

investigations. Qualified and served as a member of the Special Weapons Team.

Received several awards and letters of commendation.


Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado

• Some College Coursework Completed

• 20+ Credits 1982-83

• Major: Fish and Game Wildlife Management

Trinidad State Jr. College, Trinidad, Colorado, Certification, 4/85

Attended and graduated from the Colorado Peace Officers Academy


• Certified Professional Dog Trainer Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA)

• AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator

• International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, Attendance

4/2013; Dogs of Course, Warwick, RI

• Clicker Expo: Attendance 4/12; Karen Pryor Nashville TN

• Contemporary Animal Training and Management Workshop Certification,

12/2011, Natural Encounters Inc. Winter Haven, FL

• Advanced Animal Training and Operant Conditioning Workshop with Bob

Bailey Certification, 05/2010

• Legacy Canine Behavior and Training, Sequim, WA

• Advanced Animal Operant Conditioning Workshop on Discrimination,

Certification, 12/2009

• Legacy Canine Behavior and Training, Sequim, WA

• Advanced Animal Operant Conditioning Workshop on Cueing:

Certification, 12/2009

• Legacy Canine Behavior and Training, Sequim, WA

• Advanced Animal Operant Conditioning Workshop on Criteria

Certification, 12/2009

• Legacy Canine Behavior and Training, Sequim, WA

• Advanced Animal Training and Behavior Course, Chicago, IL;

Certification, 3/2008: 40 hours of advanced lecture and hands on training

and live examples with Ken Ramirez on animal intelligence, human

emotion and anthropomorphism, basic operant conditioning, informal

interactions, husbandry training, social groups, advanced training

techniques, aggression, advanced, training games, problem-solving

techniques and complex training.

• Advanced Animal Training and Behavior Course, Munich, Germany:

Certification, 12/2007 40 hours of advanced lecture with Ken Ramirez on

animal intelligence, human emotion and anthropomorphism, basic operant

conditioning, informal interactions, husbandry training, social groups,

advanced training techniques, aggression, advanced, training games,

problem-solving techniques and complex training.

• Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Grafton, MA Certification,


• Tufts’ Canine and Feline Breeding and Genetics Conference

• Advanced Animal Behavior North American Veterinary Services, Orlando,

FL, Certification, 7/2005

• Attended a 75-hour course (lecture and hands on training) on Advanced

Animal Behavior and Training hosted by North American Veterinary


• U.S. Customs Basic Academy (Canine Enforcement Officer): Front Royal,

VA, Certification, 8/1989; Attended and graduated with Honors

• U.S. Customs Course Developer/Instructor Canine Academy, Front Royal,

VA Certification, 9/1992

• U.S. Customs Firearms Instructor Academy, Federal Law Enforcement

Training Center Brunswick, Georgia, Certification, 12/1992 Attended and

graduated with Honors.

• U.S. Customs Basic Instructor Course, Brunswick, Georgia, Certification,



• Scientific Working Group on Dog and Orthogonal detector Guidelines

Executive Board Member

• United States Police Canine Association- Member

• California Narcotics Canine Association- Member

• Animal Behavior Society- Member


• 2010: Best Practices and Innovation Award from the (A) Commissioner of

Customs and Border Protection, David Aguilar for a research and

development project on dogs detecting currency and firearms.

• 2009: received a cash award for work done on Customs and Border

Protection Canine Breeding Program.

• 2008: received a cash award for work done on the Customs and Border

Protection Canine Breeding Program and Kennel Design project.

• 2007 received two “Dinner for Two” awards and a $1,000.00 dollar cash

award for work done on the breeding program and canine procurement.

• In 2005 and 2006 received salary bonuses from Canine Associates

International for the ground up development and management of the

canine training center in Leland, IL and my management work in the U.S.

and overseas. Received additional individual project awards for work in

Iraq, several contracts for training and international demonstrations.

• 1989 – 2004: received numerous written awards and certificates from US

Customs Service including 6 Special Act/Service Awards and 12

Performance Awards.

• 1999-2004: received six Superior Achievement Awards for work at the

San Luis, Lukeville and Nogales Ports of Entry.

• 2002 awarded extra leave for participation in the San Luis POE “Bring

Your Child to Workday”.

• 2002: used as canine subject matter expert at the U.S. Customs Canine

Enforcement Training Center to instruct a basic CEO Course and perform

an advisory role for the Director on canine procurement, instructional

issues and the breeding program.

• 2000: Letter of Acknowledgement from the Director, U.S. Customs

Academy John McKay for “Distinguished Academic Performance” at the

Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

• 2000: attended a newly developed 7-week Inspector Course at FLETC for

Canine Field Managers and was noted as an Academic Honor Graduate

of the class.

• 2000: received a Letter of Appreciation from Port Director McNamara for

Instruction of a Supervisory Customs Inspector Canine Supervisors

Course, Front Royal, VA.

• 2000: received a Letter of Appreciation from Assistant Commissioner of

Customs, for Outstanding Contribution on the Process Improvement


• 2000: Received Letter of Appreciation from Director, Office of Field

Operations for my involvement with the National Training Plan Task Force,

Washington, DC.

• 1999: selected to be an Advisor/Mentor to all Process Improvement

Teams in the Southern California and Caribbean Customs Management


• 1999: received a Letter of Appreciation from the Director, Arizona

Department of Corrections Samuel Sublett for continued support and

canine assistance with correctional contraband sweeps.

• 1998: received a Letter of Appreciation from the Commissioner, U.S.

Customs Service, Raymond Kelly for Outstanding Service in the Canine

Enforcement Program.

• 1998: received a Letter of Appreciation from the Vice Admiral U.S. Navy,

J.B. Perkins, for Canine Demonstration and Public Relations performed for

the U.S. Drug Czar W. MaCaffrey.

• 1996: received a Letter of Recognition from the Office of Treasury

Reinvention for my Leadership and Instructional abilities in the areas of

Government Reinvention and Process Improvement.

• 1996: received two Recognition Awards from U.S. Customs Commissioner

George Weiss, for work with Treasury Reinvention and Business Process

Improvement Instruction to the Customs Management Centers.

• 1996: received the Secretary of Treasury Award, presented by Robert

Rubin for work done on Canine Procurement Process Improvement Team,

reinventing the Government.

• 1996: received the U.S. Customs Commissioners Unit Citation, for work

on the Canine Procurement Process Improvement Team.

• 1994: received Instructional Recognition and Award for instructing the

Canine Supervisors Course in Venezuela, given by the Guardia National,


• 1994: received an Instructional Recognition and Award for instructing

Canine Supervisors Course in Venezuela, given by the Colombian

National Police, Bogota, Columbia.

• 1991: received a cash award and Letter of Recognition from the El Paso

District Director for Exceptional Enforcement Skills and Effort with my U.S.

Customs Canine Blitz.

• 1989: received Distinguished Service Award for Excellency in job

performance for Police Canine Narcotics Interdiction from the Kiwanis

Club International.

• 1989: received USPCA Letter of Commendation and 2nd place Quarterly

Award for Canine Narcotics search and seizure of 70 pounds of marijuana

and $3,000.00 in currency.

• 1989: received a Letter of Commendation USPCA for Canine Narcotics

search and seizure of 100 pounds of marijuana.

• 1988: received a USPCA Letter of Commendation and 3rd place Quarterly

Award for Canine Narcotics search and seizure of 130 pounds of

marijuana and $3,000.00 in currency.

• 1988: received a Letter of Commendation USPCA for Canine Narcotics

search and seizure of 19 pounds of marijuana.

• 1987: received a Letter of Commendation from the Governor of Colorado,

Roy Romer for Outstanding Service and Representation of the State of

Colorado for service and competition with my police canine Ranger.

• 1987: 2 year Safe Driving Award, La Junta Police Department.

• 1986: USPCA Region 14, 4th Quarter Canine Award Best Find for locating

two drowning victims in a lake with my police canine Ranger.

• 1986: 1 year Safe Driving Award Letter, La Junta Police Department.

• 1986-87: USPCA Special Award for Highest Combined scores in Criminal

Apprehension and Suspect Searches

• 1986: received a Letter of Commendation from the La Junta Police

Department for excellent performance in canine competition.

• 1985: Letter of Appreciation from the Lion’s Club International for

numerous canine demonstrations and service to the community.

• 1985: USPCA National Police Dog Championship received a Certificate of


IPO and Police Trial Awards

• 2006 won High in Trial; High Schutzhund III in a United Schutzhund Club

of America sponsored trial with handler owned trained (HOT) dog Chico.

• 1988: USPCA Narcotics Detector Dog Trials, 3rd overall, perfect score

(100 points) in vehicles.

• 1988 USPCA National Police Dog Championship; member of the 1st place

National Team from Region 14 Colorado.

• 1988 USPCA National Police Dog Championship placed 11th out of 126

Teams and again received a Certificate of Excellence.

• 1988 USPCA Regional Championship 4th place overall from a field of 38

Teams. 1st place suspect search, 2nd place evidence search, 3rd place

criminal apprehension, 5th place agility.

• 1987: USPCA Region 14 4th Quarter Award Best Find for locating and

apprehending two burglars in a large bakery warehouse.

• 1987 USPCA Narcotics Detector Dog Trials, 2nd overall, perfect score

(100 points) in vehicles.

• 1987: USPCA National Police Dog Championship, placed 27th out of a

field of 141 Teams, received a Certificate of Excellence (this is the highest

ranking given) and 3rd place overall scent work.

• 1987 USPCA Regional Championship 1st place overall from a field of 47

Teams. 1st place suspect search, 2nd place agility, 3rd place criminal

apprehension and I received a Certificate of Excellence.

• 1986: USPCA National Police Dog Championship (qualified but could not

compete for family reasons) also received a Certificate of Excellence.

• 1986 USPCA Regional Championship 3rd place overall from a field of 34

Teams. 1st place suspect search, 2nd place evidence search, 3rd place

Course Presentations:
A New Look at Canine Detection Problem Solving

Meet Cameron Ford

Cameron has been in K9 26 years first worked as a Military Working Dog Handler in the US Air Force (Stationed in Germany). During his time in Germany he was a Graduate of the German Police Dog Handler School as well as attended training at the Dutch Police Dog School in Nunspeet.

Cameron was later a Police Ofc. In FL SWAT and  (FDLE K9 Team Trainer) in TX a Constable K-9 Unit Handler / Trainer, SWAT

From 2010 to 2014 worked as a Government Contractor K9 Program Mgr. overseeing training for large K9 contracts in the middle east.

2014 to 2018 Navy SEAL SR. Multi Purpose Canine Instructor (SEAL teams 1,3,5 and 7)

CA POST and NPCA (Detection and Patrol) K-9 team evaluator

Member of Duke University Canine Cognition Research Team

Researcher at Texas Tech University Canine Olfaction Laboratory

Presently Training Director for Silver State K9 LLc Podcast host for” K9s Talking Scents”

Course Presentations:
Know your K9 with Canine Cognition Testing
Detection using Cognition

Meet Ron Cloward

Ron Cloward is a retired police lieutenant from Modesto California.  Ron worked three different police K-9s and was the Canine Unit Sergeant and trainer. When promoted to lieutenant, he remained the trainer and unit commander. Ron has over 30 years of experience in law enforcement canine.  Ron’s experience in K9 unit supervision and management provides hands on approach in training. Ron started his own K9 training company, TOP DOG POLICE K9 TRAINING & CONSULTING, in November of 2012. He conducts training around the country and is one of the few trainers that will bring the basic course to your agencies community. The business is based out of California, but conducts training around the country. His training programs are geared toward both handler and supervisor. Ron is also considered an expert in K9 operations and has provided expert witness work for many agencies.

Course Presentations:
Alex Geiger Case study, from selection to retirement
Basics and Beyond, K9 Unit Supervisor

Meet Tony Guzman

Since 1985, Tony has been International Trainer and Competitor in the areas of Police work, Narcotics and Explosives Detection, Home and Business Protection, Schutzhund & KNPV Police Training. He’s been featured in numerous International television stations exhibiting him as one of the top dog trainers in the World.

Following are Some of Tony’s accomplishments throughout the years

  • Head Trainer of over 5000 dog and/or canine teams in obedience, protection, narcotics or explosives. Has prepared canine teams for certifications through Florida Department of Law Enforcement standards since 1987.
  • Certified Instructor for the Miami-Dade Police Department Criminal Apprehension since 1987.
  • Services over 100 Law Enforcement Agencies Nationwide and Overseas.
  • Trainer and Evaluator for the IFRI program, an Independent Scientific Validation of Canine Detection Teams. A joint project of the International Forensic Science Research Institute (IFRI) Florida International University (FIU) and the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) since 1999. Always setting the standards through SWGDOG.
  • Certified professional witness for the State of Florida.
  • Trainer and Evaluator for the IFRI program, an independent scientific validation of canine detection teams. A joint project of the International Forensic Science Research Institute (IFRI) and Florida Internaitonal University (FIU)
  • Head Trainer for the DISIP K9 Unit of the Venezuelan Government. 15 explosive detection canine teams which were deployed for security purposes at the World OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), meeting in Venezuela prior to September 11th, 2001.
  • Contracted by the U.S – State Department, as head instructor for C.E.S.A. (Cuerpo Especializado de Seguridad Aeropuertaria – Airport unit) explosive detection canine teams for deployment as Security of the Pan-American Olympic Games of 2003 in the Dominican Republic.
  • Head Trainer for the C.E.S.A unit explosives detection program, selected by the United States Government, pioneering their explosives’ detection program by training 2 supervisors and 5 canine teams in 2000.
  • Head Trainer of the Dominican Republic DEA – DNCD, also selected by the United States of America State Department in 1999; pioneering their program for Narcotics Detection in the Dominican Republic. A program starting with only 5 canine teams and ending up with a total of 23 teams for deployment within 2 years.
  • Contracted by the U.S. State Department to provide Police Service Dogs for Trinidad & Tobago.
  • Trainer/Supplier of Canine Teams that were originally deployed at the Green Zone in Iraq, Dubai and Afghanistan in 2004 and 2005 contracted through Canine Associates International.
  • In 1999, Head Trainer of the only dual purpose canine team in history of the United States Police Canine Association to obtain 200 points out of 200 for narcotics’ detection and Recipient of the “Fred Wheeler Award” (highest combined score in obedience and criminal apprehension).
  • In 2002; Selected as one of four Americans to represent the U.S.A. in Slovenia for the World Championship Belgian Malinois Team with his Belgian Malinois  “Ficco Vom Roten Falken”.
  • Recipient of Singapore K9 Units – Certificate of Appreciation for enhancement of canine program in Holland after completing K9 seminar in the Netherlands.

Most of his dogs have placed in the top ten in the United States Police Canine Association Nationals and Regional’s in different categories for the last 25+ years.

Recognized and sought after for seminars by numerous Police Agencies in the United States and across the world and consistently sought by other canine professionals in his field for his advice on training techniques and the success of his methods.

  • Featured on the cover of Dog Sports Magazine (October 1993 and April 1995 Issues) and Ray Allen Magazine (1996 issue).
  • Featured in numerous local news articles in the Miami Herald, Sun Sentinel and various newspapers for accomplishments related to the many Police Agencies he has supplied and trained canines for during the last 25 years.
  • Featured in numerous International television stations exhibiting him as one of the top dog trainers in the world.  (You can view some of the media clips online)
  • WCBS News –  Special Report;  “A women’s best friend” a local report  about women and their loyal canine partners in the areas of security and personal protection and the benefits of having a fully trained canine partner.
  • WSVN-Fox 7 news special report “How a well traineddog should behave”. The areas of canine training and proper handling.
  • Behind the Silver Badge – A special report on how and where Miami Dade County selects their dogs and canine handlers for the specialized unit.
  • Telemundo – Canines against Criminals; a special 3 day report showing the public how pólicedogs & officers are trained to protect the public against criminals and their fight against the drug wars; also how these loyal partners can be trained to protect families as well.
  • Primer Impacto –Special Report on Executive Protection and Police Dog Training
  • Control – Special Report on Police Dogs and Canine Detection Training
  • OcurrioAsi – Special feature on Tony going to the world team competition and canine training.

Course Presentations:
The 4 parts of K9 Aggression Instinct and the Pack/Bonding Instinct

Meet Bob Suarez

Certified IFRI Trainer/Evaluator for Narcotics, Explosives, Cadaver and Wildlife

Certified USPCA Trainer and President of Region 8 (East TN)

Certifying official for NNDDA in Patrol and Narcotics

Certifying judge for AWD in Patrol, Narcotics, and Explosives

Tennessee Post instructor for K9

USPCA President of Region 8 (East TN)

Trained or co-trained over 1,000 dogs in the areas of Patrol, SWAT applications, Jail Entry Applications, Tracking, Drug Detection, Explosive Detection, Accelerant Detection, Cadaver Detection, Wildlife Detection, Evidence Recovery, Building/Area Search, Agility, Criminal Apprehension, Basic, Advanced, and Tactical Obedience, Search and Rescue

Taught over 100 K9 handler’s courses on Patrol, Drug Detection, Explosive Detection, Tracking, etc.

Lead instructor for several K9 seminars

Certified handler in Patrol, Drug Detection, Cadaver Detection, Explosive Detection, and Tracking under USPCA, NNDDA, AWD, FDLE, and IFRI

Licensed DEA K9 researcher

Narcotics investigation/K9 handler

SWAT operator certified

Certified dignitary protection detail officer

Certified and testified as an expert in reference to police service dogs in 6th Circuit Federal Court

Written K9 SOPs for law enforcement agencies

Managed 10 team unit

Course Presentations:
The 4 parts of K9 Aggression Instinct and the Pack/Bonding Instinct

Meet Dr. Adebimpe

Prof. David Adebimpe, founder and CEO of Polymath Interscience, is a research scientist, philosopher and inventor who uses his cross-disciplinary skills and expertise to solve unique problems that require the convergence of different scientific and technical disciplines and philosophies.  With over 30 years of combined experience as a social psychology (UK), biochemistry (UK), nanotechnology (USA) and organic chemistry (USA) professor, including stints as a guest scientist with NIST and NASA, he is a subject matter expert and world leader in the convergent application of odorology, scent-engineering and the mechanics of mammalian olfaction, towards the development of scent-detection training aids and practical tools that enhance the olfactory capabilities of operational search-and-detect K9s.

As testimony to his capabilities, Dr. Adebimpe developed the first-and-only official inert replacements to the United States Marines’ Canine Kits for Explosives Detection, the MN01/MN76 Canine ScentKit.  He also invented the world’s first non-hazardous training aids for the scent detection of a wide range of illicit and hazardous materials such as wide-ranging as TATP, HMTD, Dynamite, PETN/ETN, Nitrocellulose, Nitroglycerin, EGDN, PCP, MDMA, Mold, LSD, Bed Bugs, Tetryl and Fentanyl, as part of the “ScentLogix™ ScentKit Collection” which currently stands as the broadest collection of operationally-tested non-hazardous scent training aids ever produced for the imprinting and scent-training of working dogs in the detection of explosives, narcotics, guns, mines, ammunition, and currency.  As a result of user ratings and K9 performances worldwide, ScentLogix™ ScentKits are now regarded as the world’s first scent-reference materials developed for working dog imprinting, maintenance training and certification activities, as a “gold standard” of training aids, and as logically superior replacements to the practice of using target materials as training aids & certification standards.

Based on his knowledge of odor and olfaction, David serves as a consultant to numerous agencies worldwide, including the Department of Defense (USA, India, Mexico), the Federal Police (Brazil), The Department of Justice (Australia), Department of Customs (Indonesia, Singapore, Kazakhstan), in matters pertaining to detector-K9 scent kit utility, training and certification protocols.

His qualifications include a Doctor of Science degree, an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, and a B.Sc. with Honors in Biochemistry with Psychology.  Additionally, he has attended a number of FBI and US-DOJ certification programs in explosives detection and terrorist preparedness. He is a member of IABTI, a founding member of “SCENT-SOURCE” and serves on numerous national and international advisory boards.  His current professional interests include “learning the art of applying a scientific knowledge of odor, scent engineering and biological olfaction, towards (i) the fabrication of gas sensors and “electronic noses,” and (ii) improving the portfolio of practical educational tools, utility scents, and training standards for the detector K9 community.”


Course Presentations:

Meet Marcella Ridgway

Dr. Marcella Ridgway has been a practicing veterinarian for 36 years and is a board-certified specialist in Small Animal Internal Medicine with areas of special interest in infectious diseases and canine occupational health. Currently, she holds the position of Clinical Professor in Small Animal Internal Medicine and service head of the Small Animal Internal Medicine Service at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, where she provides specialty veterinary care for dogs and cats in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital; clinical and didactic training in Internal Medicine for residents, interns and veterinary students; and continuing education for other veterinarians. In teaching veterinary students and in her continuing education presentations, she is working to develop veterinarians who have a better understanding of the roles fulfilled by working and performance dogs and thus are better prepared to provide exceptional medical care optimized for the individual dog and the particular demands of the dog’s job. She also provides instruction in K9 field first-aid for law enforcement and SAR K9 handlers. In addition to her professional endeavors, she is a SAR K9 handler (trailing) and competition obedience handler and instructor.

Course Presentations:
The Biology of Scent Detection
Practical K9 Anatomy

Meet Dr. Kenneth Furton

Dr. Kenneth G. Furton is a Professor of Chemistry, Provost, Executive Vice President and COO of Florida International University. He is a leading scholar in forensic chemistry, specializing in canine olfaction. Dr. Furton is the founder of the International Forensic Research Institute and served as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for 7 years where he helped raise $50 M in private gifts and dramatically increase grant awards totaling more than $300 M. As Provost he has led the development and implementation of FIU’s bold strategic plan BeyondPossible2020 resulting in significant increases in student success and research preeminence measures.

Dr. Furton has over 20 years of canine research experience and developed the IFRI canine certification program, which has evaluated more than 1,000 canine teams. He has chaired the Scientific Working Group on Dog and Orthogonal Detector Guidelines (SWGDOG) since its inception in 2004 and is currently the chair of the Organization for Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) Dogs and Sensor subcommittee and he chairs the Dog and Sensors Consensus Body of the Academy Standards Board. Dr. Furton is the author or co-author of more than 800 publications and presentations, including 15 patents and 2 books. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He has given hundreds of invited talks nationally and internationally and has testified as an expert witness in dozens of state and federal trials.

Course Presentations:
Canine Detection National Standards and Trends, Including Electronic Devices, Designer Drugs, and Hemp Products.


Meet Bobby Roettger

Bobby served as a police officer for 9 years in Connersville Indiana where he was a member of the K-9 unit working a Dual Purpose Narcotic dog on patrol and as a team leader for SWAT. Bobby is an NNDDA certifier, a graduate of VLK Trainers Course and has been a guest instructor for VLK on numerous occasions from 2000 – 2003. In January 2004 Bobby became a full time trainer. Bobby has judged K-9 competitions and instructed seminars in several states to include Tennessee, North Carolina, Utah, Indiana and Ohio. Bobby has traveled to Afghanistan training Afghan handlers on VLK bomb dogs.

Course Presentations:
Building search – utilizing the canine in Tactical CQB with a team

Meet Ken Licklider

SMSGT, USAF (Ret) Kenneth Licklider, is the Owner/Operator of Vohne Liche Kennels, Inc (VLK), a Service Disabled Veteran owned company headquartered in Denver, Indiana, with additional facilities in California and Holland. VLK is widely known as the premier Private Canine Training Facility and Detection Service Provider in the world and has been providing superior service for the past twenty-four (24) years.

SMSGT Licklider has forty (40) years canine experience, including seventeen (17) years serving in the United States Air Force (U.S.A.F.) in the canine career field. SMSGT Licklider served in the U.S.A.F. from 1977-1993 and served in the capacity of Law Enforcement Superintendent, Kennel Master, Police Service Dog Trainer, and as a Police Service Dog Handler. During his military career SMSGT Licklider competed in and won several military K-9 competitions and was as the recipient of numerous service medals.

Upon his retirement in 1993, SMSGT Licklider formed VLK. SMSGT Licklider is considered a subject matter expert (SME) and is world renowned for his scent work, which has been copied by Dutch Customs. He has been invited to speak and instruct by agencies throughout the United States and abroad and has traveled around the world teaching his methodologies. He currently has dogs and/or conducted training in forty-nine (49) states and more than thirty-two (32) countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, UAE, several in Africa and the European Continent, Mexico, South Africa, Ghana, Turkey, El Salvador, Brazil, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Columbia, Saudi Arabia, Albania, Croatia, Kosovo, Guatemala, Guam, the Philippine Islands, South Korea, and Israel.

SMSGT Licklider has instructed thousands of students and has trained/worked with thousands of dogs in his career. He and his staff train more than five hundred (500) dogs per year. He currently has dogs in service with over five thousand (5,000) Military, Local, State and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies, Corporate Security, and Private Industry clients to include the United States and Foreign Customs and Border Patrol, Department of Homeland Security, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI), the National Security Agency (NSA), the United States Secret Service (USSS), the United States Pentagon Police, the United States Department of Defense (DoD), the United States Department of State (DoS), the United States Army Special Forces Command, the United States Marine Corp Special Forces Command, the United States Navy Seals, Lackland Military Working Dog School, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, NASA, CN Railway Police, Los Angeles, Chicago, Illinois State Police, Honolulu, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, San Bernardino, Michigan State Police, Metro Detroit Airport Police (MI), Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Memphis, St. Louis, Phoenix, several Federal and State prisons, Inter-Con, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Engility, Triple Canopy, Global Integrated Security, Aegis, DynCorp, Securitas, Battelle, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) the Peoria Air Show, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Electric Daisy Carnival, and Lollapalooza.

As an SME in the military and police service dog world, SMSGT Licklider has been instrumental in the development of copious specialized canine programs, both nationally and internationally, to include the United States Army Combat Tracking Dog (CTD), the United States Tactical Explosive Detection Dog (TEDD), and the United States Special Forces Multi-Purpose Canine (MPC). He has developed course doctrines, programs of instructions (POIs), and System Training Plans (STRAPS) for several military canine programs and has served as a SME on several research and development canine detection studies.

SMSGT Licklider is licensed through the Alcohol Tobacco and Fire Arms (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the State of Indiana to possess and store explosive and controlled substances. VLK has an approved magazine on-site for storage of explosives and approved controlled substance storage. He is a member of several police canine associations, is a founding member of the Scientific Working Group on Dog and Orthogonal Detector Guidelines (SWGDOG), and is a Co-founder of American Working Dogs (AWD). AWD is an American Working Dog Advocate with members from around the world. AWD publishes an internationally distributed magazine that is published quarterly. It is a vital resource of technology and information that hundreds of Law Enforcement and Government Personnel subscribe to as loyal readers. AWD/VLK also hosts an annual Seminar and Certification Trial (Olympics) at their Denver, Indiana location. The Olympics consist of four (4) action packed days of intense competition amongst the world’s best canine teams from across the United States and abroad. This unique event is an opportunity for the civilian community to observe military, law enforcement, and private industry canine teams from local, state, and national entities, compete in events such as detection (explosive and narcotic), tracking, area search, building search, control, obedience, obstacle course, individual and three (3) man team events, and hard dog/fast dog

SMSGT Licklider has designed and manufactures a line of towable canine transportation units/trailers. The VLK unit, through thoughtful design and masterful engineering has virtually outdated and made obsolete all of the current K-9 trailer and dog transport vehicles currently on the market. Not only does the VLK design resolve the deficiencies of other units, it sets a new standard for dog transport. VLK’s largest client of their towable transportation units is the United States Military.

SMSGT Licklider and his staff can be reached at the corporate headquarters located in Denver, Indiana at 765-985-2274, via email at, via their website, and via Facebook at Vohne Liche Kennels, Vlk West, and VLK Europe b.v.

Course Presentations:
Obedience to Odor

Meet Jeff Meyer

Jeff Meyer has been a police officer since 1989. Jeff has been involved in K-9 nearly all of his career. Currently Jeff is handling 2 detector dogs, a bomb dog as well as a currency dog for his department. Jeff has handled, certified and deployed dogs that have been used to find people, narcotics, explosives, guns, currency and evidence.

Jeff spent over 17 years in the Patrol dog section working several patrol dogs before being tasked with starting a new detection K-9 unit for his department. Jeff now is involved in training dog teams in all divisions for his agency.

Jeff is a Utah Post Teaching Judge and regularly teaches classes for teams all across the U.S. In addition, he has provided expert witness testimony on behalf of officers.

Jeff Started Police K-9 Magazine in 2005 and sold the title in 2014. Jeff is one of the partners of HITS K-9 seminars and the host for HITS k-9 Radio podcast.

You can reach Jeff at

Course Presentations:
Marker Training for Detection Dogs
E-Collar Training – Avoiding the Common Mistakes

Meet Mike Goosby

Sergeant Mike Goosby is the Chief Trainer of the Los Angeles Police Department, Metropolitan Division K-9 Platoon. He is a nationally recognized expert in K-9 tactics, perimeter containment, command post operations (command and control), as well as off leash control and K-9 search techniques. Mike oversees all aspects of K-9 and Handler training, maintenance, and K-9 selection for the LAPD K-9 Platoon, and has conducted, participated in, or coordinated over 7,500 K-9 or K-9/SWAT search operations.

Course Presentations:
Perimeters and Search team tactics (Operations as well as Command and Control, From Boots on the ground Perspective)

Meet Jeff Schettler

CEO / Police and Military K9 Trainer / Author

Jeff Schettler is a retired police K9 handler who worked for the City of Alameda and County of Amador in California and was attached to the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Teams’ K9 Assistance Program for two years. This program was designed to locate and apprehend high-risk fugitives on the run.   He is a certified military trainer graduating from the prestigious US Army’s Leadership Academy also known as Drill Sergeant School.

Jeff has worked hundreds of trailing cases across the USA and is a specialist in the areas of tactical tracking applications.  He is also considered an expert witness in tracking/ trailing.

As an international K9 trainer, he spends 12 weeks a year training throughout Europe, South America, and Asia. His program is in use with numerous international police agencies as well as NATO military units.

Jeff’s work has been seen on CNN, ABC, CBS, HLN, Unsolved Mysteries, and Mythbusters.  Through the years, he has become a renowned author of the following books on K9 Tracking Work.

Red Dog Rising– A K9 Tracking Autobiography

K9 Trailing; The Straightest Path– A primer on starting a K9 team on human scent discrimination and trailing work.

Tactical Tracker Teams– A practical guide to surviving high-risk fugitive manhunts.

Tao of Trailing – The Tao of Trailing is my fourth and final book on the art of trailing or tracking human scent with police, search and rescue, or military K9.

Check out this video of Jeff’s work

Course Presentations:
Urban tracking: defeating distractions and hard surface work.
Tactical tracking: adding the team to the tracking dog.

Meet Dr. Nathan Hall

Dr. Nathan Hall, PhD,. Assistant Professor of Companion Animal Science at Texas Tech University, Director, Canine Olfaction Research and Education Laboratory Department of Animal Science.

Dr. Hall is an Assistant Professor of Companion Animal Science at Texas Tech University and the Director of the Canine Olfaction Research and Education Laboratory in the Department of Animal Science. Dr. Hall earned his PhD at the University of Florida, specializing in the study of Behavior Analysis and canine olfaction. As a post-doc, he continued his studies at Arizona State University investigating the optimization of training to enhance canine’s detection of Homemade Explosives. At Texas Tech, his work continues to explore canine olfactory perception and how experience influences odor perception. His lab also investigates predictors and correlates of problem behavior, behavioral predictors of working aptitude, and canine health. Throughout his career, Dr. Hall has published numerous peer-reviewed scientific publications and book chapters on canine olfaction and detection abilities.

Course Presentations:
Canine Sense and Scent Ability: Recent research on how canines learn and detect odors

Meet Andrew Weiman

With more than 31 years of police experience involving various assignments in specialty drug investigation unit in south Florida, Detective Weiman has become a leading expert in the field. With 25 years of K9 experience since training his first drug dog with Canadian Customs, Andy has gone on to oversee the training of a variety of detector dogs to include teams that can find drugs, currency cell phones, tobacco and firearms.

Andy’s education and experience with police dog training has steered his career path into developing an industry leading recordkeeping software program called PackTrack. His depth of knowledge and understanding of state and federal laws regarding search and seizure has been an enormous asset to hundreds of K-9 handlers who attend his K-9 training courses.  Andy’s ability to teach detection canines was refined through over a decade of training for MCTFT Multi-Jurisdictional Counter Drug Task Force Training Center.  Andy taught thousands of handlers all over the US and its territories.   Andy has served on the editorial advisory board for Police K-9 Magazine and created HITS, the training conference known for its breadth of diversified K9 training lectures.   Andy was a co-author of the book “Canines in the Courtroom” used by handlers, trainers, and supervisors as reference material for training courses.

Andy’s expert opinions on drug dogs and recordkeeping will surely help bring the entire law enforcement K9 industry to a higher level of clarity. His countless court appearances and proven skills as an expert witness on the stand are clear testimony to the effectiveness of proper K9 recordkeeping as a means to establishing K9 reliability. As a K9 trainer and handler with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, Andy continues to educate others through his direct oversight of the training.

Course Presentations:
Developing a Well-Trained Detector Dog Handler- Techniques and Scenarios for a Better Team
Drug Canine Record Keeping & Court Testimony

Meet Jason Purgason

Jason is the President of Highland Canine Training, LLC which was founded in 2006 and is located in Harmony, North Carolina. Having earned his Police Canine Instructor’s Certification in 2003, Jason has been training dogs for over 25 years. He has trained canines in the areas of Narcotics Detection, Explosives Detection, Human Detection, Police Patrol, Scent Discrimination Tracking / Trailing, Termite Detection, Mold Detection, Human Remains Detection, Allergen Detection, Bat Guano Detection, Urban Disaster, Wilderness Search and Rescue. Jason has trained over 900 working dogs and handlers for detection, police patrol and search and rescue. Jason’s work in the K9 detection training and patrol dog training has qualified him as a subject matter court expert.

Jason has been a sworn Police Officer since 1995 and served Reidsville Police Department in North Carolina for over 10 years as a Police Canine Handler, a K9 Unit Supervisor, Vice Narcotics/Interdiction Unit Supervisor and an Operator on the SWAT team. Using his professional background, Jason conducts police canine handler courses and seminars throughout the United States including Police and Military personnel at NASA and the Pentagon as well as for Special Forces units of the United States Military and for foreign Military and Police Departments. Jason has been an Instructor/Speaker at national and international K9 conferences for several years. Additionally, Jason provides oversight of all other trainers’ courses offered at Highland Canine Training, LLC.

Course Presentation:
A Strategic Approach to Problem Solving in Modern K9 Operations

Meet Brad Smith

Brad Smith retired from the West Covina Police Department in southern California in June 2010 after 30 years of service.  Brad was a K9 handler and trainer for West Covina for 25 years and a SWAT dog handler for 18 years.  Since 1999 Brad has been National K9 Chairman for N.T.O.A. and a K9 Subject Matter Expert for the California Association of Tactical Officers.  Brad specializes in field tactics and officer safety. Brad designed and implemented a K9 SWAT & K9 Patrol Tactical School called S.K.I.D.D.S. and CATS  Brad is also owner of Canine Tactical Operations and Consulting and the author of the book “K9 Tactical Operations for Patrol and SWAT.”  Brad has published over 80 articles for a wide variety of publications on K9 Swat Deployment and training. Brad can be reached at or 626-523-4028.

Course Presentations:
High Risk K9 Patrol Operations and K9 SWAT Deployment – S.K.I.D.D.S. / CATS
Courtroom Testimony – Know the answers to the questions before their asked.

Meet Mike Ritland

Mike Ritland joined the U.S. Navy in 1996 and served for 12 years as a U.S. Navy SEAL.

After his service, Mike served as a Naval Special Warfare (SEAL) Multi-purpose canine trainer, and founded Trikos International. Trikos specializes in providing training consultation, working K9’s to police departments, Federal LEO and government agencies.

He now has over 15 years’ experience in importing, breeding, raising, and training multiple breeds of working dogs for a number of different working capacities. With his unique training approach, Ritland has trained hundreds of working dogs for combat and the real world, and specializes in military dog training, police dog training and SAR K9 training. With this proven success, Mike and Trikos International have grown into a global brand, providing K9s for private individuals, and a host of government agencies, including:

  •      Department of Defense (DoD)
  •      Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  •      Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
  •      U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP)
  •      Police Departments across the U.S.

Mike Ritland also founded the Warrior Dog Foundation, a non-profit special operations K9 retirement foundation. The WDF provides a home for all working K9’s to receive nothing but he best mental and physical rehabilitation.

All this experience prompted Mike Ritland to write three New York Times Best Selling books: Trident K9 Warriors, Navy SEAL Dogs, and TEAM Dog.

Most recently, Mike created the Team Dog Online Training website launched. This platform provides online dog training to dog owners across the world. Current community members range from first time puppy owners to well established dog trainers, as there is something for everyone, and Ritland personally interacts with members on the site and answers their questions.

Mike Ritland currently resides in Dallas, Texas and dedicates his time daily to working with his K9s at Trikos International and the Warrior Dog Foundation.

Course Presentations:
True Foundations

Meet Dr. Lauryn Degreeff

Dr. Lauryn E. DeGreeff has worked in the field of canine detection science for more than 10 years.  She began her career studying under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Furton at Florida International University, where she received a Ph.D. in Chemistry with an emphasis in Forensic Science in 2010.  Her research focused on the sampling and delivery of human odor, living and deceased, for the purpose of canine detection.  Following the completion of her doctorate, she carried out research as a post-doctoral fellow at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research Unit under the advisement of Dr. Brian Eckenrode.  Her research focus was detection and determination of volatiles from human scent and odor and human blood by analytical instrumentation for the development/improvement of canine training aids and training methods.  Dr. DeGreeff began her research at the Naval Research laboratory in 2012 with research efforts focused on the characterization of explosives for instrumental and canine detection.  She has since developed and patented a canine training tool for training on mixed odors, which has recently been brought to commercial market, and she is currently studying the effects of training on the canines’ ability to generalize or discriminate like odors.  Dr. DeGreeff has published a number of journal articles, has presented her research at numerous national and international conferences, and holds two patents.

Course Presentations:
Odor Chemistry for Narcotics Detection
Odor Chemistry for Explosive Detection

Meet Arthur “Ted” Daus

Ted Daus is an assistant state attorney with the Broward County State Attorney’s Office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He has been a prosecutor for the past 23 years, the last 18 of which he has been assigned to the Drug Trafficking Unit for the State Attorney’s Office. Ted graduated from Nova Southeastern School of Law in 1991. He has extensive experience as a lecturer on search and seizure for D.E.A., U.S. Customs, various Florida Police Departments, the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, the Police K-9 Training Institute, Police Canine Consultants and the Canine Development Group. He lectures regularly all across the country to National Canine Organization such as U.S.P.C.A., N.P.C.A. & N.A.P.W.D.A. He is an adjunct professor of law for Nova Southeastern University Teaching Trial Advocacy and coaching national mock trial teams. He was until recently, the legal editor and writer for Police K-9 Magazine and lectures every year at their national canine conference “HITS”. He is the current nationwide legal advisor for the National Police Canine Association headquartered in Arizona. Most recently, Ted was counsel of record for both United States Supreme Court K-9 cases, Harris & Jardines, argued before the court on October 31st, 2012.

Course Presentations:
2020 Drug Canine Legal Updates

Meet Armin Winkler

Armin has spent the majority of his life working dogs in the civilian and law enforcement fields since the mid-1970s. He has operated his own K9 security business in Canada.

Armin has spent the majority of his life working dogs in the civilian and law enforcement fields since the mid-1970s. He has operated his own K9 security business in Canada.

Armin is a published author who has written and published K9 training articles all over the world.  Armin operates Rivanna K9 Services in Virginia where he provides training services as an Applied Animal Behavioral Scientist to his clients.  He is a certified law enforcement instructor through the Justice Institute of British Columbia and the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services.  Armin provides in depth training programs to SOF military K9 units as well as LE agencies. He has advised and consulted with all US Tier 1 SOF units.  As well as many SOF units across the globe. Armin was the headline instructor at the 2018 and 2019 SOF K9 Conference in Warsaw, Poland.  Armin’s hands on style and decades of prolific decoy work have earned him great respect and influence as his innovative concepts and techniques are utilized by the world’s top K9 units.

Course Presentations:
Complete Muzzle Training for Reliable Street Performance
The New Age of K9 use in Tactical Team deployments

Meet Shay Maimoni

Shay Maimoni, is the founder and Lead Trainer at Israeli Special Tactics K9 and the director of training at WooF Dogs “We Speak your Dog’s Language” and WooF Dogs-school for dog’s trainers located in Palm Beach County, Florida. Shay has over 20 years of K9 training experience, which started with the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces), Air Force. Shay had conducted hundreds of hours in research and observation of canines and analyzing their behaviors. Speaks and trained a number of countries K9 units in the subjects of, Dog’s language and Behaviors, Decoy developments, and Tactical obedience with live fire. Shay has developed a unique Muzzle Fighting system which is already being applied successfully around the world. Shay had conducted hundreds of hours in research and observation of canines and analyzing their behaviors.

Course Presentations:
Dog’s Language & Canine Behaviors
Manipulating Canine Drives to Enhance your Dog’s Performance

Meet Scott Clark

Scott Clark, Owner and Founder of High Drive K-9, has been a Police Officer for the City of Coral Springs Police Department, Broward County, Florida since January 1999. Since 2001, he has been assigned to the K-9 Unit where he currently serves as an active K-9 Handler & Head Trainer. He has been working and training patrol and detection dogs since 2002. He is a current certified State of Florida FDLE K-9 Team Instructor and FDLE K-9 Team Evaluator. In addition, Scott is the K-9 Unit Head Trainer, Multi-Jurisdictional K-9 Head Trainer, SWAT K-9 Team Leader, Trainer and SWAT K-9 Handler, Firearms Instructor, HK MP5/MP7Instructor, Sig Rifle Instructor, and has trained numerous K-9 Teams in South Florida and Across the Country. Scott has a vast knowledge in Canine Behavior, Decoy Development, Bite Building, K-9 Tactics, K-9/SWAT Tactics and has countless K-9 & SWAT Deployments. Scott obtained his Bachelor’s Degree (B.A.) majoring in both, Criminal Justice and Psychology, from the University of North Florida.

Course Presentations:
K-9 Officer Down

Meet Bill Lewis

Bill Lewis II is a retired police sergeant and former K9 handler from the Oxnard (CA) Police Department with over 40 years of police, SWAT and K9 experience who continues to stay actively involved in the police K9 community as an instructor, author, consultant, certifying official, and expert witness.  He is the author of the “Reasons We Get in Trouble” periodicals, instructor for “Canine Liability 360” and “Canine Supervision 365,” and operates the web site as a free online K9 resource.

Course Presentations:
Leadership Challenges in the K9 Unit
Defending Your Patrol K9 Program

George Carbocci

George Carbocci began his law enforcement career in 2006 as a road patrol deputy. His eagerness to learn and proactive enforcement led him to be part of high liability units. He is currently assigned to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Aviation Unit as a Tactical Flight Officer (TFO) and fills in as the unit OIC when needed. His duties include operating all the mission equipment on board, HRST-master duties and is also the lead trainer for the TFO’s. He is also the unit’s liaison to the agency SWAT Team, narcotics units and regularly meets with the canine units throughout the county.

George has been a member of the agency’s V.I.P.E.R. Unit which focused on violent crime investigations to include firearms and Gangs. In addition, George was assigned to a narcotics unit, handled a narcotics detection canine, and served as a Task Force Officer with the U.S. Marshals with a focus on sexual predators / offenders.

Throughout his career, George has been awarded numerous awards and commendations, including the Gold Cross, and Life saving awards.

In his time in Aviation, George assisted in developing a training standard for new incoming TFO’s and has and continues to provide training to the agency regarding the relationship between Aviation and the Patrol division.

Course Presentations:
Tactical Air Support for K9

Paul Sada

Paul Sada has more than 17 years of experience as a Law Enforcement Officer. He is a state certified instructor in several high-lability disciplines. Paul is regularly involved in training and tactical operations within his agency as well as other outside agencies. He is currently a Tactical Flight Officer in the Aviation Unit at the Broward Sheriff Office. His duties include operating a FLiR camera, mission coordinating, HRST-master duties, and assisting in formulating the Airborne Use of Force Program for his unit. This position requires regularly coordinating tactical response to daily missions with SWAT, K-9, Fugitive, and several units of this kind.

Paul has been a member of a Dive Rescue Team conducting several Rescue and Recovery missions. Paul has worked as operator on the Emergency Response Team and served as an Undercover Narcotics Investigator. He has been involved in many federal operations to include being a part of the Capital Asset Dignitary Protection detail with the Secret Service for POTUS and VPOTUS.

Throughout his career, Paul has received numerous awards and commendations, including the Life Saving Award, the prestigious National Sheriff’s Association Medal of Valor, and certificate of appreciation from the Florida Senate, to name a few.

Paul’s specialized training and professional experience has given him the veracity to help develop training curriculums for various law enforcement organizations to include participating in the development of the current statewide defensive tactics curriculum taught to all Law Enforcement Recruits in the State of Florida. As a Training Instructor in the private sector, Paul has co-hosted a variety of tactical and safety seminars for community partners, hospitals, colleges/universities, private sector organizations, and business corporations.

Stretching beyond law enforcement, his passion for training developed out of his continued thirst for knowledge. From the ballfield to the mats, Paul is a former collegiate athlete, playing NCAA baseball in New York and Miami, and has training in various martial arts disciplines, including in Jiu-Jitsu, Aikido, and Tae Kwon Do. Believing that knowledge is power, Paul’s training regimen mirrors that of a “collegiate athlete” understanding the discipline required to become an “expert” in his field.

Course Presentations:
Tactical Air Support for K9

Meet Blake Broadhurst

Blake Broadhurst is an active police K-9 handler and instructor for the Orlando Police Department. He has served as a police officer for 14 years, spending 12 on specialty units to include SWAT, FTO, drug interdiction team and crime suppression units. He has been involved in over 150 solo uses of force during his career, ranging from hand-to-hand combat to deadly force encounters. His defensive tactics background is in Goju Martial Arts and kick boxing. Blake holds instructor certifications in defensive tactics, basic K-9 patrol, and as a federal active shooter instructor. He also has developed multiple police training programs that focus on improving officers’ tactics and decision-making processes during responses to resistance. Blake is the owner and lead instructor for Mav1 Tactics as well as the author of K-9 Tactical Team Takedowns and Choke Defense Tactics manual.

Course Presentations:
High Liability K9 Deployments and Deadly Force Encounters

Rick Ashabranner

Rick joined the Jeffersonville Indiana Police Department as a LEO in March 1980 and retired November 2009 after serving 29 1/2 years, holding the rank of Major. During his tenure on the department, Rick spent 22+ years as a K9 handler, trainer, and K9 commander working with multiple K9’s. He was a member of the EOD and hostage negotiations teams. Rick held every rank within the department including Chief of Police.

After retiring, Rick deployed multiple times to the Middle East, including twice to Afghanistan, and living in the country of Jordan for over 2 1/2 years working on DOD & DOS contracts training Explosive detection K9 teams.

Rick joined Napwda (North American Police Work Dog Association) in 1982 and is a lifetime member. He was appointed as an Indiana state coordinator in 1998, and was elected as a National Trustee, serving from 2007-2012, and was nominated as National President serving 2 terms 2013-2021.

Rick was nationally accredited as a Napwda Trainer in 1990 and Master Trainer in 1995. He has served on many committees throughout the years, and is currently the Sponsorship & Public relations chairman, and Indiana state coordinator.

Rick is still very active today, instructing at Napwda workshops, certifying, and training K9 teams, attending K9 conferences, and as a LE/K9 SME (Subject Matter Expert), and consultant.

Rick has over 40+ years of continuous operational/training experience in the K9 and Law Enforcement industry.

Rick is married to his wife, Amy, and they have 6 children and 7 grandchildren.

Course Presentations:
Environmental Factors That Can Affect Your Target Odor

Train to be your best.