I have been involved with handling and training dogs for well over thirty years now, my first real taste of handling was during my time in the RAF Police where I began my career as a police dog handler. I moved onto the specialist search roles of Armament and Explosive Search as well as Drug Detection Search.
It was during this time I learnt the necessary skills required to train the dogs in each of the specialisations. I carried out these roles for over twenty-two years including working overseas and with other agencies. I was also fortunate to work on the Queens Flight as an Explosives detection dog handler which meant carrying out searches of the Royal aircraft prior to being used by the Royal family or senior ministerial figures. I have also been a reserve police constable for the Isle of Man police force as well as being employed as a Police officer on the island of Diego Garcia on behalf of the FCO.
Since leaving the military I transferred my dog training and instructing skills to the civilian world and have been involved with many accredited dog related organisations such as being an instructor/trainer for NASDU in all disciplines, instructor/trainer for BIPDT. I hold a current teaching qualification (PTLLS) and I am qualified pest controller to level two (BPCA). I am currently an assessor with the BBF and have been training bed bug detection dogs for over ten years now and also assessing individuals on behalf of the BBF.
My main interests within the K9 working environment are to always try new things and adapt to new and challenges. I believe that we shouldn’t be blinkered by believing that there is only one way to train a dog. I also enjoy working with new breeds to me and helping others overcome training issues that they might have.
My main reason for involvement within the BBF is to help to maintain a good level or standard of detection team by carrying out the right training and on a regular basis for both dog and handler. Bed bug detection is a specialist role within its own right and it isn’t just a simplified detection role.