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National Association of Canine Scent Work

Third Annual CNCA/NACSW K9 Nose Work Joint Educational Symposium


K9 Scent & Detection Civilian Conference Registration (1-4 people)


February 8-9th, 2018
Town N’ Country Resort
San Diego, CA

National Association of Canine Scent Work, LLC in partnership with California Narcotic Canine Association Presents a Joint Educational Event.

The NACSW is excited to have the opportunity to partner CNCA for the 3rd year in a row. This partnership  will continue to featuring key presenters from the professional detection and K9 Nose Work® communities.

Click here for additional event information and to register:

CEUs: CNWIs will receive 12 NACSW CEU's for attending this conference.

2018 Conference Course Outline

Please click each speaker's name below to view his or her bio.

Wednesday February 7th


Early Check-in and Onsite Registration

Thursday February 8th


Check-in and Onsite Registration Begins


Welcome and Conference Updates


Key Note Workshop 1 - Chemistry of Scent - Ken Furton
    a. Identification of dominant odor chemicals emanating from source targets for use in developing optimal training aid combinations and mimics for K9 detection training.
    i. Expanding forensic means to investigate K9 scent discrimination
    ii. Surveying organic compounds used in training aids
    iii. Match-No Match thresholds in relation to training


Key Note Workshop 2 - True Foundations - Mike Ritland

How America's hero K9s work to keep people safe. During Mike’s lecture, he will cover what it takes for a dog to make it as part of the most Elite fighting team in the world…The Navy SEALs. Some of the lessons learned in preparation for combat can have some everyday applications.  The dogs on the SEAL teams are not just dogs, but members of an elite group of fighters confronting some of the world’s greatest challenges.

Mike has also dedicated his life to ensuring that these Elite K9 service members get the respect and retirement they deserve. Through his Warrior Dog Foundation, he works to find loving homes stateside for our retired K9 Warriors, many of whom suffer similar emotional scars as do their human counterparts due to combat.  Mike will share some of the heroic stories of these amazing dogs and his work with the Warrior Dog Foundation.

1200-1300: LUNCH


Key Note Workshop 3 - Fitness from Nose to Tail - Dr. Cynthia Otto, DVM
Dogs seem to be natural athletes, but surprisingly, many dogs lack components of a balanced fitness plan. Fitness encompasses not only the stamina to chase a ball incessantly, but also includes strength, body awareness (proprioception), balance, flexibility and mental acuity. The development of a fitness plan will enhance the performance and safety of a dog whether it is a weekend warrior or top level working dog. This presentation will provide an introduction to components of a balanced fitness plan with practical tips on how to get started. The health benefits of fitness will be highlighted.


CLASS 1 - Proximity Alert Training - Jeff Schettler
Jeff will discuss how to apply his concepts of “proximity alert training” for the sport detection canine and in non-law enforcement applications. Tracking work, which is Jeff’s specialty, is the single most dangerous K-9 deployment possible. No other deployment produces more unknown variables than tracking. Similarly, no other deployment has produced more harm to handlers and their dogs than tracking. The simple reason is a lack of proper training needed for “closing the deal”. His course has been refined and has evolved into a practical process to make tactical tracking safer (we all want safe outings with our four legged partners) and the key to that process is learning the 4 stages of the Proximity Alert.

CLASS 2 - Pest Detection - Deanna Kjorlien
Selecting detection K-9s prospects from shelters/rescues and creating a business using detection K-9s. See Deanna's TEDx talk "Using Dogs in Urban Pest Control":



Friday February 9th


CLASS 1 - Search & Rescue - Sheila McKee
Search and Rescue (SAR) and Human Remains Detection (HRD) canines are used worldwide for a variety of missions and in different capacities; which can include locating trapped live victims in disasters, following scent specific tracks of missing persons, finding human remains to resolve a search or assist with a crime scene. They must either cover large areas during a wilderness search or even find evidence needed to help solve a crime or in an urban environment can be some of the first responders when disaster strikes. This class will be an overview of the use of canines for this purpose, including breeds used, types of training and how handlers who are interested can become involved in serving their community.

CLASS 2 - Working Dogs in Ecology and Conservation - Lauralea Oliver
Brief history of working dogs in ecology then move to the formation and structure of the Harvey Dog Program. Training methodology will be discussed along with the background of the Harvey Dogs; how they were acquired and what they do. As examples, a few past and current projects will be highlighted which help to demonstrate the validity and benefit of using dogs in ecological detection. Examples will include work in renewable energy sites and targets which include reptiles, mammals and botanicals. Questions will be taken at the end of the class.

CLASS 1 - Working Dog Problem Solving - Jacy Kelley CNWI
 Problem solving to attempt to save a dog’s career from behavior issues, fear issues and how some training methods can help the working handler to understand better what is going on with their dog and to see what their dog is trying to say. 

CLASS 2 - Accelerant Detection - James Bowers
The class will provide an overview of accelerant detection canine use in the private sector and how their training and deployment differs from other disciplines.. The session will cover:

* History of Accelerant Detection Canines
* Selection, socialization, training and certification
* Deployment, on-scene challenges, evidence collection, and how deployment differs from other disciplines
* Private sector (insurance companies) deployment issues such as bad faith lawsuits and private sector and public sector dogs working the same fire scene.

1200-1300: LUNCH


K9101 - Joe Oberding
“101” usually means basic or introductory, and while we will examine some very basic concepts of K9 scent work and training, our goal is to look at and apply some advanced theories and motivational based training techniques to help dogs and their handlers become successful K9 Nosework teams.  We will also talk about avoiding and/or working through some of the common handling mistakes and training errors that I’ve seen as a Police K9 and K9 Nosework trial judge.


Shaping Behavior - Randy Hare
The relationship between the trainer/handler and the dog are essential for optimizing performance. That relationship (utilization of eyes, ears, nose) defines both the handler and the dog's partnership and responsibilities toward effectiveness. Randy will focus his session on the importance of manipulating environment, combined with proper reinforcement to increase the likelihood of improved accuracy in addition to understanding TRUE reinforcement and how it is misunderstood in the behavior-reward relationship.


Speaker Bios

Please click each speaker's name above to view his or her bio.