American Kennel Club To Host 2018 USA Dog Detection Conference

Conference aims to examine possible solutions to the shortage of detection dogs


Raleigh, NC-The American Kennel Club will host the 2018 AKC US Dog Detection Conference Tuesday, August 28th – Thursday, August 30th, 2018 in Durham, NC to explore solutions to the shortage of domestic dogs for explosives detection in the United States. The Conference will bring together stakeholders in  this national security issue including: Breeders, Trainers, Government, Law Enforcement, Academia, vendors, businesses, and more.


The American Kennel Club formed a task force three years ago to explore how the AKC and breeders that register with the AKC, might help with the increasing demand for qualified dogs to do this important task and enhance national security. With incidents of homegrown terrorism and mass shootings on the rise, explosives detection is a growing need for government agencies and private businesses. Dogs have amazing scenting capabilities and are the best explosives detectors. The United States has relied on Europe for most of its working dogs and is now facing a shortage of dogs for detection work, due to increased overseas demand for detection dogs.


“Dogs play a very important role in several aspects of our security on the local, national and international levels,” says Dr. Carmen Battaglia, AKC Detection Dog Task Force Project Leader & AKC Board Member. “As the oldest and largest dog registry in the country, we felt that it was important to be of assistance by bringing awareness to this issue, educating breeders and fostering a collaboration that will hopefully lead to viable solutions.”


The conference will cover a range of topics that include scentwork, genetics, breeder education, public policy, the current scope of dog detection, etc., and include a detection dog demonstration.



  • Dr. David Adebimpe, Founder/CEO of ScentLogix
  • Dr. Carmen Battaglia, AKC Detection Dog Task Force Project Leader & AKC Board Member
  • Dr. Matthew Breen, Professor of Genomics, NC State University of Veterinary Medicine
  • Dr. Candace Croney, Director, Purdue University Center for Animal Welfare Science
  • Mark Dunn, Executive VP, The American Kennel Club
  • Sheila Goffe, Vice President, AKC Government Relations
  • Pamela Haney, MS, Canine Performance R&D Manager, Canine Performance Sciences Program at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Dr. Brian Hare, professor of evolutionary anthropology, Duke University, and founder, Dognition
  • Fred Helfers, Founding President, Pacific Northwest Police Detection Dog Association;  Owner, FH Consulting / Canine Detection Services
  • John P. Kerwick, President (Region 7) United States Police Canine Association (USPCA); Tactical Commander, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Canine Unit, New York City
  • Jane Messineo Killion, Founder, Puppy Culture, When Pigs Fly Dog Training and Madcap Bull Terriers
  • Lane Kjellsen, Chairman and CEO, K2 Solutions
  • Dave Kontny, Chief of Staff, Joint Program Office for Countering IED, Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Wendell Nope, K-9 Training Supervisor, Utah Department of Public Safety
  • Dr. Cindy Otto, Founder/Director, Penn Vet Working Dog Center
  • John C. Pearce, Director of Operations, VWK9
  • Commissioner Larry B. Perkins, CFE, CPP, CMP,Vice President and Assistant General Manager, PNC Arena/Carolina Hurricanes
  • Andrew Ramsey, Founder, Ramsey K-9 Services
  • Scott Thomas, Former breeding program manager, TSA
  • Dr. L. Paul Waggoner PhD, Co-Director of the Canine Performance Sciences Program and an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Anatomy, Physiology, and Pharmacology at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Stacey West, Canine Operations Manager, K2 Solutions




CONFERENCE CONTACT:  Penny Leigh; 919-816-3749   


MEDIA CONTACT: Brandi Hunter; 212-696-8220


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