Category Archives: Detection and Nose Work

Pit Bull Makes Debut As New York Police Dog | Pit Bull Dog Training


Pit Bull Training



Anyone who has ever watched my Facebook Live videos know that I LOVE Pit bulls and I’m a huge advocate for them, so, I was very excited to see this!

If a survey was given to answer the question of whether or not a Pit bull might make a good police dog, many would surely find it of no surprise that the majority would answer “no.” It’s no secret that a preconceived judgement persists against Pit Bulls and their aggressive natures.

However, the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department, along with a large handful of trainers and rescuers, would beg to differ.

The sweet-hearted cinnamon-colored canine Kiah was taken in by Brad Croft, operations director of UniversalK9, an organization that prides itself on training young dogs and police force members to breed successful relationships and thus develop successful K-9 units. Brad Croft came across Kiah when she was a young, abandoned shelter dog. Though recovering from a skull injury brought on after being hit with a hammer, the sweet and timid nature of of Kiah caught Croft’s attention.

Croft was quoted at the moment of meeting this young pup, describing his incredulity and just how miraculous it was that she had survived the head injury. However, what impressed him even more than her physical resilience was her emotional one. Without fearing that she was holding any sort of grudge, Croft was willing to give it a shot and took in this young pit bull with the intention of training her as a police dog.

Though the start of Kiah’s training was difficult, it became clear rather quickly that that resilience Croft saw before was well-matched with potential. She began to quickly catch on to her training, and by the end of the eighth week, Croft termed her as a “gifted” dog, noticing her fervor and hard-working personality. It was during this time that the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department contacted Croft, asking for a furry addition to their team. Since then, Kiah has kept up the hard work with her team and her partner, Officer Justin Bruzgul, as a detection dog for the narcotics and missing persons department.

This 85-pound friend of the Poughkeepsie P.D. and of Croft has down well and her hard work has paid off. On Thursday, Kiah is scheduled to receive the ASPCA Public Service Award in New York City and will make history as the first ever pit bull police dog to do so.

The ASPCA Public Service Award, according to ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker, will recognize Kiah, as it has with dogs before her, for her heroism and service. In addition to this however, the award will also act as an honor for the individuals, organizations, and teams that have worked for and alongside Kiah and others like her. According to Bershadker, this is an award that highlights the connection that exists between these people and the beloved animals.

Since rescuing Kiah, operations-director Croft has partnered with the Animal Farm Foundation to continue to train and place pit bulls like Kiah into police departments all over the United States. The small step taken for Kiah will continue to make a difference.


Diabetic Alert Dog Training in Northern Virginia


Diabetic Alert Dog Virginia

We offer diabetic alert dog training in Northern Virginia.

For people suffering from diabetes, early detection of low or high blood sugar is crucial to living a safe and healthy life. There are many different ways to detect changes in blood sugar, including insulin monitors, but diabetic alert dogs are a way for those suffering from diabetes to not only feel safe, but also to have companionship. Although service animals are more often associated with other medical conditions such as blindness, they also have important benefits for those with diabetes as well.

Diabetic alert dogs go through intense amounts of training, so that they can detect changes in blood sugar levels. Because dogs have a much stronger sense of smell than humans do, they can actually smell it when the chemicals in our bodies change, and diabetic alert dogs are trained to react and help when a diabetic patient reaches dangerously low or high levels of the chemicals in our bodies related to sugar. These service dogs are matched to you specifically based on needs, lifestyle, and personality, and they complete their training by learning their new companion’s smells and behaviors. In an emergency, they will know exactly what to do and can save your life. For example, if your blood sugar is getting dangerously low, they will smell it and alert you so that you can eat. And if you ever were to lose consciousness, the dog will try to alert someone else to it by running or barking.

Not only will these dogs potentially save your life, but they can also provide a huge sense of security for your loved ones. If you are a diabetic patient that lives or works alone, it can be quite nerve-wracking for those you love, because if something happens to you while you are alone, there isn’t much that they can do about it. Having a dog there will make them feel more comfortable, knowing that you will be taken care of if something happens. Diabetic alert dogs are especially good for children or elderly patients, who may not have the ability to take care of themselves completely on their own.

Diabetic alert dogs also provide companionship for those with diabetes. It can be difficult dealing with such a serious illness, but having a dog can help you feel less lonely. Service animals often will develop an extremely deep bond with their owner, and this has plenty of health benefits beyond just caring for your diabetes. Interaction with pets is good for stress relief, which in turn reduces the risk for things like heart and stomach problems. They also can just improve mood overall and have a positive impact on your social life.

Diabetic alert dogs are a wonderful, and often underutilized resource for those with diabetes. The safety, peace of mind, and companionship that they provide is unmatched by anything else. The intense training that diabetic alert dogs undergo prepares them to deal with many emergency situations in ways that other resources could not. If you are diabetic and have not considered an alert dog yet, it might be exactly what you need. We offer training at our facility in Northern Virginia for Diabetic Alert Dogs. or

-Nick White
Off Leash K9 Training

Detection and Nose Work Training – Dog Training, Northern Virginia

At our dog training facility in Northern Virginia, we also offer detection and nosework training.

Many people often times ask us, “Why do detection or nosework training with my dog, he is just a pet?”  Surprisingly, there are a lot of reasons in how this benefits you and your dog.

First, just like obedience training, it is a great bond building exercise to do with your dog.  It pairs you and your dog with each other, working together, problem solving together, and spending time together.  By doing this, it creates a much closer bond between human and K9, that’s why military/police handlers are so close with their dogs, they are always “working together.”

Second, it’s one of the best mentally stimulating drills you can do with your dog. As I say in my book, Raising The Perfect Dog, “If you do not give your dog a job to do, they will become self-employed, a self-employed dog will ALWAYS cost the owner money.” When your dog is doing detection work, they are constantly thinking and processing odors (literally) and in their mind, they are “tossing” the odors that do not match the target odor.  They are literally processing hundreds of odors in a very short amount of time, remember, your dog smells everything!  When you smell your cup of coffee, they smell the coffee beans, the vanilla, the soy milk, the shot of espresso, the paper cup, the ink on the cup, the paper holder around the cup, the plastic lid, etc. So, you can imagine when your dog is searching a building, how many odors they are actually processing through their nose and their mind.

So, if you have a high energy dog that you can never seem to get worn out, doing nose work with your dog is literally one of the best exercises you can do in order to get them completely exhausted.

Third, it’s just plain fun!  It’s awesome to give friends who come over a demo of your dog searching around your house, once they find the odor, they drop into a sit.

Lastly, this is a great confidence builder for your dog! They are searching, finding things, and getting rewarded. If you watch detection dogs work, you will see they are very excited and confident!

So, if you are looking for a way to get your dog more bonded, more confident, more stimulated, and both of you having a lot of fun in the process, look into doing nose work/detection training with your dog.