Paul Hammond – President of VWK9

30+ years of working dog experience. 22yrs of which seen continuous canine operations in hostile environments; 8yrs directing canine programs in support of high-profile government organizations including the US Department of State and the Department of Defense in Iraq and Afghanistan

15 years of continuous canine operations in Northern Ireland deployed with the British Military Army Dog Unit, during some of the most challenging & hostile times in its history; completing many recorded operational detection tasks, against live explosive devices.

Paul completed 6yrs as a working dog adviser in support of the British Government Defense Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) and more recently worked alongside Auburn University`s Canine Research & Development Program on various US Canine Defense & Research projects.

Paul has briefed Government agencies around the world, including the EU Counter Terrorism and Working Dog Commission (representatives of 22 – countries) on Explosive K9 Detection and Body-worn Explosive K9 Detection.

In addition Paul is the President of the Cargo Screening K9 Alliance® (CSK9), Founder/Owner (Handler Recruitment Agency) & Founder/Owner of the US Canine Biathlon.

Class: Operational Based Explosive Dog Training & Importance of Search Intel

This reality check class, will surely improve your explosive detection K9 program.

Paul completed a 2yr Advanced EDD study at VWK9`s Academy, in which 100+ Police, Military and Private Sector EDD dog teams were tested on an operational based training and Intel gathering exercise and the results will surprise you & reinforce why this speaker session is a must to attend. Correct operational based training and use of task intelligence is the number one factor for EDD team success during operational Tasks.

David Pantley is an Instructor at Israel K9 USA.
He teaches training courses and special instruction for:
– Bite work agitation; muzzle, bite suit and hidden bite suit instructors training course,
– Special bite work training course, Hungary
– Patrol and bite work handlers course, Israel
– Detection training course, Hungary
– Tracking and trailing, Netherlands
– Explosives detection instructors training course, Israel
– Narcotics detection training course, Netherlands
– Obedience trainer’s course, Hungary
– Advanced obedience training course, Netherlands
– Tactical obedience trainer’s course, Israel
David has worked with and trained hundreds of dogs and has been a handler for
hundreds more. He has had the unique honor of being trained in all three of the
preeminent working dog systems active in the world today; Dutch, American and

CLASS: Differences in Muzzle Work and Bite Suit Work

The theme of this class will be muzzle work and working your dogs using a muzzle versus a bite suit and/or sleeve. Topics discussed will include building good muzzle work, independence, courage, determination, forgiveness, stress resistance, frustration, conditional behavior and more.

Amir Schwartz, a K-9 specialist as well as a developer of K-9 specialty products, is owner of Israeli K-9 and one of the top K-9 experts in Israel. Amir has a vast amount of knowledge and hands-on experience and has provided his expertise while training K-9 teams and dogs around the world. He is a retired officer from a special naval unit in the Israel Defense Forces, has a business management degree, is licensed as an attorney from the Israeli Bar Association, an Explosive Engineer, a Fireworks Expert (license in Israel) and a Shooting Inspector and Instructor (certified by the Ministry of Interior defense).

Amir has trained and handled dogs since 1986. In 1996, he was trained and certified in the United States as a law enforcement and explosive detection dog trainer. Since then, he has trained various defense and law enforcement authorities in Israel and all over the world. Amir has served as the Chief of the K-9 Unit for the Israeli Customs and Drug Detection Unit and assisted in achieving the unit’s greatest success in detecting shipments of illegal drugs and various other smuggled products. His K-9 deployment program has reached Israeli Customs, the Israeli Train Authority, the Israeli Prison Authority, Israeli Air Force K-9 Unit, Gaza Border Pass Security Unit, Jericho Border Security Pass as well as the medical marijuana supervision authority and countries including USA (HLS of California), Hungary, Turkey (K-9 for the oil & gas industry protection), India (K-9 detection for hotels and the police after the Mumbai terror attack), Guatemala (K-9 dogs for drugs detection), Bosnia and Sarajevo (K-9 dogs for field mine detection), Sweden (K-9 dogs for customs detection), Singapore (K-9 dogs for the airport security services), Philippines, Sri Lanka and many more.

Israeli K-9 was founded in 1989 and offers a unique experience in counter terror working dogs and dogs for law enforcement. The Israeli K-9 Training Center, in cooperation with a leading Israeli college, operates a dog trainer/handler school where dozens of dog trainers have been trained and certified in the last decade. Amir specializes in law enforcement dogs covering areas ranging from individual dog training to the complete unit organization.

Some of his projects in prior years include:

  1. Organizing and C.O. of the Israeli Customs K-9 Unit.
  2. Government Contract for the K-9 Unit at border crossing between Israel and Palestine.
  3. Building and training K-9 Units for government and security bodies in classified locations.
  4. Consultant for USA NGO explosive detection dog training.
  5. Training and consulting for the Israel Train and Railroad Authority’s K-9 explosive detection.
  6. Training California’s HLS. K-9 teams for explosive detection training for PFP.
  7. In 2002, Amir established the “Pro K-9 Gear” line with “” for producing specialty K-9 equipment for Israeli Special K-9 units and special forces as well as special K-9 units from around the world.

CLASS: Differences in Muzzle Work and Bite Suit Work

The theme of this class will be muzzle work and working your dogs using a muzzle versus a bite suit and/or sleeve. Topics discussed will include building good muzzle work, independence, courage, determination, forgiveness, stress resistance, frustration, conditional behavior and more.

Dr. Ikhwan Kim, Doctor of Engineering. Professor at Art and Design Department, KyunHee Univ. The Republic of Korea. Head designer & partner at TACCAVE.

CLASS: Remote Control System for Tactical K-9 Units

This class will introduce the advanced remote control system and its methodology based on animal behavior and tangible interaction. Controlling animals at a safe distance has been a fascinating and challenging topic throughout history. Numerous research has attempted, but most of them required amount of time and training to canines and failed to deliver solid reliability.With this system, handlers can manipulate their K9 units at a safe distance with minimum training and high reliability. This system has been developed on its final stage and has run field tests with the K9 tactical regiment in South Korea; however, it needs to wind up its final stage of the development with the consideration of its potentiality.Therefore, this class will demonstrate and represent the newly developed remote control system with its methodology and also will ask and collect any opinion and data from tactical units in the field.


Bobby served as a police officer for 9 years in Connersville, Indiana where he was a member of the K-9 Unit and worked a Dual Purpose Narcotic dog on patrol and as a team leader for SWAT. Bobby is an NNDDA certifier, a graduate of VLK Trainer’s Course and has been a guest instructor for VLK on numerous occasions from 2000 – 2003. In January 2004, Bobby became a full time trainer. He 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.

CLASS: Building Search: Utilizing the Canine in Tactical CQB with a Team

This class will discuss training the K-9, handler and team to work together as a pack while tactically clearing buildings. Stressed will be the importance of the K-9’s ability to work in front, with and behind the team (The Pack Mentality) so team members can focus on the threats that arise. We will also talk about the importance of K-9 selection for SWAT vs the road.

Paul’s canine passion started at the age of 6 years old. That passion for police canine work was instilled by Paul’s grandfather who was a police K-9 handler/trainer. Growing up, Paul was volunteered often to wrap up and take bites from whatever police K-9’s that his grandfather was training at the time.

Mr. Orcutt spent 10 years active duty as a U.S. Marine and served in the first Gulf War and later served in the Somalia conflict. After leaving the Corps Paul was hired to perform contract work for the CIA as a K-9 handler/trainer for a clandestine K-9 Program. While in performance of his duties for the agency, Paul has operated, trained and certified canine teams for duty in the most hostile and austere conditions. While deployed with OGA over several years, Paul and his K-9 partner Iro and later with K-9 Lucy found more than their fair share of explosive devices and IED’s and were directly responsible for saving hundreds of lives.

In 2013, Paul was hired as the Senior Training Manager at AMK9 and was tasked to develop and implement a canine training program for the WPS Department of State Diplomatic Security Branch. Between 2013 and 2017, Paul and his team of trainers and Instructors tested and selected, trained, certified through the Department of State’s Canine Validation Center as well as Department of Defense over 700 EDD K-9 teams.

Paul was also the Vice President of Canine Training for Global K9 Solutions. In 2017-2018, Global K9 Solutions was the largest and most successful vendor to DoD. Mr. Orcutt was responsible for all selection testing of over 200 green and fully trained PEDD’S delivered to DoD. Most recently, Paul performed the duties of Chief Operating Officer for Global K9 Protection Group and is one of the four original founding members and partners in GK9PG, one of the industry leaders in the 3PK9 program with TSA.

Paul is currently semi-retired from the canine industry and only doing consulting work.

Class: Explosives Explained

An introduction to the past, present and future transnational use of homemade explosives. The 5w’s.  Exploring explosive compounds and their respective rational of use. Participants will be exposed and challenged to identify explosive compositions and the rational of use by transnational threats.

Travis Hicks is the owner and head trainer of Flatline K9, a dog training business located in
Southern Illinois. Flatline K9 offers training in the areas of obedience, behavior modification,
personal protection, working dogs, and hunting dogs. Travis has been in law enforcement for
close to 20 years and is currently employed as a Police K9 officer for the Cambria Police
Department along with his Dutch Shepherd Ryker.

Travis has also served more than twenty years working as an EMT-Paramedic. Being able to
blend his love for working dogs with his love for Emergency Care helped Travis to become
interested in Emergency Care for Working Dogs. Being from a rural area in Southern Illinois,
Travis saw a large gap in the emergency care available to working dogs. He has completed a
course in K9 Tactical Combat Casualty Care (K9TCCC) which was presented by the Veterinary
Tactical Group. Travis has since written a course in K9 Tactical Emergency Combat Care
(K9TECC). He has taught this course through a local training unit from his area as well as
teaching this course to both Police Dog handlers and trainers while he was attending Tarheel
Canine School for Dog Trainers.

Travis has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Mid-Continent
University, as well as numerous courses toward a Master of Science Degree in Workforce
Education and Development from Southern Illinois University. Travis has also completed the six
month master trainer course at Tarheel Canine School for Dog Trainers in Sanford North

CLASS: Trauma in Working Dogs

This course will cover trauma in working dogs based upon current K9 Tactical Emergency
Casualty Care (K9 TECC) standards. This course is in no way meant to take the place of
Veterinary care. The intent of this course is to educate handlers and trainers on the signs and
symptoms of potentially serious or fatal trauma injuries in working dogs. Topics to be covered
will include but are not limited to blunt force and penetrating trauma, as well as management of
immediate life threats, and transport to appropriate Veterinary facilities.

Don Slavik is the Executive Director of the United States Police Canine Association, Inc. where he manages the day to day business of the Association.

He was also a twenty-two-year canine handler and trainer for the St. Paul Police Canine Unit. Don trained all facets of canine ideologies in patrol, explosive, narcotics and tracking for canine handlers in the five-state area.

After retiring from St. Paul, Don went to work for ATF as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in animal psychology, olfactory capabilities, training methodologies, and behavioral patterns using food and play rewards to achieve or shape canine behavior. He designed several courses at ATF and trained explosive detection teams for ATF Special Agents, U.S. Federal Agencies, canine teams from several countries, and State and local Law Enforcement Agencies. Don was also an instructor for ATF’s National Odor Recognition Test (NORT) and provided Pre-deployment classes in Yuma, Fort Bellows, Schofield Barracks, Germany, Creech, and Hawaii for U.S.M.C., USAF, USN, and Army. These classes consisted of imprinting new explosives and testing canine teams in scenario-based exercises.

Following ATF, Don became a Department of State employee working as an SME in canine methodology monitoring training, deployment, and evaluation of canines contracted to the Department of State in Iraq. He reported directly to the highest Regional Security Officers at the Embassy any discrepancies involving canines used to defend the Embassy from person and vehicle explosive IED’s.

Don is a Canine Expert Witness and has testified in City, State, and Federal Courts. In the United States Police Canine Association he is a Level III trainer, National Judge, and Past National President.

Class: The Dynamics of Training Police K-9s

This class will give handlers and trainers an understanding of what the dog really learns during training. Understanding these training principles will enhance current training and deployment practices.

Nate Harves is the owner of Sportwaffen K9, breeding, importing, and training working line German Shepherd Dogs for real world application. Nate is a Teaching Helper for United Schutzhund Clubs of America and a National level handler, and the training director for OG Landshark. His company provides dogs for Dog Sport, Police K-9, Personal Protection, SAR, and various other Service work. He has over 25 years experience and is a former dual purpose Police K-9 handler. Nate runs seminars and Police K-9 schools across the country to help people achieve their goals.

Class: Reality Based K-9: From Selection to Training to Real Street Deployment

Nate will go over in detail the common mistakes people make and the solutions he’s learned over the years in guaranteeing a successful end-product K-9 team. From K-9 selection, to development, to deployment and everything that follows, Nate will walk through the steps to achieve your K-9 goals.

Cord Overson has 21 years of Law Enforcement with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, with the last 15 of those years as a K-9 Handler. During the majority of that time, Cord worked two dogs simultaneously: a Patrol/SWAT dog as well as a Detection dog.

CLASS: K-9 Industry Experts Q & A

Having an open discussion with one the top K-9 industry experts is a rarity. To have five is unprecedented. Join us as Brett Titus mediates a panel of five experts as they answer questions from the audience. Bring your questions from patrol/narcotics deployments, training, leadership, certifications or anything you want to know. All questions will be open for debate from the panel as well as the attendees. Time restrictions will be in place as to ensure multiple discussions. This class will be educational and entertaining.