Jeff has over 30 years of experience in training canine teams, handlers and canines to detect explosives, narcotics, as well as apprehension, tracking, decoy and tactical obedience in real-world situations with eminent or emerging security threats. He has an extensive background with successful management and development of canine teams and programs globally including police, government, military and special ops programs. Jeff served as a Police Officer for 10 years (including SWAT & K-9) for Louisville Metro Police Department as well as serving in the United States Marine Corps (including Desert Storm). A true passion for all things canine, Jeff has trained thousands of canines since the age of 13. His extensive hands-on and real world experience has made him an expert in this field.

Class: Common Misconceptions in K-9 Training

This is an opportunity to ask your why, when and how. All too often, K-9 training is polarizing in the right versus wrong; the ‘do it this way’ and not that way. Jeff Franklin will discuss commonly thought ideas and training quandaries, undoing many of the misconceptions in the world of Working K-9s. Ulrika Franklin will guide the discussion and incorporate class participants’ input in this open forum course. Think of this course as getting outside of the box and looking at each side for a comprehensive view from one the leading experts in the field.

Ulrika is the COO for Cobra Canine. With an extensive background in business development, government contracting, marketing, media relations, design and photography, she performs a variety of tasks to ensure company success. Ulrika has over 16 years of management experience specializing in marketing, communications and problem solving. As the Facility Security Officer for Cobra Canine, she is responsible for maintaining and monitoring clearances as well as compliance. With a background in Psychology, she has been the sounding board for company direction for over 10 years.  She has a lifelong passion for understanding and aiding animals with over 10 years of guided training experience with Jeff Franklin.

Class: Common Misconceptions in K-9 Training

This is an opportunity to ask your why, when and how. All too often, K-9 training is polarizing in the right versus wrong; the ‘do it this way’ and not that way. Jeff Franklin will discuss commonly thought ideas and training quandaries, undoing many of the misconceptions in the world of Working K-9s. Ulrika Franklin will guide the discussion and incorporate class participants’ input in this open forum course. Think of this course as getting outside of the box and looking at each side for a comprehensive view from one the leading experts in the field.

Dave Reese is the CEO of 3 International companies and a boarding kennel in Chicago: K-9, INC (police and military green dog sales), International Scent Solutions (K-9 consulting), (working dog and pet logistics) and VIP PET HOTELS (boarding kennel). Dave is a Certified Master Trainer with 33 years of experience in the K-9 Security and Defense Industry. He has worked with agencies in over 25 countries including Madrid, London, Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, Mexico, Scotland, Hong Kong, Canada, Indonesia, Australia, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan and many others.

Dave specializes in consulting, green dog sales, import/export of working dog and pet logistics, scent detection, training, handling, kenneling and specialty training. He has consulted for governments and international organizations and has lived and traveled throughout the world to work with police, military, private sector security and anti-terrorist experts.

Dave is a law enforcement Training and Standards Board Master Canine Instructor, a Master Anti-Terrorism Specialist, published author and patent holder. He wrote the first private sector laws for the K-9 Industry and has worked on special projects in the scientific research and development of working dogs.

Class: Applied Natural and Biological Systems of Working Dogs

In this class, we’ll be discussing how environmental acclimation/stimulation and different applied training methods effect working dogs. We will teach understanding of classical conditioning VS operant conditioning, true drives compared to learned drives, biological systems of working dogs, K-9 body language and how they all affect K-9 training.

Mr. Kelley serves as the Project Lead for the National Counter IED Capabilities Assessment Database (NCCAD) preparedness program, Office for Bombing Prevention (OBP), with in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

     Mr. Kelley has over 42 years of experience in the first responder community. He is a 28-year veteran of the Arlington County, VA Fire Department. He retired in 2006 as an Assistant Fire Chief, Chief Fire Marshal and a certified law enforcement officer. His last 20 months he was also the Chief Building Official. Mr. Kelley was a nationally registered EMT paramedic for 18 years and founder of the Department’s Technical Rescue Team. He was the County’s first certified fire protection specialist and certified fire and explosives investigator. His last six year he was also a certified bomb technician and commander of the Department’s bomb squad, which was responsible for such facilities as Reagan National Airport, The Pentagon, CIA and National Foreign Affairs Training Center.

     Mr. Kelley was one of the two key incident commanders on the scene at the Pentagon on 9-11 and throughout the event. He later testified before the 9-11 Commission in New York City regarding Arlington County’s response efforts on April 1, 2002; and he has presented at hundreds of meetings and conferences regarding this event.

     After retiring from Arlington County, he joined the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) in 2008. One of his responsibilities was to serve on the Emergency Services Sector Coordinating Council (ESSCC) for Infrastructure Protection (IP) in DHS serving as vice-chair from 2008 to 2012 and serving as chairman for 2012 to 2014. In this role Mr. Kelley represented 3.2 million first responders nationwide. One of their core missions is safe response to bombing and active shooter incidents. In this role he sat on several sub-committees to include Cyber Security; Access, Credentialing and Re-entry; Medical Countermeasures; Active Shooter Response; Blue Campaign (Human Trafficking).

     Prior to joining the NCCAD team fulltime in OBP, he was an Adjunct Professor/Instructor on terrorism and explosives for 19 years at New Mexico Tech University in Socorro New Mexico. He was also a NCCAD Facilitator and worked on the Multi-Jurisdictional IED Security Planning (MJIEDSP) assessment program, and the Bomb Making Materials Awareness Program (BMAP) for the retail industry.

Class: Does Your Explosives Detection K-9 Have Everything it Needs?

Mr. Kelley will review all of the programs offered by the Office for Bombing Prevention (OBP), and why it is necessary for Explosive Detection Canines (EDC) to be registered in the National Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Capabilities Analysis Database (NCCAD) program.

Jeff Baker is the founder, CEO and president of Canine Caviar, makers of dry and canned dog food, as well as treats and supplements. He has a background in animal science, nutrition and pharmacology. While working as a stem cell researcher for a pharmaceutical company in Germany, he was researching and analyzing the effects of a flea control product and noticed the chemical reactions between food and the venom in the insect bites in his own Great Dane. That lead him to more extensive research in animal nutrition, how wolves or wild dogs would eat and how pH affects our pets. After the pharmaceutical company sold, he started his own pet food company to help other pets. Continuing to be true to the roots of Canine Caviar since 1996, the alkaline diets have made a difference in millions of animals’ lives. Canine Caviar is a science-based manufacturer and one of the few remaining family-owned and operated companies in the industry.

Class: The Benefits of Alkalinity

This class will discuss the benefits of alkalinity and how it benefits the dog’s body, slows the aging process and extends the career of working dogs. Each handler who attends class will receive a Ph kit that they can use to evaluate their dog. We will also be discussing Kcals and how to keep a dog fully fueled for a work day and giving personal recommendations for those present.

Kevin Beck is the Vice President of Canine Training Operations for Global K9 Protection Group. He currently oversees the training and operations for over 320 canine teams deployed across the United States. Kevin is a former United States Marine Corps Canine Instructor, Trainer, Handler and Supervisor for Department of Defense/Federal Air Aviation Explosive Dog Program at Lackland, AFB, Texas. Kevin is a graduate of the West Virginia State Police Academy Institute, West Virginia and the F.B.I.’s Hazardous Device School (EOD) at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama.

Kevin is a retired Wilmington Police Officer and was the owner/operator of Becks K9 Service, where he supplied canines to the US Customs and Border Patrol, US Capitol Police, US Embassy in Guatemala and Mexico and the Department of Homeland Security to include the Special Operations Command of the US Navy and US Army.

Kevin holds certifications as an Instructor through the DoD Instructor Academy at Lackland AFB and is a Master Trainer with the United Police Work Dog Association (UPWDA) and a National Trainer and Judge with the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA). Additionally, Kevin is qualified by the State of North Carolina as an Expert Witness in Law Enforcement Canine Training and Operation Procedures.

Kevin travels throughout the United States and to multiple countries to hand test and procure all canines for Global K9 Solutions. Kevin has tested and selected thousands of active canines across the United States of America and across the Globe.

Class: K-9 Procurement 101

We’ll be discussing the 25 years of procuring dogs from Western and Eastern Europe and the pros and cons of purchasing dogs in Europe. The overall goal of this class is to educate to the attendees on the proper selection of dogs using the methodology of nerve strength verses retrieve drive and the fact that drive will mask over weak nerves in a dog. This class will focus on both single purpose dogs and dual purpose dogs and how using the nerve strength methodology instead of drive will enable the attendee to select a far better single or dual purpose candidate for their K-9 program.

Over the last 13 years, Steven Antommarchi has held the law enforcement titles of Patrol Officer, Canine Handler, Canine Supervisor, Canine Trainer and Interim Chief of Police.

    His first encounter with a K-9 team was in New York City on September 11, 2001. He witnessed a search and rescue K-9 team fighting through horrible conditions, while overcoming serious injury for the sake of saving lives. That encounter made such a profound impression on him that he knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.

    15 years later, on July 7, 2016, in Dallas, Texas, K-9 Officer Antommarchi found himself in the middle of the deadliest attack on law enforcement since 9/11. Tasked with the responsibility of clearing the downtown area for improvised explosive devices, the reason he got into working K-9s came full circle.

    Being mentored by Tony Guzman and Robert “Bob” Suarez, Antommarchi is an Instructor for Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University, a K-9 case study trainer for the International Forensic Research Institute (IFRI) and a trainer for Metro Dade K9.

    Most recently, he became one of the lead trainers and co-designer of the training methodology for a scientific study through IFRI on “Hemp vs Marijuana.” This study is to evaluate the ability for narcotic detector dogs to discriminate between the odor of marijuana and hemp. The study is being headed by Dr. Kelvin Frank of Florida International University and is in the process of being submitted for publication.

    Antommarchi is the K-9 trainer for over a dozen north Texas law enforcement agencies and travels across the United States with a team of K-9 instructors conducting workshops and seminars focusing on operational readiness and K-9 aggression instincts.

Class: K-9 Instincts and Interdiction Mindset *Live-Demonstration using Dogs*

    Have you wondered why two different dogs of the same breed, with the same amount of drive can act so differently when introduced to various operational exercises? Have you tried to train two different dogs the same way and get vastly different results? The first step in the solution is to learn, understand and exploit the different types of instincts found within each canine which will allow for a more individualized approach to training. In this class, you will learn to characterize those instincts, manipulate them to get the most out of your canine and develop the desired instincts and suppressing the undesired. A detection demonstration will be presented to show the results of proper manipulation of canine instincts paired with trained obedience to odor.

Mark Flynn began his career in the Military working dog academy in 1984 at Lackland AFB Texas, and served for 11 years as a Military Working Dog Handler, Supervisor and K-9 Trainer. He transitioned to the civilian world in 1995, and became a K-9 Handler for the MD DPSCS K-9 Unit. The MD DPSCS K-9 Unit is a 40 person force of sworn police officers that patrol the Maryland Prison systems, it’s grounds and surrounding areas, interdicting CDS, explosives and contraband, providing armed response and Patrol dog assistance to emergencies, and providing tactical response in the event of escapes and inmate uprisings.

Mark Flynn served as a prolific handler, front line supervisor, full time trainer and assistant commander and now Unit Commander over the course of a 25 year career with the MD DPSCS K-9 Unit. He is currently a Maryland police training commission Instructor, and a United States Police Canine Association certified master trainer.

Major Flynn utilizes his 38 years’ experience in the K-9 field as a dynamic and entertaining instructor, and he frequently teaches at the Police, Correctional and Canine academies in the Maryland and DC metro area. He has also appeared on various TV Programs and news channels, such as Nat-Geo, (Big Bigger Biggest Prison addition), Beyond Scared Straight (Hagerstown addition), and numerous other programs.

Class: On the Road or Behind the Fence; Unique Concerns of Police K-9s and Corrections

This 2-hour training seminar will focus on police canines as they serve both on the road and in the correctional environments that they respond to as part of their beat. There will be an emphasis on CDS introduction and trafficking trends. These trends covered will include detecting and interdicting contraband on staff, visitors, volunteers, and support personnel, cell phone detection canines,  prevalence of buprenorphine (brand name Suboxone, which is very widespread in the mid-Atlantic correctional systems), K-2 and Spice, and the value of passive alert dogs and PEOPLE scans.

The class will also cover the development of relationships and use of the rescue dog organizations, and the use of unconventional (Floppy eared) breeds in detector work (English springier spaniels, Labs, Etc.). The class will have a dynamic and interactive power point and an extensive Q&A.

Nicholas King is the Director of Operations and Founder of Von Der King Kennels and Training – VDK. Formed in 2010, VDK specializes in canine and handler training for local, state and federal applications. VDK imports canines from around the world and runs a successful breeding program producing social, stable, driven canines. Nick has been training dogs since 2005, handling a Narcotics Detection K-9 and two Explosives Detection K-9s. VDK was originally located in Michigan, where Nick ran an extremely successful training group consisting of teams from Ann Arbor Police Department, Eastern Michigan University Police, Milan Police Department, City of Flint Police Department and more. Current clientele of VDK includes TSA, CBP, DoD, ATF, numerous other law enforcement agencies and multimillion-dollar private security firms.

Nick is also the Club Training Director for a dog sport called French Ring. Under his guidance and decoy work, multiple dogs within the club are competing at the highest levels, with multiple Regional and Championship events, International Competition and numerous dogs to compete internationally with the “Team USA” designation. French Ring is notable for its complexity of bite targeting and control during aggression. Nick is an active competitor in French Ring, handling and titling five dogs within the sport, two of which are French Ring 3 competitors. Nick is also a Certified Peace Officer in the State of Georgia.

Class: Decoy and Handler – Tools and Techniques for Developing the Street Dog *Live-Demonstration using dogs*

This class will cover basic learning theory, targeting areas, canine equipment, decoy equipment,
specialty tools used in aggression, progression of training evolutions and scenarios. Also included will be a brief overview of our industry leading VDK Muzzle Training System.

Class: Building a Detection Beast with K-9 BSD *Live-Demonstration using dogs*

This class will cover basic learning theory, terminology, K-9 BSD uses, Direct and Indirect Reward Systems and progression of use for K-9 BSD.

Jonathan Baer is retired from the US Air Force. He started his K-9 career with the USAF in January 1999 with the Military Working Dog Program. His first canine overseas contract was in Kuwait for the Department of Defense as the MWD Trainer Supervisor. He then went on to work for the Department of State as the Kennel Master for training in Baghdad. Afterwards, he came back to the United States and started with the TSA, where he worked for three years as a handler and unit trainer. After leaving the TSA, Jonathan went back to contract work as a Handler Trainer in Afghanistan. His last overseas contract ended in September 2020 as the K-9 Project Manager for a NATO contract with Narc/Explosives Teams. Jonathan has 22 years of experience within the MWD/DoS/TSA Canine and NATO Canine Programs. He has certified as a Handler with DoD, DoS and TSA and has been a Detection Dog Certifying Official for the DoS and NATO programs.

Class: Train the Trainer

This class will discuss objective based detection training.