Flynn, Mark

Mark Flynn began his K-9 career in 1984 at the Military working dog academy at Lackland AFB Texas and served for 11 years as a Military Working Dog Handler, Supervisor and K-9 Trainer during operations in the Philippines, Turkey, and Germany and during Operation Desert Storm.

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 41-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 served as a prolific Handler, Front Line Supervisor, Full Time Trainer and Assistant Commander and now Unit Commander over the course of a 28-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 Detector 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 programs, such as Nat-Geo, (Big, Bigger, Biggest edition), Beyond Scared Straight (Hagerstown edition) and numerous other programs and podcasts.


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 K-9s 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, Alcohol and Electronic Detection Canines, the  prevalence of buprenorphine (brand name Suboxone, which is very widespread in the mid-Atlantic correctional systems), Synthetic Opioids and synthetic cannabinoids.  We will discuss the value of passive alert dogs and PEOPLE scans for contraband detection.

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 PowerPoint presentation and an extensive Q&A session.

DISCLAIMER: Some material shown as part of Mark Flynn’s presentation contains graphic scenes of prison and gang related violence and injuries. Participant Discretion advised.


Class: Making Sense of Scent: Understanding, Developing and Increasing Drives of Detector Dogs in Odor Detection

This class will help handlers and trainers alike understand and appreciate the dog’s unique and amazing sense of olfaction, as well as how the underlying drive and basic needs of a detector dog can best be utilized in training and real world scenarios. The class will explore the relationship between K-9 needs and K-9 drives and how we maximize these in the training of a  foolproof detector dog. Mark will teach the indicators and behaviors of detector dogs in odor, as well as the Who, What, Where, When and (especially) WHY of scent-based training.

From odor patterns and Imprinting to reward schedules, just noticeable difference (JNDs) to Absolute thresholds, behavior alerts to final response, this quick-paced class will cover everything from reading a dog to final reward, the search patterns best used, as well as breaking down the explanations behind each of the mechanisms of detection dog training.

Mark utilizes his almost 40 years of K-9 training in Military, Corrections, Police and Civilian dogs in a dynamic and enjoyable PowerPoint, no-holds-barred discussion and informative questions and answer session to end the class.