Slavik, Don

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.