braveheart specialized dog training academy


specialized dog training academy



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Marina Greyvenstein

The highly professional management team of Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy is completed by John’s wife, Marina.

Marina holds a BA degree in Social Work, and a post-graduate Diploma in Family Therapy.


She has also obtained a Certificate in Training Method, as well as a Diploma in Marriage Counseling.


Marina is also a qualified Assessor and Moderator.

These qualifications, coupled with a natural flair for working with dogs, make her services invaluable in integrating a private protection cum companion dog into a family unit.

dog training academy

About Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy

A scientific based K9 (Canine) Dog Unit and dog handler training centre offering the best service available. K9 - Canine Dog training academy specializing in explosive and narcotics detection dog
training and offering kennels - see our products & services.

Dog and Handler training
- a gamble on getting what you REALLY need?

Safety and Security have become buzzwords in the international arena, with vastly different needs of clients across the whole spectrum. One thing has become very clear, however: Security and Protection dogs, trained for a variety of applications are playing an ever increasing role, in spite of numerous electronic safety and security devices becoming available in the market all the time.

The major question is, however, not whether to use trained dogs and handlers for your safety, security, and protection needs – but how to ensure that the Security Service Provider of your choice can REALLY provide professionally trained dogs and handlers for the task at hand. Many clients have already burnt their fingers (and still are) because they chose the wrong Security Service Providers or Organisations, ending up with dogs and/or handlers that have not been trained in compliance with the minimum standards set by the Private Security Regulation Authority (PSIRA), in accordance with the relevant legislation – and in the process making themselves liable to a fine and/or imprisonment of up to 24 months See Legal Requirements

Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy has been the distinctive leader in the dog training and development field in South Africa since 1987, with services rendered varying from the training of dogs for personal protection, dog training and selling, as well as the accredited K9 training of dogs and handlers for specialised applications such as explosives and narcotics detection as required by governments and the private sector internationally.


Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy

§  Runs a professional training academy for dogs and handlers (Dog Trainer School – Career Pathing: How to become a dog trainer).

§  Is a PSIRA (Private Security Industry regulatory Authority) accredited dog and handler training center and a PSIRA accredited dog supplier. Training is presented by Grade A DH5 Instructors.

§  Provides certificates of competence for both dog and handler.

§  Is an accredited SASSETA (Safety And Security Sector Education And Training Authority) training service provider that provides courses for learners that can lead to national qualifications, with qualified registered Assessors and Moderators.

§  Offers PSIRA and SASSETA accredited dog training and dog (K9) handler courses including:

1.        Personal protection training

2.        Service dog training

3.        Dog obedience training

4.        Guard dog training

5.        Attack dog training

6.        Patrol dog training

7.        Tracker dog training

8.        Substance detection dog training (sniffer dogs)
- Narcotic detection dog training (drug detection dog)
- Explosive detection dog training (bomb detection dog)

9.        Puppy socialization training.

§  Offers consultation services internationally and locally to governmental as well as private concerns.

§  Hires out dogs and dog kennels.

§  Does Research on and Development of new techniques and training aids for narcotics detection dogs and explosives detection dogs, and advanced training methods.

§  Develops and utilizes vapour training aids for training and continuation training of dogs and handlers for substance detection.

§  Has dogs for sale that are stringently tested for physical suitability, good temperament, and behaviour.

§  Advises and implements programmes for integrating dogs into families (companion animals – ethology).

§  Offers a kenneling service (Boarding Kennels) for clients’ Dogs.

§  Supplies service dog equipment (dog kennels, dog harnesses, dog leashes, dog check chains etcetera).

§  Provides a scientific dog behavioural consultancy service.


To provide, through our Academy and Research Institute, a highly professional service to satisfy our customers’ needs in the most cost-effective and productive manner; to be the service provider of choice because of our high quality of service, performance and commitment to the highest standards of professionalism; to perform as team players that show respect for colleagues; to develop and maintain training capacity for:

§  Professional accredited training of dog handlers to the highest international standards for SASSETA (Safety And Security Sector Education And Training Authority) and PSIRA  (Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority) accredited courses

§  Top class professional consultation services regarding all aspects of dog and handler matters

§  Specialized accredited training of handlers and dogs for:


1.        Substance detection (explosives, narcotics etcetera)

2.        Patrol dog duties

3.        Tracker dog applications

4.        Personal protection

5.        Puppy socialization

§  Research and Development

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Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy boasts its own research unit and specialized laboratory, headed by owner John Greyvenstein. He holds a BSc (Zoology) (Hons) and an MSc in Genetics. His MSc thesis was dedicated to Working Dogs.

The research unit made a significant breakthrough during the first half of 2005 in the detection of narcotics and explosives using sniffer dogs, making the process much more accurate while avoiding potentially dangerous side effects

for both Handler and Dog.

The Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy team developed training aids that contain a small amount of the vapour of a target substance. Dangerous substances like explosives and narcotics are tamed in the process because of the techniques applied (which adhere to the requirements of the Chief Inspector of Explosives as well as those of the Medicines Control



The aids are not dangerous to either trainer or dog, and cannot be abused by anybody. With proper precautions they can

also easily be protected against contamination, and can be stored securely.

During trial runs internationally, resounding success was achieved with both the preparing and testing of training material, and the training and assessing of dogs and handlers.

The new technique was successfully demonstrated during an Open Day at Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy on 10 June 2005  using narcotics detection dogs that had been trained for less than two weeks.


Research is done on a continuous basis, and the next significant breakthrough is to be announced during the second half of 2013.

The breakthrough in the application of sniffer dogs has also opened up significant new career opportunities in specialised dog handling for both private security firms who want to have their officers trained for narcotics and explosives detection making use of sniffer dogs, and for private individuals who want to follow a lucrative career in specialized dog handling after obtaining their DH5 certification.

The Research Unit has also already successfully patented a unique kennelling system, scientifically designed, developed and tested to enhance the comfort of the dog and simplify the task of its minder, while representing a significant cost saving.

A scientifically balanced self-feeder unit for dogs has also been successfully developed and tested, and is in full commercial use.

Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy’s research unit is constantly working on projects relevant to the dog-related security industry, and more breakthroughs are in the pipeline, like the announcement regarding narcotics and explosives detection mentioned earlier.

dog handler training academy    dog obedience training  

John Greyvenstein and Dr. Fanie van der Walt in the Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy research laboratory


Because of a higher level of awareness, and improved technology to detect explosives currently being used at airports and other entry points, an increasing number of efforts by terrorists to smuggle explosive devices into a country have recently been foiled.

Terrorists are therefore actively developing alternative explosive substances that will evade detection. The most prominent class of organic substances they are currently concentrating on is based on peroxide groups, which contain no nitrogen atoms and therefore escapes X-ray detection. They are also metal free - even the detonators contain no metal or lead atoms that would show up on X-ray devices.

It had therefore become imperative to urgently develop techniques to detect the new generation of explosives (commonly known as "the Mother of Satan") now being used by terrorist organisations in homemade devices, because they cannot be detected by current devices and aids, including X-rays and sniffer dogs. These explosives have already been used against passenger aircraft with devastating results. They were also used in the London Underground and Bus Service as well as other suicide attacks, resulting in many deaths.

A major problem in developing aids to detect peroxide based explosives is the fact that these substances are chemically unstable, have a short shelf life, and are thus very dangerous to work with.

After their initial breakthrough in 2005 regarding the training of sniffer dogs and handlers to detect "normal" explosives, the Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy research team can now announce a major breakthrough in detecting and identifying "Mother of Satan" explosives.

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0027 (12) 73 44733

0027 (12) 73 44474

0027 (12) 73 11009


086 6953655

John Greyvenstein


 Dog obedience school

John Greyvenstein’s love for and interest in animals were the main reasons for his research into working dogs while in the process of obtaining his BSc (Zoology) (Hons) and MSc degrees in Genetics.

The subject of his thesis, The heritability of practical important characteristics in working dogs   is an indication as to why he is regarded as a world authority in this field. His articles are deemed brilliant by international authorities on the subject.

He is also a sought after speaker at relevant congresses and seminars. John completed several managerial and marketing courses at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and the University of Pretoria, and was a founder member of the Animal Control Research Committee of the South African Medical Services.

He was head of the dog centre of Escom (the South African Electricity Supply Commission), which under his leadership developed into the largest breeding and training centre for working dogs in the Southern Hemisphere at the time, and also served on the committee examining and making recommendations on the privatisation of dog centres in South Africa.

He founded Bio Dog Services (now Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy) in 1987, and developed it into one of the largest private training centres for working dogs in Southern Africa.

At dog training level, John is one of only a handful of A-level DH5 accredited instructors in South Africa, and is also a qualified Assessor and Moderator.

John is a past chairman of SASDA (South African Security Dogs Association), as well as past chairman of the National Dog Committee of SANSEA (South African National Security Employers Association). He is also PSIRA (Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority) representative on the SGB (Standards Generating Body) sub-committee for the generation of Unit Standards for the training of dogs and handlers in South Africa, and past Chairman of the SIRA Dog Committee.

More achievements of John include :

The development and commercialising of the Bio-Hut and Bio Bin – a unique, patented kennel system for dogs.

John is in constant demand by governments internationally to act as Project Manager for the establishing of specialised dog training and operational centres for a variety of applications.


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