Specialized Training

Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy offers specialized substance detection (sniffer) dog training for both narcotics and explosives – locally and internationally.

The training of substance detection dogs is divided into two main components:

  • Training the dog
  • Training the handler


The different substances that the dog will be required to identify will determine the time frame of training, the cost factor and other relevant elements of the training.

Explosive Detection Dogs

Examples of explosive substances for which the dog can be trained are :

  • TNT
  • PETN
  • RDX
    • Composition B
  • Nitrocellulose Propellants
    • Propellant
    • Ammunition
    • Nitrocellulose
    • Ballistite
  • Ammonium nitrate
    • Slurry
    • ANFO
Explosives detection dog working on vehicle


Narcotics Detection Dogs

We train dogs to detect the following narcotics:

  • Cocaine
  • Ecstasy
  • Heroin
  • Mandrax
  • Cannabis
  • Ephedrine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Methcathinone
  • Combination drugs

Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy has done extensive research on dog training for these specialized applications, and our training is aimed at minimizing false indications, assuring the safety of the dog, and to accommodate continuation training.


Narcotic detection dog working on luggage


Tracker dogs

Tracking does not come naturally to dogs – a suitable dog must be trained specifically for tracking – and the effectiveness of a tracking dog to a large extent depends on the quality of training received by the dog, by its handler, and as a team.

Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy Tracker Dog Handler Training includes assessing a scene for possible tracks; providing a scent to a tracker dog; preparing the tracker dog to follow a scent; utilize the Tracker Dog to follow the scent track; and to locate and identify a suspect or animal that was being followed.

Dogs used for tracking purposes must be well trained in obedience, with or without aggression work (depending on the client’s requirements). Tracks of various lengths and time of scent trail form part of the training.

As mentioned, the success of the use of tracker dogs depends in the first place on the handler being well trained with his tracker dog.

Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy has done extensive research on Tracker Dog Training and Tracker Dog Handler Training.  The aim of his aspect is to minimize false indications, and to accommodate continuation training.

NB: There is no specific breed of dog that is most suitable for tracking – vastly different breeds can be trained to become tracking dogs (Around 2006, the best tracker dog at Braveheart  Bio-Dog Academy was Mamba, a crossbreed dachshund).


We train dog’s – Professionally 


Our training is outcomes based, which implies that the final analysis evolves around the ability of the handler to demonstrate applied competence. Applied competence is a combination of practical competence (an ability to demonstrate practical outcomes), foundational competence (an ability to demonstrate theoretical outcomes), and reflexive competence (the demonstration of certain cross field outcomes).

Phases of training:

  • Fundamental to training are professional training aids and material. Successful training and utilization of substance dogs comprise various important components to assure success:
  • Selection of the dog
  • Assessment of the dog’s physical characteristics – hips, elbows etc
  • Training of the dog
  • Training of the handler
  • Assessment of the dog and handler as a team
  • Certification of dogs and handlers
  • Moderating of the process
  • Continuation training – this phase is just as important, if not more, than the other phases mentioned. Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy supplies a comprehensive programme for continuation training. This programme ensures the maintenance of training standards for both handler and dog.

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