The AKC Detection Dog Task Force is pleased to announce the 5th AKC National Detection Dog Conference on July 23 – 25, 2024 in Wilmington, Ohio.

This year’s theme is Detection Dogs: Past, Present & Future. The conference will include speakers that operate on the cutting edge of canine detection research, training, breeding and handling. The conference will look at the crucial role of working dogs in protecting public safety, current trends and context, and explore opportunities for breeders, researchers, industry leaders and trainers to work together to address the shortage of U.S. bred detection canines to improve future operations.

The conference focuses on presenting practical information and important advances for each of our key audiences – breeders, researchers, puppy raisers, trainers, buyers and handlers of detection canines – and providing real, actionable resources that improve participants’ opportunities to collaborate as the field of canine detection advances and evolves.

Topics and Speakers:
Welcome from AKC
- Dr. Carmen Battaglia, AKC Board, AKC Detection Dog Task Force
AKC Patriotic Puppy Program – How AKC Breeders and Industry Mentors are Impacting the Supply Chain of Green Detector Dogs Available for Local, State and Federal Law Enforcement
  - Stacey West, Program Manager AKC Patriotic Puppy Program

Welcome & An Introduction to the American Kennel Club
   - Christopher L. Sweetwood, AKC Board AKC Detection Dog Task Force Co-Chair

Breeding and Reproduction for Detection Dogs
- Fiona Hollinshead, BVSc (Hons) PhD DACT, Associate Professor of Small
Animal Theriogenology, College of Veterinary Medicine and
Biomedical Sciences Small Animal Reproduction, Colorado State University

History of Working Dogs
   - Chris Willingham, President, US War Dog Association

TSA Procurement, Operations, The Future of Domestic Breeding Consortium, Selection Tool, and Genome Work
- Matthew McKenzie, Canine Capabilities Readiness Lead
Requirements and Capabilities Analysis, Transportation Security Administration
- T. Shawn Farrens, Supervisory Training Instructor, Canine Training Center, Transportation Security Administration
- Brandon Peters, Training Instructor, Canine Training Center, Transportation Security Administration
- Dennis Hamilton, National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program, Transportation Security Administration
- Michael Delia, Headquarters Canine Coordinator, Transportation Security Administration

Canine Nutrition - GI Stability in Working Dogs: Managing Diets to Improve Gut Health
- Erin Perry, MS PhD, Professor, Equine & Canine Science, Southern Illinois University

No Ordinary Day for a Canine Team
- Captain John Kerwick, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department (New York City, ret.)

Lessons Learned from Sustainment Training
- Lane Kjellsen, Founder & Chief Executive Officer K2 Solutions, Inc.

Breeder Profiles: A Tool to Improve the Selection and Pairing of Breeders Based on Behavioral Traits
- Jordan Smith, PhD
Auburn University Canine Performance Sciences

The Legislative Environment for Working K9s
- Sheila Goffe, AKC Vice President, Government Relations, AKC Detection
Dog Task Force

The Contemporary Legal Environment for Working K9s
- Eugene Ramirez, Esq., Founding Partner, Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester LLP

How Science and Training Work Together
- Lucia Lazarowski, PhD, Auburn University Canine Performance Sciences
- Bart Rogers, Chief Canine Instructor, Auburn University Canine Performance Sciences

Selling Success, Selection and Development of Working Canines
- Nicholas King, President, Director of Operations & Founder Von Der King
Kennels & Training (VDK)

Association Between Early-Stage Stress Susceptibility Indicators and Performance Outcomes In Candidate Detection Dogs: A Pilot Study
- Alessia Diana, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Animal Welfare & Behavior, Croney Research Group
Department of Comparative Pathobiology
Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine

Panel Discussion: Canine Evaluations – Are You & Your Dog Prepared?
- Jamie Popper, MBA, Certified Dog Trainer
- Tim Baird, Director of Bomb Dog Operations, Arete Canine
- Stacey West, Program Manager AKC Patriotic Puppy Program

Live Working Dog K9 Evaluations and Industry “Meet & Greet” Event

*Subject to change
Roberts Centre
Hotel & Convention Center

123 Gano Road
Wilmington, OH 45177

July 23 – 25, 2024
Tentative Schedule
Tuesday, July 23
4:30 PM -
6:30 PM
Registration Check-In
Location: Roberts Grand Ballroom C
5:45 PM - 
8:00 PM
Welcome Reception & Dinner
Location: Roberts Grand Ballroom C
Wednesday, July 24
7:30 AM -
10:00 AM
Registration Check-In
Location: Foyer
8:30 AM -
12:30 PM
Conference Sessions
Location: Roberts Grand Ballroom D
12:30 PM -
1:45 PM
Location: Roberts Grand Ballroom C
1:45 PM -
5:45 PM
Conference Sessions
Location: Roberts Grand Ballroom D
Thursday, July 25
8:00 aM -
1:00 PM
Conference Sessions
Location: Roberts Grand Ballroom D
1:00 PM
Conference Conclusion
Location: Roberts Grand Ballroom D
Roberts Centre
123 Gano Road, Wimlington, OH 45177
Roberts Centre is located in the middle of three of the largest cities in Ohio: Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton. With the region’s largest convention center, the luxurious Holiday Inn hotel, and Ralph’s American Grill all on site, Roberts Centre is a wonderful break from the hustle and bustle of city living.

Accommodations at the Roberts Centre
Please click the "book here" button or call the number below in order to secure a room under the conference room block. The nightly room rate is $139.00 plus applicable taxes and fees. You must book by Monday, July 01 at 11:59pm Eastern to qualify for this special rate.

Phone: 937-283-3200

Please contact the Roberts Centre with any questions related to booking or to request specific accommodations.

For individuals booking under the government rate, please call the Roberts Centre at
937-283-3275 then select option three to make your reservation.
Contact Us
For general questions or concerns related to the conference,
 please contact us by phone or email at:

[email protected] 
We welcome your support. Click the button below to view and download our prospectus. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact:

Mikki Larkin
[email protected]  |  919-816-3321
Thank You to Our Supporters

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