Hello, “dog-blog” friends and fans. Hunter here, reporting from sunny and muggy Florida. I mentioned in my column, “Hunter’s Backyard” in the July ’13 Edition of The Loyal News newsletter, that Bill Whitstine, owner and operator of this renowned K-9 Training Academy; surprised me July 4th weekend by inviting back my Termite Detection graduating class. Well, we all had a blast. While the handlers and dog parents enjoyed their social time, we K-9’s chowed down on all the good food and treats brought in by the participants. It was great to frolic, run, and sniff around with my old pals. We played Frisbie and all kinds of competitive fetch games. It is important to note; the Academy provided a continual water source for us, so we were all well hydrated and free to let it all hand out in our games and free play. Remember; please keep your dogs well hydrated!

I can’t remember when I’ve had so much fun. Thank you to Bill, for making it all happen and having this special event in my honor. What he said about me at the Saturday Night banquet; “the most intelligent, hard-working, and naturally talented detection dog to ever graduate from the Academy”; made me a bit embarrassed; however, I am very proud of my accomplishments down here. All the dogs in attendance barked, “Hunter, Hunter”, repeatedly. It was quite a scene. The whole weekend was great fun! I just wish Daddy Nick and Mama Gena could have been down here; however, Mama Gena’s ankle brake kept them from attending. I miss them a bunch.

As you can imagine, I have been very busy here at the Florida K-9 Training Academy going through all the exercises necessary to become a K-9 Bedbug Detective. The training is more intense than termite detection because bed bugs can be very elusive. We dogs have to be constantly on top of our game and the field detection training here will make me the best Bed Bug Detective I can be.

As far as the magic of our sense of smell; I have learned a lot. They have exercises where they try to trick us on what we are sniffing (Note: Photo in Header). To me, the difference between the scent of termites and the scent of bedbugs is like night and day. The pheromone scent of a termite is somewhat sweet, where the bedbug scent is mustier like. The trainers will mix up all kinds of scents used in various specialties taught at the school to confuse us. The key for me is to tune out all scents that are not “right on” the mark. Close does not count in this game like it does in Horse Shoes. We are taught to be scent specific to what is the primary challenge at hand. To me, termite detection is second nature, probably because I’ve been doing it for so long. I am now working to have that same sniffing confidence when I go out on a Bed Bug assignment as a K-9 Termite Detective. I am anxious to get back to Loyal Termite and Pest Control and begin my daily duties.

I will keep you informed of my progress in next week’s, What’s Buggin’ You? Stay tuned; testing is right around the corner and you all know I am determined to finish this training no less than #1 in my class. Up to now, it is; so far, so good!

Have a great week! Ruff!! Ruff!!

Florida Bedbug Detection Academy Update – Field Training Exercises (Sniffing em’ Out!) in Virginia

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