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On April 13th our K9 team was successfully re-certified in Florida by NESDCA for the 3rd time in as many tries! In an environment where many K9’s have no certification whatsoever, and where many companies are “self-certifying” their K9 teams, we continue to meet the highest standard set forth by both the NPMA and NESDCA. Additionally, we provide our K9 with a minimum of 2 weeks per year of intensive optional training at J&K Canine Academy – the “gold standard of scent detection,” at our own expense – to insure the K9 team that shows up at your door meets the qualifications you expect.
Our K9 team has never failed a mandatory certification, even as our K9 team continues to be one of the most experienced bed bug detection teams in the country. In looking at the NESDCA website, we’re noticing that many teams that were certified in 2011 are no longer certified now. It can be because the team is no longer actively detecting bed bugs, or it can be because the team has stopped certifying their K9, or, because the team failed their most recent certification. It can’t be stressed enough how important 3rd party certification is in the overall process of the bed bug K9 detection industry. A K9 inspection company can advertise that it’s K9 was trained by a “certified dog trainer,” but that’s not what proper certification is. Certification means that a 3rd party has verified that a K9 team is able to perform the job it was trained to do successfully.
One reason NESDCA is an accepted industry standard for bed bug detecting K9’s is because it maintains evaluators with no vested interest in the outcome of the certification. NESDCA determines whether a team can find hidden bed bugs or not. It’s this simple: if a team can find hidden bed bugs, it passes, and if it can’t, it fails. What NESDCA stresses constantly is how important the ongoing training of a K9 is to the process of successful re-certification, and they’ll cite a lack of training when teams fail their certification. We certainly agree with their analysis, and continue to train and re-inforce our K9’s training on a daily basis.
When making your bed bug K9 inspection decision, being able to determine whether or not a K9 is certified, and then, which organization certified the K9, is a must.