Working Dog Training

Black Hills K9 has the education and expertise to work alongside law enforcement and military K9 teams.

Tim Eick, founder of Black Hills K9 LLC, has over 11 years of experience as a Naval Officer that he brings to his approach in working dogs. Tim understands the management and leadership challenges that can be encountered when dealing with budget, personnel, and time constraints. 

Black Hills K9 is backed by operational military experience in multiple threat environments that give a unique perspective to tackle the dynamic environment within law enforcement and the range of military operations. Having conducted detainee operations, close quarters combat tactics, and personnel/vehicle check points Tim understands the threat, risks, and challenges associated when conducting high risk operations.

Black Hills K9 LLC’s overall intent is to work closely with law enforcement agencies, military, search and rescue units, and private organizations to provide training services to them in order to keep people safe and effectively execute their missions. 

We understand there is an increasingly demanding world out there with complex problems. Our goal is to provide you with a reliable solution that will produce consistent results in your operational environment. We also believe in the power of education, lasting relationships, and feedback. As such, our commitment to you and your success does not end with the “completion of your contract.” 

Please see below for more information on our working dog services. If you need more information, contact us through any of our available avenues to help us find the solution that is right for you.

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Working Dog Evaluation
$250 (1 hr)

Wondering if your dog could be suited for life as a working K9? Our thorough working dog evaluation can help determine if your dog has what it takes for your chosen discipline. Our lead trainer, Tim Eick, will use his experience and expertise to put your dog through its paces and determine the most suitable next steps. We will analyze your dog’s drive and temperament to help evaluate their suitability for future work. Contact us to set up your evaluation.

Working K9 Sales with Training
(Inquire for prices and full services)

Perhaps you’re looking to add your first Police K9 to your department, or you have a military team looking to add a new dog to an existing team. You may even be a civilian interested in using a dog to volunteer or contract your time, or simply looking to engage your dog in a new activity to offer physical and mental enrichment. 

No matter what your goals are, Black Hills K9 LLC is here to help you on your journey towards acquiring your next working dog.

When it comes to choosing a working dog, there are so many factors to consider. While cost can often be a factor, working teams can find themselves fighting an uphill battle from the start due to poorly selected dogs or inadequate training. The price you pay for rushing working dog selection and training often results in ineffective outcomes upon deployment – which, in reality, is a much bigger price to pay.

We will help you at every step of the process, from discussing your goals and guiding you on puppy selection, all the way through to handler training and ongoing maintenance. 

  • Single and dual purpose K9s for law enforcement and military teams 
  • Search and rescue dogs, including wilderness, urban, cadaver and human trailing
  • Detection dogs, including narcotics, explosives, conservation, bed bugs and more
working dog training
Photo Credit: Samantha Miller

Detection Dogs
(Inquire for prices and full services)

Photo Credit: Samantha Miller

The power of a dog’s nose is unparalleled, and when harnessed by a skilled trainer, there is almost no limit to the capability of a fully-trained detection dog.

The realm of detection dog training is vast. For law enforcement teams, K9s are often deployed to help root out illegal narcotics that can have a devastating effect on local communities. Schools can utilize a drug detection dog to prevent illegal substances being trafficked, distributed, and used on the premises. Detection dogs can also be trained to search for the faintest trace of explosive material in an area as large as a football field.

The training we provide for law enforcement and the military is based on the most current research and case law for detection practices. We subscribe to the use of Scent Logix training aids for the imprinting and behavior shaping process and use a “freeze and lock” trained final response as our indication. 

We are also keen to partner with research organizations, universities and non-profits who specialize in protecting our environment. Conservation detection dogs can be trained to locate pests, find animal scat, or help to fight against animal poaching. These incredible dogs aid scientists in their research, and the findings can help us make decisions to protect our global ecosystem from natural and manmade threats.

The field of detection is ever-expanding, particularly as we learn more about how dogs can help us. The scope is not only limited to law enforcement; for example, civilian handlers can use a trained detection dog to set up a business locating bed bugs in hotels and apartment complexes. Dogs can also be taught to search for valuable, rare commodities like truffles. At Black Hills K9 we always welcome new and creative ideas for training a detection dog.

In short, if you need something to be found, a dog’s nose is the most reliable and powerful way to locate your item of choice.

Search and Rescue Training
(Inquire for prices and full services)

Search and Rescue (SAR) K9s can be deployed in a variety of settings. Dogs are uniquely capable of covering large distances quickly, while also having the aptitude to find the smallest trace of odor due to their finely-tuned olfactory system. Examples of these types of dogs include:

  • Wilderness SAR – To locate missing individuals in woodland, parks or other outdoor settings.

  • Urban Disaster SAR – To locate missing individuals in the aftermath of natural or manmade disasters, such as destroyed buildings after an earthquake or terrorist attack.

  • Cadaver – To locate deceased individuals in order to bring closure to families and help law enforcement teams with ongoing investigations.

Our Search and Rescue training program is comprehensive and will help to turn your dog into a reliable, dependable K9 in its desired setting. Our training process is systematic and tailored to the overall objectives you have in mind for your dog. Please contact us for more information on our SAR Training program.

Trailing Training
(Inquire for prices and full services)

Dogs are naturally great hunters, utilizing their highly-attuned olfactory system to locate target odors – and people. They have been utilized by Search and Rescue volunteers and organizations to help find missing people in urban settings, dense woodland and vast, rural areas. Trailing dogs can be employed and have endless possibilities for handlers with law enforcement agencies, search and rescue, or private organizations/citizens.

Trailing can also be a great way to teach your dog a brand new skill. It offers them physical exercise and mental stimulation, and in addition, can further the bond between dog and handler. 

Our training process will help to build your dog into a reliable trailing K9 from the ground up. We’ll progress from building your dog’s drive, all the way through to cold trails where we will build up your dog’s ability through increasing distance and duration systematically. The training process will be tailored to the end goals you have for your trailing dog.

Photo Credit: Samantha Miller

Professional Decoy Services

If you have a patrol trained K9 or personal protection dog and need to work on their bitework, we offer professional decoy services for existing law enforcement and military teams, in addition to privately trained dogs. Regular decoy training – under the tutelage of a professional – ensures that your dog is ready to operate effectively when required. We believe in the power of continued training of fundamentals and scenario based training.

Protection Dog Training

At Black Hills K9 LLC, we offer premier protection dog training services and follow a very strict model to get proven results. 

Our protection dog training starts with the testing and selection of a puppy for specific traits and temperament by our breeder in Europe. We will then work hand-in-hand with you over the next one to two years to train your puppy at our facility from the ground up. We will ensure that there is proper socialization, on leash and off leash obedience, confidence skills, and the necessary bite training for your protection dog. Importantly, we will also work with you and any members of your family to ensure you are comfortable and confident working with your protection dog when you leave. 

There is a lot of time and commitment associated with the initial training of your dog, but it is also a commitment you make for the lifetime of the dog. You will be expected to provide the contact information for your professional decoy that you will use if you do not live in the Black Hills area, so that we can ensure your protection dog’s training can be maintained when they leave our facility. 

In addition to the time commitment for training, there is a cost. Our protection dogs start at $50,000, with a $15,000 non-refundable deposit due to reserve your training slot. The remaining payments will be made throughout the length of training and will be outlined in your personal contract. With such a high demand for personal protection dogs, and a limitation on the supply from each of our breeder’s litters, please understand there can be a waitlist for the start of training. 

We understand that you may have a specific breed of dog, or believe that you own a dog that shows potential for personal protection – however, we do not deviate from our model or make exceptions for this type of training. The first conversation we will have if you are considering one of our personal protection dogs is to provide education in order to discuss your lifestyle, risks and liabilities of protection dogs, and the required commitment to the model outlined above. We will not train personal protection dogs to be portrayed as service dogs.