Some of our team members have recently attended the Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy for dog handler (DH) training. The Academy is a scientifically based K9 unit and dog handler training centre located in Pretoria.

Dog Handler Training  ©  Pit-Track

Our handlers completed DH1 and DH2 training during the week-long training.  This involved “Care for a Service Dog” and “Utilizing a Trained Service Dog to Deter Crime”.  Their time there began with theory before being assigned their dogs on day 1.  They had time to bond with their dogs, then began grooming training, which included first inspections such as checking the nose, ears, eyes, teeth, gums, and the dog’s body for any lumps before grooming begins.  They also performed kennel duties every morning and evening.

Dog Handler Training  ©  Pit-Track

With the first unit completed, they undertook theory on utilizing a trained service dog to deter crime, which was primarily how to use a dog amongst other people and the rules for using a dog safely.  The practical aspects of the training included aggression and work with the bite arm and suit and how to hold the dog properly in a safe manner during these exercises.

Training Exercises  ©  Pit-Track


Obedience with dogs was also undertaken, including learning how obedience works, and performing drills with commands such as walk, heel, change direction, sit, down, and stay.  They learnt about the basic command structure and dos and don’ts when giving commands to dogs.  Teaching dogs how to bite and learning both the theory and practical aspects of this work was also included.

The final day involved testing and practical exercises, with all of our handlers passing the courses and coming away from their experience with useful knowledge and skills to further their work as dog handlers.

Braveheart’s Obstacle Course  ©  Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy


John Greyvenstein, the CEO and Founder of the Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy, explained that “when we train DH1 and DH2 we’re talking about the training standards of the dog handler and that of the dog.  We do need to make sure that the handler takes proper care of his dog”, and that the training is “to utilize the dog successfully in the operational sphere of handling”.

Earlier in the year, we also had handlers undertake the more advanced DH levels, which they thoroughly enjoyed.  We congratulate our team members and give thanks to John and his team for such great training of our handlers!