In early June 2011, the National Pest Management Association hosted a conference for bed bug detection canine teams in Philadelphia. Lectures covered a variety of topics from the dynamics of the canine nose to ensuring the strength of your defense in a legal setting. Teams were invited to certify with various organizations to prove their worthiness to perform field bed bug detection.
The World Detection Dog Organization (WDDO) was one of the certifying bodies that participated in the conference and offered certifications. David Latimer is the Director of Certifications for the WDDO and was interviewed at the event by the BBC.
The WDDO certification is unique because it is double-blind. This means that no-one in the testing rooms knows where the odors are located, not the proctor and not the certifying team. The team must work the rooms and then give a report as to the odor locations at the end. Often the one room is blank. The test is difficult even for seasoned teams. It will quickly flush out problem areas, poor training and un-qualified teams.
One company out of Louisiana sent a press release announcing its success in the test. It is a good description of the challenges faced.
Congratulations to all my peers who have joined us as a WDDO Certified Detection Canine Team!