Training Today’s Canines for Tomorrow’s Threat

Vapor Detection is our method and system for detecting explosives and other illicit substances. Vapor Detection are distinctly trained to detect CONCEALED body-worn/carried explosives or firearms on an individual that is moving through a crowded public space. Unlike traditional EDD teams, that are trained to detect statically placed explosive devices or hidden firearms, Vapor Detection Dogs are able to detect concealed threats on a moving target. This is because Vapor Detection Dogs do not see “people” as a productive area of search and are extensively trained to search for the odor itself as it moves through the area.

This is what enables a Vapor Detection Dogs to do what others consistently and effectively cannot: follow an individual (target) with a concealed explosive device or firearm to the source in real time while the target is in motion. Additionally, Vapor Detection Dogs are socially and environmentally conditioned throughout our training processes to work in high-flow pedestrian areas. They can accurately screen hundreds of people unobtrusively passing through an entry point in a nonintrusive way. Our technology and training program produce versatile K9 teams that can be deployed in settings ranging from concert venues to airports.

How Does Vapor DetectionWork?

Through scientific study it was determined that Explosive Odor particles are carried behind a person in a “thermal plume” that is produced by a body’s natural heat. A person’s natural thermal plume goes upwards when a person is standing still, but as soon as they begin moving, the thermal plume extends behind them. This is the flow of odor away from the body leaving a trail for the canine to follow. . Vapor Detection Dogs will work through a crowd by sampling the cross-sections of people moving within. When a Vapor Detection Dog detects these explosive particles, it will follow to the highest concentration of odor, a person, a bag left behind a concealed threat.

This differs from Person Borne or people search canines as a Vapor Detection Dog, does not see people as a productive area of search but is consistently sampling the air around individuals to locate the source of the trained odor.

VWK9 Breeding Program

Vapor Detection began with years of research, breeding, and validation. Vapor Detection Dogs account for less than 10% of all selection tested detection canines. Each canine selected for the Vapor program must display an inherent set of skills that are not commonly found in traditional detection canines. It is these inherent skills that make them effective at detecting odor on a moving target as well as their ability to work effectively in crowded public spaces amongst a variety of environmental distractors. VWK9 consistently aspires to use our advanced training protocols and our Vapor Detection Dogs to address emerging threats and strive for excellence in all of our Vapor Detection Dogs.

Canines selected for our breeding program are tested for the physiological, psychological, and sociological traits that allow for Vapor Detection Dogs to excel in all environments. Labradors as well as other sporting breeds such as German Shorthair Pointers are typically used for our Vapor Detection Dog program due to their ability to interact with the public while still maintaining a high-drive and superior scent tracking ability.  Our breeding program currently utilizes selective breeding in a controlled environment. 

Vapor Detection Dog Discriminators

  • Proven superior detection capability with 165+ Vapor Detection Dogs in support of Large-Scale Police Departments around the Globe
  • Allows for freedom of movement without impeding traffic flow
  • Screens mass crowds in public spaces more effectively than standard practice security measures
  • Safe and friendly canines that add value to community engagements


In November 2012, VWK9 was formed to merge an operational background with grounded scientific theory and practice. This is unprecedented in the canine industry and has culminated into the continuous pursuit of K9 excellence and continuous development of progressive training techniques and groundbreaking detection abilities that address the newest threats against the American people.


Once a litter is born, the puppies’ training begins. Over the first 6-12 months, the future Vapor Detection dogs go through extensive social and environmental raising, supervised by our Canine Performance staff. Puppies are exposed to a variety of stimuli and environments in order to prepare them to work in loud, distracting, and crowded environments without losing focus.
At three months, the puppies begin the human bonding process. This initial human bonding process lasts until the K9 is one year old. This is the initial building block of our Vapor Detection team configuration of one dog/one handler.
In addition, we provide cutting edge physical conditioning, nutritional program design, veterinary care, canine performance research to prepare the dogs to work in any environment.
After their first year, VWK9 begins the initial odor training for Vapor Detection dogs on our 320-acre training facility in Anniston, AL. Here, the K9s hone their detection skills with strict protocols and training processes that are unique to Vapor Explosive Detection Dogs. Our process results in the most versatile and advanced scenting K9 on the market.

Past Performance

VWK9 Vapor Detection dogs and handlers offer mobile explosive detection teams that are ideal for any public area where mass crowds gather for a variety of reasons. The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security put Vapor Detection K9s through their Lab Test, our Vapor Detection dogs are certified by NCS4, and VWK9 holds the first and only lab tested K9 detection capability for K9 security. Vapor Detection dogs are currently being utilized at several high-profile pedestrian venues and mass transit hubs which include the St. Louis Cardinals, Detroit Tigers, Dallas Cowboys, Amtrak, and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
VWK9 teams were utilized in a critical role in support of the 2012 Presidential Inauguration. Our Vapor Detection teams screened people entering the seating area that would be closest to the president, providing an added level of security against hand-carried and body-worn explosives.
VWK9 was instrumental in the development and implementation of what is known today as TSA’s Passenger Screening Canine Program.

Lab-Tested-NCS4_vapor-wake | Vapor Wake | professional canine handlers

VWK9 has been evaluated and certified by The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at the University of Southern Mississippi. NCS4 supports the advancement of sports safety and security through training, professional development, academic programs, and research. NCS4 collaborates with professional leagues, open access events, intercollegiate and interscholastic athletics, along with professional associations, private sector firms, and government agencies. It is a critical resource for sport venue managers, event managers, first responders, and other key stakeholders.


Contract VWK9 Services

Every client has a unique set of requirements and VWK9 understands this. We offer the deployment of Vapor Detection Teams to assist in meeting your specific needs and fully integrating into your daily security activity. Contact us to learn how Vapor Detection technology can close your security gap, and ensure that your next event is protected.

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Try Out Our “Red Team”

VWK9 offers the opportunity to try Vapor Detection K9 teams at your next event to safely test and identify how Vapor Detection can address real security gaps in your organization. Our Red Team includes licensed explosive handlers (to be used as a “decoy” in the crowd) and real Vapor Detection K9 Teams. Contact us to schedule the Red Team, and try Vapor Detection during your next event.

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Become a Vapor Detection Handler

VWK9 is pleased to sell Vapor Detection dogs and to provide Vapor Detection Handler training. The home of Vapor Detection sales and training is located in Anniston, AL, where these unique K9s experience a rigorous advanced explosive training process which is modeled specifically for Vapor Detection. Once you have selected your Vapor Detection K9, you can experience Vapor Detection Instruction and Certification Programs to prepare your Vapor Detection K9 team for success.



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