Drug & Bomb Sniffing Dog FAQs

Drug & Bomb Sniffing Dog Frequently Questions and Answers

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers. If you don’t see an answer to your question, feel free to contact us.

  • Do different handlers work with different dogs or is your policy one handler/one dog?
    SVK9 generally has one handler to one dog. Each K9/Handler team lives, works, and trains together.
  • How are canines trained to handle confined and/or large crowds?
    Stealth Vigilance employs scientifically bred Labrador Retrievers. Labradors are non-threatening to the public and blend easily into their operating environment. They are socialized from birth and are adaptive to their operating environments.
    During the initial 18-month training period, the canines receive extensive socialization to enhance their ability to operate in high pedestrian traffic venues. The canines train in various venues including amusement parks, arenas, shopping malls, stadiums and mass transit areas to prepare to work in active high pedestrian traffic venues and to eliminate the canine’s response to distracting stimuli such as people, animals, noise, food, and operational area ambient noises.
  • Are your animals trained on person borne explosive detection?
    Stealth Vigilance K9s are trained in Vapor Wake detection -- the highest level of body worn explosive detection and specifically designed for mass crowds moving in an unrestricted and disorderly fashion.
    Vapor Wake is the only lab-tested and scientifically proven explosive detection technology, earning NCS4 certification. Vapor Wake is also the only patented technology for explosives detection.
  • How long are animals permitted to work without resting?
    Several factors influence how long our canines work without rest periods. The primary factor is environmental conditions. Canines working in a temperature-regulated building can usually work 35-50 minutes without a break. If they are working in more extreme conditions (such as 90+ degree weather), the canines work 15-25 minutes and then rest.
  • Where are your animals sourced from?
    Stealth Vigilance has animals sourced from VWK9, LLC (also known as Vapor Wake K9 or Vapor Wake). The sole breeder of Vapor Wake canines is Auburn University’s Canine Performance Science (CPS) and breeding program. VWK9 maintains exclusive rights as the seller of Vapor Wake canines.
  • How long is your certification process?
    For initial certification, the canines undergo an 18-month training program . The dogs learn to investigate various environments for reward to instill strong independent search capabilities and obedience to odor. The dogs also receive extensive socialization to enhance their ability to operate in high pedestrian traffic venues. During this initial 18-month training program, the dogs are continuously evaluated to tailor further development of training programs and protocols.
    When a canine has proven exemplary in the initial 18-month training, that dog is then paired with a qualified handler who has previous K9 handling experience . The team then completes a 2-month full-time handlers’ course to certify as a fully trained and certified Vapor Wake/Explosive Detection Dog.
  • What type of certification are your handlers issued?
    Stealth Vigilance K-9 Teams (Handler/K9) maintain three certifications:
    1. SVK9 Certification
    2. Vapor Wake ® Certification
    3. North American Police Work Dog Association
  • What detection capabilities do your K-9s have?
    Stealth Vigilance maintains dogs trained to detect Explosives, Narcotics, and Firearms.  Our Vapor Wake® Canines have advanced, patented capability to detect body-worn explosives and firearms.
  • Why use an Explosive Detection Dog & Handler team from SVK9 rather than from the local police department?
    The primary reason to use a private detection team is that you can only rely on a Police K-9 team if you receive a direct threat. Local police departments just don’t have enough resources to commit to the ever-increasing demands within the public domain; therefore, they cannot be proactive and attend the thousands of public events and venues unless they receive a credible threat.
  • Why do people hire a narcotics detection service like SVK9?
    Many parents report that they don’t want to discipline their children or take more serious actions based on a hunch or mere suspicion. They would like to know for sure -- one way or the other. Many drug users are very skilled at planting the seed of doubt, which makes the truth even harder to find. Generally, this is a very emotional time, and parents can take action confidently when they have clarity. A simple and quick search can put to rest or confirm suspicions, and give you the peace of mind that parents deserve. In school or business settings, safety is crucial to the success of the institution, and the discretion and confidentiality that SVK9 provides is the ideal way to avoid any messy, unnecessary publicity.
  • What experience and qualifications do SVK9 Dog Handlers have?
    Our handlers are retired police officers and have extensive public safety experience. In addition, they have gone through a rigorous K-9 Handler's school.
  • Are Stealth Vigilance K-9s trained just like Police K-9s?
    Yes, SVK9 dogs are bred, imported, trained, and certified just as any other Police K-9.
  • How are the detection dogs trained?
    We use dogs that have been bred, selected, imported, and extensively trained by Tarheel Canine Training, Inc., a nationally recognized police K-9 trainer, and are at their highest level of performance. Our dogs are trained using positive reward methods that guarantee their reliable performance. Similar to an athlete, a detection K-9 requires continued maintenance, training and conditioning. Once certified, our dogs receive continuous training to maintain their skill levels.
  • How much training do the dogs have?
    Each K-9 has gone through an extensive full-time training for 4-5 months. The Handlers are then paired with the K-9, and they go through additional full-time training for another 4-6 weeks before being certified. On-going training and conditioning is required after this initial training.
  • What substances can the narcotics K-9 find?
    The narcotics K-9 can detect Marijuana, Cocaine (and derivatives), Heroin, and Methamphetamine.  
  • What substances can the explosives and firearms K-9s find?
    The explosives K-9 can detect the specific scent of over a dozen different combinations of explosive materials. The firearms K-9 can detect guns, ammunition, and gunpowder from the distinctive odors they produce.
  • What happens when the K-9 detects an odor?
    Our dogs are trained to alert the handler by a passive alert such as a quiet sit or a standing stare.
  • Is SVK9 licensed?
    Yes, Stealth Vigilance, LLC maintains North Carolina Private Investigator License, Guard Dog Service License and a Security Guard & Patrol License.
  • What area does SVK9 service?
    Our corporate office is located in Raleigh, North Carolina, and services the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area. Any location within a 45-mile radius will fall under our normal service area. However, we may be able to service outside this area, so please contact SVK9 directly for a customized quote.
  • Is SVK9 affiliated with the police?
    No, we are not affiliated with law enforcement or other government agencies. SVK9 provides completely confidential, discreet narcotics searches. We are not required to notify police of our findings and we have no authority to make an arrest. The confidential nature of our narcotics searches allows parents, employers, or school administrators to intervene and use the appropriate discretion for their unique situation which often includes getting help for individual in question. Law enforcement notification or involvement will be left to your discretion.
  • Are the narcotic searches confidential?
    Yes! All of our narcotics detection services and the results are discreet and confidential.
  • What are the costs for a residential narcotics search?
    Costs are determined for the client's specific needs and size of the area to be searched. A typical residential search of house less than 2500 sq. ft. and within our primary service area begins at $375. If a search is needed within 24 hours’ notice, the cost may be higher depending on availability. Please contact SVK9 services directly for a customized quote, a quote for narcotics searches of businesses and schools, or a quote for the detection of firearms and/or explosives.
  • How long does a search take?
    This will depend on several factors. Factors that affect how long a search will take can include the size of the area to be searched, how many rooms, the type of contents in the area and if vehicles will be searched as well. A typical residential house with 2500 square feet or less takes approximately one hour.
  • What happens when the dog finds drugs?
    If our dogs detect the odor of drugs, we will identify and pinpoint the location. With you present, we will help locate the source. Illegal drugs are often well hidden, therefore our detection teams rarely physically touch or see the substances in plain view.
  • What do you do with the drugs if you find any?
    Our detection dogs locate and pinpoint the source of drug odor. SVK9’s personnel are not allowed to take the drugs, but at your request (and for an extra fee) we can test the substance to ensure you know what was found without question.
  • What happens during a typical search?
    During a typical search, a handler-dog team will arrive in an unmarked car. We will conduct the search with the client's supervision. Ideally, the potentially suspected person will not be present, as that will avoid unwanted friction with SVK9 personnel and the client. Our search dog is taken through the search area, and if they pick up a scent the dog is trained to passively alert their handler to the location, after which the location is marked for further investigation.
  • Where can you legally search?
    We can search anywhere you, the client, have ownership or legal authority over. This includes school offices and lockers, common areas and bathrooms, parking lots, vehicles, and surrounding areas.
  • How does SVK9 meet our security needs?
    Our highly trained K-9 handler teams can aid your security team by detecting the presence of explosives, by deterring acts of sabotage and terrorism, and by providing a plan customized to your needs, security risk, and venue.
  • Will the Stealth Vigilance Explosives and Firearms Detection Teams replace our existing security measures?
    No. SVK9 will augment existing security measures by providing detection services and visual deterrence.
  • Does SVK9 provide demonstrations for public events?
    Yes, on occasion SVK9 will provide a K-9 Team for select events. Please contact us with details of your event.


Drug Detection

Drug Detection

A narcotics detection K-9 is an easy, confidential, and discreet way to detect the presence of narcotics in your home.

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Firearms Detection

Firearms Detection

A firearms detection K-9 can quickly and efficiently locate firearms, alerting staff to their presence to prepare a response.

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Explosives Detection

Explosives Detection

An explosives detection K-9 is the most efficient and crowd-friendly way to find and deter bombs or other explosive components at venues, events and gatherings.

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