From bed bugs to birds, from narcotics to nosework, Dr. Carla Simon MD BSc MBA has helped train hundreds of canine scent detection teams around the world.
Since 1999, she has bred and trained hunting and sniffer dogs for Hunter’s Heart Kennels. Hunter’s Heart provides bed bug inspections, and has been featured in the Pointing Dog Journal, the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants Journal, Dogs in Canada, and Clean Run magazines. Carla is a Contributing Editor for the American Brittany Magazine, and a sought-after speaker who drew a sold-out crowd of more than 600 at UBC’s Chan Centre for the Performing Arts.
Carla is the Past President of Sniff Alberta, and judges scent detection for CKC, K9 ABC Games, and is a Certifying Official for UKC Nosework (the second largest kennel club in the world). She is the Senior Provincial Representative for the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) Scent Detection Council. She has conducted Behavior Assessments for the Calgary Humane Society, onboarding junior assessors. In her capacity as a Canine Good Neighbor Evaluator, she organized Alberta’s first CGN test, and has evaluated potential therapy dog prospects and pets at events such as Pet Expo. She chaired the American Brittany Club’s Performance Committee (AKC), and was appointed to the Health & Genetics Committee of the CKC. She has trained with the Scandinavian Working Dog Institute, Andrew Ramsey (California, USA), Karen Kroyer (Texas, USA), John Rogerson (UK), and tracked with Calgary’s Schutzhund club. In 2019, Carla trained teams for truffle detection and mantrailing for Power Dog Training Centre in Verona, Italy.
Carla has trained detection trainers and handlers using diverse target odors, including: bed bugs, human remains, birds, wildlife, antlers, handler scent, narcotics, explosives, handler discrimination, tracking, trailing, truffles and pet dogs for scent detection and nosework competitions.
With degrees in Biology and Medicine, Carla’s approach is to help students evaluate current research on canine olfaction and how dogs learn and apply it to training their dogs. Her evidence-based protocols minimize errors and confusion to improve reliability of scent detection teams. Not only does her method achieve desirable outcomes, it’s also fun for handlers and dogs.
In addition to field and scent titles, Carla’s Brittanys have won gold at AAC Alberta Agility Championships, National High in Trial Agility Brittany, multi High in Trial international wins in UKC Elite Nosework, and Best in Specialty Show at the Canadian National Brittany Specialty. Her Brittanys have consistently achieved numerous Top 5 national rankings in agility, conformation and obedience competition.
Carla currently teaches K9 Scent Detection classes at Kayenna Training Academy, Calgary, where her science based approach helps students to understand and apply the latest research on canine olfaction and sniffer dog training. Her experience helps teams to build a solid foundation, avoid common mistakes and overcome challenges to produce reliable, fully engaged partners.