OUR MISSION

Hunter’s Heart helps handlers to train bombproof sniffer dogs, reliable service dogs, and eager working partners. We love what we do and we want to help you to succeed.

ABOUT CARLA SIMON, BSc, MD, MBA

From bed bug detection to birds, from narcotics to nosework, Carla Simon has trained thousands of students worldwide since 1999. She is a sought-after speaker who presented at the World Detector Dog Organization 2021 Conference and drew a sold-out crowd of more than 600 at UBC’s Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. Carla is the owner of Hunter’s Heart Ltd., which breeds, trains, and deploys scent detection Brittanys, in Calgary, AB and surrounding areas. 

Carla trained teams for trailing and truffle detection for Power Dog Training Centre in Italy. She partners with Citadel Canine Society (Canada's longest-running mission specific PTSD service dog provider), to train medical service dogs for veterans, first responders, nurses and 911 dispatchers. She has been a member of the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) for 23 consecutive years. She served on the CKC Health and Genetics Committee, and advised on the creation of national rules and scent judges accreditation as the Senior Provincial Representative for the Scent Detection Council. Carla is a Board Director and Chairs the Working Dog Committee for the  Canadian Association of Professional Dog Trainers. She is a peer reviewer, author and supporting member for the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. 

Carla was the Founder 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 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 therapy dog prospects, owner-trained service dog candidates and pets at events such as Pet Expo. She chaired the American Brittany Club’s Performance Committee (AKC) and was a Contributing Editor for the American Brittany Magazine. She was featured in the Pointing Dog Journal, the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants Journal, and the Clean Run Online Learning Centre. Her learning materials have been adapted internationally, and are used by several Search and Rescue groups. 

Hunter's Heart has trained detection trainers and handlers using diverse target odors, including law enforcement, human remains, bed bugs, birds, wildlife conservation, shed antlers, handler scent, narcotics, explosives, scent discrimination, lost items, tracking, trailing, truffles and pet dogs for scent detection and nosework competitions. Carla currently trains in person and online classes for detection, tracking, focus, working dog conditioning, and obedience for owner trained service dogs, therapy dogs, socialized puppies, and pet dogs. 

Carla has trained with the CNCA Law Enforcement Training Institute (USA), Penn Vet Working Dog Conference, NPMA Global Bed Bug Congress, Scandinavian Working Dog Institute, Dick Staal (Netherlands), Andrew Ramsey, Karen Kroyer, John Rogerson (UK), and tracked with Calgary’s Schutzhund club.  

In addition to urban and field tracking, field tests and scent detection titles, Carla’s Brittanys have won multi High in Trial international wins in UKC Elite Nosework, gold at AAC Alberta Agility Championships, National High in Trial Agility Brittany, and Best in Specialty Show at the Canadian National Brittany Specialty. Her Brittanys have consistently achieved numerous Top 5 national rankings in obedience, agility, and conformation. 

HUNTER'S HEART APPROACH

Hunter's Heart applies the latest research on canine learning and olfaction. Our evidence-based protocols minimize errors and confusion to improve reliability of scent detection teams. While we continue to learn and refine our protocols, the secret is always to make training fun for dogs and handlers. 

Carla supports a Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive (LIMA) approach to dog training. Having said that, we encourage students to aim higher. Errorless learning is our goal, and when we can't achieve it, we break things down into smaller steps. Dogs, like humans, enjoy doing things they're good at. And when we focus on building motivation, working becomes their favorite game. Our approach creates an entirely different experience than the sink or swim approach, where the dog fails repeatedly and the handler expects them to eventually figure it out. Our decades of experience helps handlers to build a solid foundation, avoid common mistakes and overcome prior challenges to produce reliable, fully engaged partners. 

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