In 2018, Elite Detection K9 (EDK9) was founded to specifically breed, raise, and train high-quality American-bred scent-detection dogs for explosives and munitions detection to meet the increased demand in the private sector for public safety within communities. EDK9 also provides certified K9 teams (dog-and-handler) for this work at locations across the United States. There is currently a need for 6,000 explosives-detection dogs throughout the nation.
As a Leader Dogs for the Blind company, EDK9 is currently housed at the Leader Dog facility in Rochester Hills, MI. It will be relocating to a 25,000 square-foot facility in Auburn Hills, MI. Renovation of this facility which began in early 2020 is designed to support the specific needs of EDK9’s breeding and training programs.
As the company prepares for its new facility, which represents the next step in its development, the EDK9 has been recognized for its work to date with an Oakland University Innovator of the Year Award for its “impressive innovation story.” In December 2019, EDK9 was honored at the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce Silver & Gold Awards Holiday Brunch.
Greg Guidice, President and CEO of EDK9 accepted the award there, saying, “We are thrilled to receive this honor from the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce and Oakland University. Innovation happens across all business sectors and leads to businesses and services that enhance people’s lives in new ways. The scent-detection dogs we breed, raise, train and ultimately deploy become part of the fabric of each community where they serve, while also providing added measures of safety and security, as well as the intangible sense of well-being that comes with a wagging tail.”
“The creation of Elite Detection K9 was a way to build on the 80 years of experience we have in breeding and training dogs to guide people who are blind or visually impaired,” said Sue Daniels, president and CEO of Leader Dogs for the Blind. “While EDK9 is using our proven model to breed these exceptional scent-detection dogs, it is modifying our methods to develop the traits that are required for scent-detection work. We are very excited to know that EDK9’s impressive innovation story is recognized by the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce and Oakland University.”
As EDK9 continues to grow, so does the need for volunteers to host breeding moms in their homes whose puppies will become scent-detection dogs. No experience is necessary, other than providing a loving home for the mom of future heroes. EDK9 provides the following support to all host families of breeding moms:
- Guidance through birthing
- Complimentary boarding when traveling on vacation (during the breeding life of the dog)
- One-on-one support from an EDK9 breeding specialist
- The option to adopt the mom after she retires (usually at four years of age or four litters)