Explosives Detection FAQ

1. Why use an Explosive Detection Dog & Handler team from Top Dog Security Services Ltd rather than from the Police Force?
There are many reasons but the main reason is that the UK Police Forces no longer have the budget to commit to the ever increasing demands within the public domain; therefore they will not attend commercial sectors unless they have received a credible threat. In effect you can only be guaranteed to expect a Police Explosive Detection Dog & Handler team if you receive a direct threat.
2. Are you licensed, if so what does it exactly mean?
We are licensed by the Police to hold “live” explosives for dog training; using real explosives is the ONLY way to be certain that the dog is detecting the correct odour. Also, our training staff are Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Home Office Licensed instructors and assessors, having gained these credentials while in UK Service Organisations i.e. Police or Royal Army Veterinary Corps.
3. Are you saying that you are accrediting your own (Arms & / or) Explosives Detection Dog teams?
No, we have always had an independent ACPO Home Office Assessor evaluate our teams and accredit them prior to deployment. We arrange for ACPO assessors from the Metropolitan Police Dog Training Establishment to evaluate our teams for contractual assignments. When the dog team has passed this evaluation only then will they be deployed as an operational team at your contracted location.
4. I have not heard of this practice being done elsewhere. It seems to be the correct approach to delivering the best possible service. Why are you the only commercial company offering this?
It is common knowledge that Top Dog Security Ltd are THE market leaders within the commercial Dog Section’s and as such we identity problems and seek to resolve them. This involves us leading the field within the industry and setting standards. Also, as we have all relevant licenses, credentials and experience that most other companies don’t have, we are able to deliver an innovative and second to none service.
5. I have contacted companies who have offered Explosive Detection Dog & Handler teams but they have not got licenses issued by the UK Police, instead they say they train on “pseudo” or “fake” explosive scents that require no license. What is your response to this?
As you can imagine we are shocked; Explosives detection is a specialist K9 resource and should only be conducted by trained and accredited professional dog units. Recent tests indicate that 82% of dogs trained purely on pseudo scent failed to detect “live” explosives when in fact 100% of K9’s trained on “live” explosives found “pseudo” scents. Please check web search engines for confirmation, if required. Additionally those companies offering Detection Dog teams without a license are in breach of the Trading Standards legislation for offering a service that they know they cannot reasonably expect to deliver.
6. Will you compromise our site by bringing “live” explosives onto it?
No, in order to maintain the effectiveness of our dog teams we conduct regular continuation training on-site with scented filter papers. This ensures that the dog teams are operating at peak effectiveness while not comprising your premises. It also shows you that our dogs are able to detect trace explosives.
7. I have heard of some companies’ dogs missing training aids and in some cases untrained dogs or even drugs detection dogs being used as Explosives Detection Dogs. What control methods do you have in place to avoid these issues and satisfy clients confidence?
Our dogs are trained on scented filter papers which ensure that they are searching for the odour or target scent and not just running around as some dogs do, looking for a large scent picture to run into. As our teams are micro-chipped and the teams accredited by the Metropolitan Police Dog Training Establishment, you will be able to view our documentation which proves each dog’s classification and work/training history. Another control measure will be put in place but we will discuss that with you in the event of your contract and it can be written into a Service Level Agreement. As you can appreciate we cannot supply all details at such an early stage.
8. Home-made explosives such as TATP (triacetone triperoxide) are the current threat within our society. Are you licensed to hold this? If not are we just wasting our budget?
We are able to train our dog teams on TATP scented filter papers through a leading UK establishment. Hopefully this information provides the confidence and level of service you require. We can do this because of our Service backgrounds and because of our alignment with a certain organisation. We can discuss this in-depth at a meeting as this information is currently restricted.
9. Will the Dogs & Dog Handlers look too aggressive and paramilitary?
No. We provide uniforms to suit the occasion, whether we are wearing black jumpsuits or business suits. Our services are based on being professional, not intimidating. Terrorists will rethink their intent when faced with professional Explosive Detection Dog Units provided by Top Dog Security Ltd.
10. I was advised to contract commercial Explosive Detection Dogs only if things got out of control for our Security team. Do you agree?
No, we recommend that best practice is provided from the earliest possible moment and not “when the horse has bolted”. Remember that in today’s world even our Police Officers are stretched and a fast response from them even if 999 is activated is not guaranteed, therefore it is essential to protect one’s assets, whether persons or property, from the outset. A visual deterrent is great, and if that dog team can respond to any threat in a professional effective way then you will have made the best start possible.
Be pro-active not reactive!
11. What experience and qualifications do your Dog Handlers have?
The majority of our staff have had extensive Service Organisation careers with the Dog Sections from Police, Military or Customs units and after arriving here they will need to obtain SIA licenses, and do our in-house training which will then be evaluated and quality assured by the Metropolitan Police Dog Training Establishment. Civilian handlers such as our Managing Director have attended UK Police Force Dog Sections and completed an eight week Explosives Detection Dog Handlers course.
12. During my time in the Military we often used Arms & Explosives Search dogs. Why do you keep mentioning Explosives Detection Dogs rather than AES?
Good question. In the military you will have had the benefit of an ATO (ammunitions technical officer) working alongside you and any threat can be dealt with directly, however in the commercial sector we do not have a Bomb Disposal Officer available, therefore if we called out BD to discover it was a firearm then it would have wasted a valuable resource.
13. What if the Sniffer Dog bites one of our staff?
This will not happen. Our specialist search dogs are selected from Springer Spaniels or Labradors which are renowned for their friendly attitude to people and other animals. Further, all of our dogs and dog handlers are professionally trained by our in-house training staff who have proven experience in this type of work. Additionally, our dogs are all assessed and must meet our stringent character tests before starting the Sniffer Dog course!
14. What about obvious signs of dogs; i.e. waste, hairs etc? We cannot afford any mishaps with our staff or clients, especially considering the global recession…
Rest assured that all of our Dog Handlers clean up after them and their dogs. Dog waste is removed and placed in special receptacles. Any hairs would be minimal due to the dog being well groomed; however, our Search Dog Handlers are instructed to vacuum.
15. What about Insurance?
Prior to deploying our Dog teams we will conduct site visits to do all necessary site Health and Safety Risk Assessments, Assignment instructions etc. This is how we managed to obtain our ISO9001 and ACS accreditations and also ensures that we maintain them. It also increases your confidence in us as it highlights that our administrative staff are more than competent. We have up-to-date Public and Employers Liability through Camberford Law Plc which is available to you along with all of our licenses, accreditations and references.
16. This is sounding more promising. What if we want to try your company but do not want to commit to a lengthy contract?
We can commence duties upon signing of a short-term contract or in the case of ad-hock search tasks, upon receipt of a valid signed Purchase Order. This will provide us the opportunity to highlight our professional K9 services which we believe in turn will lead to us being awarded a long-term contract with you.
17. We had a previous Company provide us with an excellent member of staff who fulfilled our requirements but no sooner had we signed a contract with his company he was removed from our premises and replaced with less able personnel. How can we be certain this will not happen with Top Dog Security Services Ltd?
We can provide you a comprehensive list of checkable references from satisfied clients which include Governments and blue chip corporations.
18. What if our needs adjust at certain times, i.e. during summer we deliver more events than in winter, which means that we would require your presence longer & more frequent during certain periods. Is it possible to be flexible?
We are client driven and flexibility is part of our service. This is reflected in our Mission Statement. Any assistance that we can offer we will be more than happy to provide.
19. We would like to have a meeting with you to discuss a contract on a “no obligation” basis. Is this possible?
Most certainly, our management staff will attend your location to discuss a range of suitable options. If you wish you can attend our premises to hold the meeting.
20. We have received a cheaper quote from another company. We would have liked you to have partnered us on this project but budgetary constraints are a relevant issue. Are you prepared to negotiate your charges?
Our charges reflect the quality of service we deliver and we do rightfully advertise ourselves as elite and the best within the industry. Please remember that many people or companies can offer you a cheaper hourly or weekly charge but can they do it at a reduced cost while still maintaining the same high standards of Top Dog Security Services Ltd? However we may be able to offer better rates for longer term contracts in the pursuit of securing your business.
21. We have asked you many questions and you have provided us with wonderful answers. Can we meet your Dog & Handler teams prior to signing contracts?
We would be absolutely delighted. We have encouraged potential clients to visit us and view our teams at our licensed boarding kennels as we feel that it provides confidence in our entire service. You also have the opportunity to see how we maintain the dogs’ welfare and training.
22. Finally, can you tell us anything further about your company that may influence us into selecting you as our Security Services provider?
Yes, during large scale events you will see many unattended bags and poorly parked vehicles, rather than evacuate premises with the disruption and loss of revenue that will follow, our Explosives Detection Dog units are able to be your first responder to give the objects the once over. When we are satisfied we will remove the baggage to a safe haven for the embarrassed owners to collect later. In the case of poorly/dangerously parked vehicles the vehicle can be removed confidently knowing that is has been searched by a Professional Dog Handler. Should the dog indicate to the presence of explosives we would follow the six C’s and written policies as earlier agreed.
Also we have the following that we believe will convince you to choose us:

  • Association of Chief Police Office Home Office Licensed Instructors
  • ISO9001;2008 Accredited
  • Home Office Drugs License
  • Police Explosives License
  • Licensed Boarding Kennels
  • Licensed Breeding Kennels
  • Modern training kennels and facility with classroom
  • Memberships to all relevant industry organisations

We have BUILT this business into what it is today:
A market leader in the field of Specialist Canine Services, delivering professional Dogs & Dog Handlers. It is not by chance. It was built with passion and knowledge and we have clearly established ourselves as the market leaders. Where else can you obtain such a wonderful facility with all relevant licenses and accreditations so close to the centre of London and within such easy reach of London’s airports?