Certified Master Trainer (CMT)
Bill Whitstine (CMT) owns and operates the Florida Canine Academy, which
trains bomb, drug, money, weapons, termite, mold and accelerant detection
canine teams. Five years ago, Bill identified the growing problem of mold in
homes and businesses and worked with researchers to further investigate the
possibility that dogs could be trained to detect molds. Recently, Bill founded Mold Dog,
a subsidiary of the Florida Canine Academy, to train, certify and sell mold-detecting dogs.
Bill has been a leader in the field of canine training since 1989 when he was the first person to attend the Maine State Police Canine Academy in Accelerant Detection. Bill is the author of the only published book on accelerant detection canines and was the founding president of the Canine Accelerant Detection Association as well as the International Termite Detector Dog Association, which are both international organizations. Bill has been featured on over nine shows, including several segments on the Animal Planet and The Discovery Channel.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What breeds of dogs can be used to detect bedbugs?
Just like with bombs or drugs, many different breeds of dogs can be trained to detect bedbugs. Hunting breeds are great tracker dogs - particularly effective are Labs, Border Collies, Jack Russell Terriers, Aussies, Beagles and other combinations of these breeds.
Question: What are the general characteristics you look for when choosing to train a MBedBug Dog?
Bill looks for dogs that are friendly, energetic, intelligent and have plenty of drive.
Question: How old are the dogs you train?
Bill looks for dogs that are 10 months to 3 years old.
Question: How many years will a Bedbug dog be able to work?
Eight to ten years, barring any physical or other difficulties.
Question: How long does it take to train a BedBug Dog?
It takes between 600 and 800 hours of individual training to completely train a dog to accurately detect bedbugs.
Question: Where does BedBug Dog get its dogs?
Bill rescues most of the dogs he trains from the Humane Society of North Pinellas in Florida. However, Bill will also train owner pets provided the pet meets certain personality and instinct criteria.
Question: What kinds of mold will the Mold Dog find?
A Mold Dog is specifically trained to alert (sit) on at least eighteen different kinds of the most common toxic molds. If a dog alerts, there is a mold issue which signals a moisture problem, i.e.: leaky pipe, etc.
Question: Do mold spores have distinctive smells?
Yes. In fact, dogs can smell active or inactive mold spores. It's the same with arson dogs and lamp oils listed as odorless - human's can't smell the oil, but dogs are able to smell it.
Question: If some molds are bad for humans, won't they also be bad for dogs?
No. Dogs have an amazingly acute sense of smell and a unique ability to purge odors and other contaminants from their olfactory organs. Consider that the outdoor environment contains thousands of molds, pollens and other allergens. We know that when dogs go outside, they are constantly sniffing the ground and anything else they can get into. Research suggests that dogs are simply not affected by various particulate matter in the same way that humans are affected because of their unique purging ability.
Additionally, thousands of arson dogs in the U.S. and elsewhere are constantly exposed to significant amounts of toxic fumes and no adverse health effects have been documented in more than 15 years of their use. Finally, Mold Dog handlers receive extensive training about when and how to use dogs in building structures, ie: if visible mold is present, there is no need to use a dog.
Question: Does a Bedbug Dog need ongoing testing and evaluation to essentially stay “calibrated”?
Yes. Upon completion of the initial training period, the dog is certified to detect and pinpoint bedbugs. Thereafter, each Bedbug Dog receives quarterly testing and annual recertification.
More questions? Please call 1.800.665.3364