Technology and science in K9 world


We regret to inform you that due to COVID 19 pandemic the conference has been cancelled.


Why 'freeze'? If you are a trainer or dog handler you already know what freeze means. It’s the very moment when your dog is extremely focused just before letting you know that he found something. The moment of your satisfaction that you and your K9 partner did a good job.

FREEZE! a new event in the cynology world . A combination of science and technology focused on working and service dogs.

FREEZE! an international conference for canine professionals and K9 practitioners, a knowledge sharing platform and great opportunity for networking.

FREEZE! an intense 2-days event filled with lectures and meetings with world-class specialists: scientists and experienced practitioners.

FREEZE! the place where science meets technology in K9 world.

The first FREEZE! International Working Dog Conference will be held June 3rd-4th, 2020 in Warsaw, Poland.

The key value of FREEZE! is knowledge offered to attendees – brought by world class experts in the fields of breeding, training and using service/working dogs.

Our ambition is to make FREEZE! a cyclic event, recognized source of knowledge in cynology.

The conference is designed for people who are professionally engaged in the broad area of working/service dogs as well as institutions that use K9s for various purposes:

  • search and rescue services
  • law enforcement and military
  • companies, institutions and individuals professionally engaged in breeding and training working dogs
  • dog handlers, trainers and vets
  • persons responsible for managing and developing K9 capabilities in their institutions
  • scientists, cynologists
  • NGOs

FREEZE! International Working Dog Conference is organized by IRMA foundation (NGO/Public Benefit Organization) and SOF Project company.

Register to FREEZE! International Working Dog Conference 2020 now!

  • Early Bird ticket 350 EUR (until 29th of February 2020)
  • Regular ticket 400 EUR (from 1st of March 2020)

Keynote Speakers

Well known canine scientists and practitioners

For 30 years trained dogs and instructed owners in the training of retrievers for competition. His owners and their dogs were successful in the hunting field and at national competitions. Since 2008 has been working with SOF units, including FBI HRT, US Army Special Forces Groups, German GSG9, Polish GROM and many others. Responsible for evaluating Multi-Purpose K9s, establishing training plans and monitoring canine progress.
  • Lee



    Chemist and biologist, currently serving as the U.S. Army Research Office Chief Scientist. His work at the ARO includes basic research directed towards hazardous materials management, studies in decontamination, detection, and protection. He coordinates and manages the research programs focused on basic and applied research needs for Military Working Dogs (MWDs). The MWD research includes science and technology to supplement the capability of the canine as well as veterinary needs and overall conditioning.

  • Scheifele

    Peter M.


    Founder and Executive Director of FETCHLAB™ USA renowned for investigating and conducting clinical animal audiology, vocal mechanisms and marine bioacoustics. U.S. Army Special Forces and DOD subject matter expert (SME) on tactical military working dog audiology and Canine PTSI. Professor of human neuroaudiology in the College of Allied Health Sciences, and otology and neurology in the School of Medicine and of animal audiology and bioacoustics. Numerous publications on canine and marine mammal hearing and audiology.

  • Schoon



    Profesionally involved in working with scent detection dogs for law enforcement since 1991. Since 1997 has been doing research projects in explosive, drug, human remains and corrosion detection, puppy selection and training programs. Member of the Interpol European Working Group on the use of Dogs for Criminal Investigation and of the FBI funded SWGDOG. Has worked for the Global Training Centre for Mine Detection Dogs in Bosnia, the Dutch National Police K9 Unit, Dutch Customs, Dutch Army and Fjellanger Detection and Training Academy in Norway. K9 instructor in Frontex, member of the EU working group on explosive detection dogs.

  • Frank



    Dr. Jens Frank from the Scandinavian Working Dog Institute (SWDI) trains handlers and working dogs, mainly from police and armed forces. He also has a position as associate professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. His specialization, among others, is non line of sight K9 directional and remote control, used for detection and recon.

  • Gustavsson



    Full time trainer and instructor at renowned Scandinavian Working Dog Institute where he works with K9 police, military and other law enforcement units. Co-author of book 'Tracking Dogs – Scents and Skills' (published 2011, available in 30 countries worldwide). Tobias specializes in tracking and scent detection and has extensive experience in developing K9 capabilities in different organizations. Biologist, doing research projects on working dogs at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

  • Heidt



    Active member of the Special Intervention Unit of the Bundespolizei (German Federal Police). SOF K9 handler since 2013, when the Special Operations K9-Program has started, based on operant-conditioning-methods. K9-Instructor for guidance-dogs and radio-guided EDD. As an expert in the field of ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) he utilized and developed technical solutions and training-designs for K9 according to CT-operations by using dogs as operative instruments. He has close contacts and networks to SOF and other partners all over the globe.

  • Puwalski



    Reserve oficer, 22 years of active duty in Polish special forces. GROM Special Missions Unit operator. Creator of K9 SOF program and the first commander of K9 SOF unit in GROM. Multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afganistan. Shooting, parachuting, self-defence, climbing and counter-terrorism instructor. Specialises in neurolinguistic communication. Graduate of multiple specialized courses and trainings for special forces operators, both national and international, e.g. in USA, Belgium, Germany, Norway and Poland. During his career in special forces gained knowledge regarding anti- and counter-terrorism which he used during combat missions. Expert in leadership and motivation.

  • Hall



    Dr. Hall is an Assistant Professor of Companion Animal Science at Texas Tech University and the Director of the Canine Olfaction Research and Education Laboratory in the Department of Animal Science. Dr. Hall earned his PhD at the University of Florida, specializing in the study of Behavior Analysis and canine olfaction. As a post-doc, he continued his studies at Arizona State University investigating the optimization of training to enhance canine’s detection of Homemade Explosives. At Texas Tech, his work continues to explore canine olfactory perception and how experience influences odor perception. His lab also investigates predictors and correlates of problem behavior, behavioral predictors of working aptitude, and canine health. Throughout his career, Dr. Hall has published numerous peer-reviewed scientific publications and book chapters on canine olfaction and detection abilities.

Conference agenda

The following subjects will be covered during FREEZE! IWDC 2020

Day 1, 3rd of June 2020

7:30 - 8:45 / 75 min


8:45 - 9:00 / 15 min


9:00 - 10:00 / 60 min

Stephen J. Lee, Ph.D.
Military working dog science and technology for the future: Needs and opportunities

Canis lupus familiaris (the domestic dog) is often overlooked for its long history of supporting military operations with the earliest recorded use being 600 BC against the Cimmerians. More modern use of military working dogs has occurred from the mid-1600s through World War I and II into current operations in Afghanistan. During this time canines have been used for a wide range of tactical and support operations by the United States Military. Historically, very little sustained science and technology research has been conducted for the Military Working Dog to support the Soldier, and that may come from a perception that they provide unpredictable low technology capabilities. In reality, the ability of the canine to work in a wide range of environments in combination with the Soldier and autonomous systems can greatly enhanced situational awareness of the individual Soldier in the future. Ultimately, there are many opportunities for basic and applied research supporting the MWD. It is clear that, as a capability, the use of MWDs cannot be surpassed by any other system whether tactical or sensing at this time. The MWD will continue to be utilized by the Army and research towards these needs above will help improve and enhance the capability of the MWD and the Soldier.

10:15 - 11:15 / 60 min

Adee Schoon, Dr.
Training dogs to assist in rape and assault cases

Dogs have been used by the police for more than 120 years to assist them to find evidence at crime scenes. Looking at those detection dogs that have to do with cases that have to do with human scent, traditionally this has been limited to tracking, searching for people, and locating human-scented articles as evidence. But during the last decades new disciplines have emerged such as cadaver dogs to assist in finding dead bodies, blood detection dogs to assist in murder cases. A new discipline is training dogs to detect semen, so they can assist in rape and assault cases. The Dutch police began a project in 2016 and now have 5 operational dogs. The training was based a backchaining protocol, and involved both outdoor and indoor searches on different surfaces, ages and environmental circumstances, and teaching the dogs to examine clothing and other items specifically. A lot of work was done together with university students who compared other presumptive testing techniques with what the dogs were capable of, and this provided a lot of information. Contamination issues were also investigated. The talk will provide an overview of the training and the research done, and will end with a couple of cases where the dogs played a crucial role.

11:15 - 11:45 / 30 min

Coffe break

11:45 - 12:30 / 45 min

Dirk Heidt
Integration of technology with dogs - applicability and limitations in training and missions

This lecture will give you some ideas how to deal with and what to expect from the work with radio-guided animals.The use of electronic devices and applications for radio-guidance-work requires some basic knowledge in terms of proper selection of dogs, handlers and technologies among others and of course limits due to your specific purpose. We are also talking a little bit about physics and misguided expactations... How does it feel and what does it take from dog and handler to guide a dog remotely, based only on sensors? What does it take to realise remote-guidance - what is the challenge? What requirements have to be pre-considered? Are there synergies or limits between the usage of radio-guided dogs in comparison to other technical applications in real-life operations? As there are no appropiate "books" or "manuals" for radio-guidance on the market right now and lots of training ways possibly gonna lead to nothing good in the end - this lecture is an attempt to share some knowledge. It is not about tactics or specific tactical issues...and it`s also not about brands, companies and making profit. But for those of you who are prepared for proceeding step-by-step and believe in doing things by following a plan, this lecture could be helpful. Take advantage out of countless lesson-learned-effects from the author and figure out what to expect from radio-guided working-dogs.

12:45 - 13:30 / 45 min

Krzysztof Puwalski
Use of Military Working Dogs in Special Forces in counterterrorism

Abstract will be available soon.

13:30 - 14:30 / 60 min

Lunch break

14:30 - 15:30 / 60 min

Pat Nolan
Directional Training for Working Canines

The ability to direct your canine at a distance by signal or voice command is a game changer. Learn to send, stop and direct your dog at a distance. Proven program for teaching remote directional skills for detection and surveillance canines. Topics covered: The right start Basic directional skills Transitioning basic skills from the training yard to the street Proper use of the e-collar in directional program Changing behavior without diminishing drive overcoming distractions Combining directionals and detection Camera canine skills Placing and retrieving objects in the field.

15:45 - 16:45 / 60 min

Peter M. Scheifele, Ph.D. LCDR USN
Canine tactical audiology and noise impacts

Canine audiology is usually the last thing that anyone thinks about in the grand scheme of things tactical. However, as it is for human soldiers, so it is for canine warriors. The choice of dogs that will undergo training and field operations relative to hearing acuity and noise phobia can be made with proper baseline testing. Re-testing ensures that the dog will continue to work well and prolong the dog’s working life. Hearing acuity during training or in operations is critical to a dog’s performance and ability to understand and make decisions as to how to behave.The current multi-purpose canine hearing, protocols for baseline and re-testing are to topic of this presentation.

17:00 - 18:00 / 60 min

Jens Frank, Dr.
How to conduct effective scenario based training

Abstract will be available soon.

18:15 - 18:45 / 30 min

Discussion panel with the speakers

Day 2, 4th of June 2020

8:45 - 9:00 / 15 min


9:00 - 10:00 / 60 min

Tobias Gustavsson
How to train a strong final response without losing the will to hunt for the odor

Abstract will be available soon.

10:15 - 11:15 / 60 min

Adee Schoon, Dr.
Odours and scent perception

When training dogs to respond to a command, it is important to have this command – the stimulus – be as clear as possible in the initial learning phase, to be salient, so the dog learns it is the cue to respond to. Then, in later stages, the cue can be generalized – other people saying it, or when it is spoken more softly, or maybe even when the dog does not see you at all. In detection training, the dogs are taught to be ‘true to odour’, but often trainers have little knowledge about the odours that they are training the dogs on. When is it salient, when not? How does scent spread – is it really a in a cone? How does this affect your training? When does a dog actually smell the cue, and how is this processed? This talk will provide some fundamental insight into odour characteristics that benefit all detection dog trainers, and will link it to scent perception. In scent perception there are also misconceptions. For example that a bloodhound smells better because it has more sensory cells, or that dogs naturally don’t smell a pizza as a pizza, but as the separate components. Basic scientific work will be translated and presented to allow a more fundamental understanding, which can be used to improve training.

11:15 - 11:35 / 20 min

Coffee break

11:35 - 12:35 / 60 min

Adee Schoon, Dr.
How to train generalization

When training detection dogs, trainers usually only have limited access to odours they use for training. So they may have one training aid for each of the drugs they train on, maybe one each for all the explosives; maybe two or three when training on bedbugs or wildlife they want to detect. However, the goal of training is to be able to detect products that are not exactly the same as the training aids – drugs produced in a different country or by a different method, explosives that may contain different additional products to make them work better, the bedbugs may be fresher and the wildlife eating another diet and thus smelling differently from the training aids you are using. We expect the dogs to ‘generalize’ the odour cue: they have to have formed an ‘odour concept’, a mental picture of what they are looking for. Science shows that dogs do not learn odours in the same way, even when they are trained in the same way. They don’t always focus on the most volatile product in the training aid for example. Science also shows that dogs do not generalize spontaneously: based on one training aid, they do not always find similar, but slightly different training aids. But science also shows that generalization can be trained. This talk will illustrate the problems and solutions, and provide some guidelines on how to ensure that you train your dogs to be ‘mission ready’, prepared to find everything you want them to find.

12:50 - 13:50 / 60 min

Nathaniel Hall, Ph.D.
Canine Sense and Scent Ability: Training for Variable Target Odors

Detection dogs are challenged with finding highly variable target odors when searching for modern threats such as home-made explosives. This talk will briefly highlight the basics on the chemistry of various types of explosives and why this may present challenges for dogs. We will discuss the latest research on odor mixture perception from mice to men and back to dogs, and what implications this has for training strategies. We will also highlight research on how learning influences odor perception and how this can potentially be leveraged to generate detection of a wide variety of target odors.

13:50 - 14:50 / 60 min

Lunch break

14:50 - 15:50 / 60 min

Pat Nolan
Push & Pull Training in Drive

You can build power without sacrificing control. You can improve control; even at a distance without reducing drive. You can reduce conflict and speed learning with Push Pull Training in Drive. Push Pull training in Drive combines rewards to motivate and PULL desired behavior from the dog with pressure to PUSH for desired behavior. Topics include: Electronic Collar conditioning to push for desired behavior. How to correct with the e-collar without diminishing drive. Training in Drive, how and why. Utilizing Marker training to improve communication and reduce conflict. This course lays the foundation for remote directional training for detection and surveillance.

16:00 - 17:00 / 60 min

Peter M. Scheifele, Ph.D. LCDR USN
Canine Hearing Protection and Threshold Shifts

The shift in a dog’s hearing threshold and the impact of noise from transportation, gunfire and explosives be it during training or in operations is critical to a dog’s performance and ability to understand and make decisions as to how to behave. This presentation will center on hearing threshold shifts in military working dogs and the development of hearing protection devices.

17:15 - 18:00 / 45 min

Tobias Gustavsson
The importance of physical fitness in detection and tracking work

Abstract will be available soon.

18:15 - 19:00 / 45 min

Discussion panel with the speakers and final words

Sponsors and media patrons



Interested in becoming a sponsor?

If your company is interested in sponsoring FREEZE! International Working Dog Conference 2019, we’d love to hear from you. Send us a quick email and we’ll get right back to you with some more information:

Conference Venue

Location that you'll be looking for

Contact us

If you have any questions, drop us an email:


Al. Hrabska 4b, 05-090 Raszyn-Falenty, Warszaw, Poland



Our venue is located 11km from Chopin Airport and 14km from Warsaw city center.

Places To Stay

FREEZE! IWDC attendees will be offered special discount for accomodation in Falenty Conference Center (promotional link with discount code will be provided to attendees). There are multiple hotels in the vicinity: near conference location and airport.