Drug Dogs

Unmatched drug detection dogs and handler training programs which achieve amazing results

At Highland Canine Training, LLC, we are proud to provide the most effective drug dogs and comprehensive handler training available.

For almost two decades, we have been at the forefront of innovation when it comes to the process of training detection K9s. Our innovations were often met with skepticism by our competitors; now, those same skeptics are the ones trying to replicate our successful training methods.

Our drug dogs are meticulously screened to ensure that they are social, environmentally sound and have the required drives and temperament to perform detection functions successfully in high stress and demanding environments. We train every drug dog in obedience to give handlers complete control. 

Our drug dogs can be trained to detect the following substances:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamine
  • MDMA
  • PCP
  • LSD

With some states and jurisdictions legalizing the use of marijuana, we can also proof a drug dog off the substance to avoid false positives. 


drug dogs for sale
"My experience at Highland Canine was great. I had an awesome time bonding with my K9 partner. The trainers were great and gave me the tools I need to better myself and the agency I represent."
greg stewart VA police handler
Officer Steven Mabe

We can provide top quality, imported German ShepherdsBelgian MalinoisLabrador Retrievers, Dutch Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Spaniels, Jack Russell Terriers and other working breeds upon request.

We offer an industry leading, two-year health guarantee and include x-rays on all of our drug dogs. The purchase of a drug detection dog also includes a three-week Police K9 Handler Course of instruction, lodging at our dog training center, certification, course materials and free in-service training and annual re-certification. Refresher training is available for as long as you own the dog.

Our K9 handler training is considered to be the most extensive in the industry. Our training methods are scientifically developed to offer maximum efficiency in the field. Our handler courses provide you with all the information you need, including scenario-based training and best practices for record keeping, report writing and K9 case law.

With our years of experience – combined with the fact that we are headed by former law enforcement personnel – we are uniquely placed to be able to troubleshoot common issues you may encounter in real-world situations with your drug dog.

Our results speak for themselves. Drug dog K9 teams we have trained are delivering results around the country, week after week. Speak with us today for more information on our drug dogs and handler training.

K9 Handler Training

Our handler training programs provide you with the confidence, knowledge and skills you need to get results in the field.

We don’t just train successful drug dogs – we train successful drug dog teams.

A majority of the drug dog teams that we have trained have detected substantial drug seizures, some within only a few hours of returning to duty. That’s because we ensure that our drug dog teams are completely confident and well trained in criminal interdiction, in addition to learning the necessary skills to be an effective canine handler.

Our handler training courses teach handlers every aspect of handling detection dogs from properly searching vehicles, avoiding liability pitfalls and successfully prosecuting narcotics detection canine related cases in court. Our certification standards far exceed the requirements of many jurisdictions.

Typically, our drug dog handler training lasts for three weeks, but customizable training is available for agencies or organizations requiring training which lasts up to six weeks.

Our Drug Dog Handler Course is a comprehensive course taught by current and former law enforcement K9 handlers and supervisors that teaches beginner handlers all they need to know to be safe and effective in the field.  For experienced handlers, our handler courses can be customized to assist them in honing their existing skills.  Listed below are some of the topics covered during our Drug Dog Handler Courses:

Basic Odor Theory
Proper Handling Techniques
Canine Case Law
Record Keeping & Report Writing
Canine First Aid & CPR
Proper Detection Training Aid Handling and Storage

Advanced Detection & Interdiction
Scent Discrimination Trailing
Variable Surface Trailing
Tactical Tracking
Police K9 Agility

Parts of our curriculum can be studied online at your own pace, prior to attending our training facility for hands-on training.

Contact us today for more information on our drug dogs and comprehensive handler training.

"My experience at Highland Canine was great. I had an awesome time bonding with my K9 partner. The trainers were great and gave me the tools I need to better myself and the agency I represent."
Steven Mabe & K9 Iggy
Single Purpose Team

Our Success Stories

We love to see drug dogs we have trained going on to make a difference by identifying illegal substances and protecting local communities.

Read just a few of the stories detailing the great work our K9s and their handlers have been up to! 

At Highland Canine Training, we provide you with reliable narcotics detection dogs, in addition to the most comprehensive handler training programs available. 

Our experience makes us a leader in this industry – not only do we have an extensive process for selecting, training and imprinting our drug dogs but many of our team are ex-law enforcement themselves. We know from first-hand experience exactly what you need to get the job done.

We frequently read about the successful work that K9 teams we have trained are carrying out in their communities.

Alabama man arrested for transporting MDMA

(June 2021)

Source: statesville.com

“The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man on drug charges after finding 186 MDMA tablets in his vehicle.

The methylenedioxy methamphetamine was found in the suspect’s van after the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Interstate Criminal Enforcement (ICE) Team conducted a traffic stop near mile marker 67 on Interstate 77 north for a traffic violation, Iredell Sheriff Darren Campbell said in a news release.

After stopping the van and speaking with the suspect, the deputies said they detected signs of criminal activity. At that point, K-9 Connie and her handler were called to assist with the stop and the dog gave a positive alert to the odor and presence of narcotics, Campbell said.”

nash county and k9 maya

Nash County sheriff spots drug deal underway, initiates bust at Rocky Mount mall

(July 2021)

Source: cbs17.com

“”Our deputies had to confront him and draw on him and get him to put the gun down. This is in a business district, in the middle of the daytime, in the heart of the economic development in Rocky Mount,” Stone said.

With the help of K-9 Maya, deputies searched the vehicles of both suspects.

“You’ve got two people here, one is 21-years-old, one is 19-years-old, they’ve got weapons that are semi-automatic weapons with 50 round magazines, and another magazine of large capacity,” Stone said.

He explained they also seized drugs and $1,600 in cash.”

Two New York men face cocaine trafficking charges in Iredell County

(March 2021)

Source: iredellfreenews.com

“After approaching the vehicle, the deputies encountered [two men in the vehicle], according to the news release. The two men were reportedly traveling from Elmira, N.Y., to Charlotte,.

After deputies spoke with the men, ICSO K-9 Abby was called to the scene to assist with the traffic stop. Abby gave a positive alert on the vehicle for the presence of an illegal narcotic, the sheriff said.

Deputies searched the vehicle and located 1.7 pounds of cocaine concealed in a duffle bag in the trunk of the vehicle along with $10,576 in cash, according to the news release. The cocaine was valued at $77,500.”

statesville crystal meth seized by k9 bosco

Crystal meth, crack cocaine found; two arrested

(December 2020)

Source: statesville.com

Iredell Sheriff Darren Campbell said a traffic stop resulted in the discovery of crystal methamphetamine and crack cocaine and the arrest of two people from South Carolina.

Campbell said deputies with the Interstate Criminal Enforcement (ICE) team were in the area of Interstate 77 North near the 62 mile marker Monday and stopped a 2017 Jaguar with a temporary registration plate for a traffic violation.

The two told deputies they were traveling to West Virginia to go to a casino, but inconsistencies in their stories and travel plans, prompted the use of a canine to search the vehicle, Campbell said.

K-9 Bosco alerted for the presence of illegal narcotics and a further search uncovered 907 grams of crystal methamphetamine in the driver’s floorboard and 41.2 grams of crack cocaine on Tartt, Campbell said.”

What Are The Benefits Of A Drug Dog?

Drug dogs provide many benefits for law enforcement and local communities alike – these amazing K9s are trained to detect illegal substances and remove them from our streets. Learn more about how a highly-skilled drug dog can help.

Removes harmful substances from communities

Drug use and drug abuse has several negative impacts for communities, which can make the job even harder for law enforcement personnel. Drug abuse can cause families to break up, increase rates of homelessness and poverty, put further strain on healthcare resources, and lead to other criminal activity.

Keeping these harmful substances out of communities can help to alleviate these problems. Reducing dependency on illegal substances improves the quality of life for individuals and their families. It means that mental disorders associated with long-term drug use are less common. It increases productivity and focus at work. More broadly, it actually benefits the whole of society - with fewer illegal drugs in our communities, the financial burden absorbed by healthcare providers and taxpayers is significantly lowered, thus improving the quality of life for everyone.

Valuable tool for drug/criminal interdiction enforcements

Organized criminal gangs are becoming more sophisticated in pushing illegal substances into our communities. Stopping these criminals before they have the opportunity to unleash havoc is a key priority in the fight against illegal drugs.

A drug dog is a vital asset in these efforts. These amazing detection dogs are trained to identify substances, even when resourceful criminals think they may be able to hide them in unusual places. With such a reliable tool available to law enforcement, the ability to stop drug trafficking is increased significantly.

Keeps harmful substances out of schools

When a family is affected by drug misuse, it is children - at key developmental points in their lives - who are often impacted most severely. In households where at least one parent is addicted to drugs, children experience high levels of criticism, negativity, inconsistency, insecurity, and sometimes even neglect. It also means that a child of a drug-addicted person is more likely to abuse drugs when they become an adult.

Keeping harmful substances out of educational establishments is important for the education and wellbeing of all of our children. Random or scheduled searches by drug dogs are a reliable method for identifying these substances, and also act as an effective deterrent against future drug activity.

Using social dogs as a positive, community-friendly tool

There are numerous ways that a drug dog can be used as a force for good in society, but sometimes, even just their sheer presence can be beneficial. They can be used as a bridge to help forge strong relationships between law enforcement and the local community. This helps local residents to understand the work carried out by police dogs.

A well-mannered and social police dog can be used alongside serving law enforcement personnel at community events, educational establishments or public talks to explain their capabilities and the benefits they bring to the community.

Drug Dog Statistics

Sadly, drug use, misuse and abuse has far-reaching effects in our society. Take a look at some of the research on this topic in recent years. 

The steep increase in the use and circulation of illegal drugs has led to devastating effects in our society. An individual’s dependence on these harmful substances can not only destroy their own life – it also has a severe impact on their family, friends and the community as a whole. 

Law enforcement agencies have a critical role to play when it comes to removing drugs from our streets. To ensure their efforts are successful, they need to use every tool in the box to locate and remove illegal narcotics from our streets. For drug detection, there are few assets more effective than a highly-skilled drug detection dog.

These statistics demonstrate the scale of the problem facing our society when it comes to drug misuse.

train drug detection dogs

700,000 people have died of drug overdoses in the United States since the year 2000.

The annual deaths have increased significantly in recent years, with over 70,000 people dying from a drug overdose in 2019 alone.

Source: National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics

belgian malinois drug detection dog

$200 billion is the estimated economic cost of drug abuse in the United States.

This includes $120 billion in lost productivity in the workforce, $11 billion in healthcare costs, and $61 billion in criminal justice costs.

Source: Office of National Drug Control Policy

drug detection dog seizure

8.5 million American adults suffer from both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder.

Almost 3% of the US population over the age of 12 have at least one illicit drug disorder.

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

drug detection dog inside school

Almost half of high school students have used marijuana at some point.

35% of 12th graders reporting they had smoked marijuana in the past year.

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse

Contact us today for more information!