Training for search dog or detection dog

We train search dogs – so called Green Dogs to be trained for detection dog.

A Green Dog means that we train the dog to detect in any situation and under all kind of circumstances.

Dog handlers looking for a detection dog obviously want a dog that can act straight away without having to train the dog on forehand. The dogs that we host and train must be able to work as soon as possible.

Green dogs

The term Green Dog means that the dog is ready to detect and knows the command: Search !

A green dog is not older than 2 years or younger than 8 months when we start training with him.

For all dogs we use ball-training. Of course we start with easy assignments and move towards more difficult tasks. At the Pannehoeve we train both indoors as well as outdoors. We do have a number of outdoor fields and a big barn that we can use for detecting. Inside the barn you will find a number of kennels, a big open space, a detection-house and a first floor.

We start the training in the smallest kennel and move forward from there on.

When the dog is able to detect well at this territory we start exercising on other locations.  My husband has a factory that I can use for training in the evenings. For the dogs a total new, large location with a lot of new smells. Of course we will also go to the woods where other dogs also roam around so there is a lot of distraction of smells and people walking by. We live near a fishing harbor and we regularly detect in the city and in the village. As much as possible we use different locations to avoid the dogs being distracted.

All locations that we have visited with the dog and the progress made is being noted in a log to inform the new handler about the activities of ‘his dog’ and the things he is mastering.


For us the most important thing is that the dog is having fun. It is absolutely clear that dogs enjoy this training. We do have a special detection dog trainer and when he arrives all detection dogs go to the barn hoping they can come along on a detecting session. We always reward the dogs with a ball or toy.

This is the reason why we only admit dogs that are crazy about a ball or toy; they must have the drive, if necessary for half an hour, to look for this item without giving up. The ball or toy must, at all time, be the most important thing for them.

You cannot teach a dog to do this. By nature it must have the boot drift. If this should be the case one can only trigger and use it. If this is not the nature of the dog than detecting can only be trained by using force and we definitely refuse to have the dog working that way.

What is the destination of these dogs?

Last year we have visited quite a number of sellers of this kind of dogs. In general they were sellers that export the dogs to America.  Actually this is not what we have in mind for our dogs. Of course the dogs can work in America but if so we want the right aftercare and correct inspections.

We have been and still are a rescue organisation. Our dogs are not specially bred for this purpose. We not only use distance dogs but also foreign dogs that will not leave the shelter because of their active character. A real working dog actually is too active to be or to become a home dog. Because these dogs often come from nasty situations or a shelter we do not want these dogs to end up from the rain in the drip. We highly value that if a company sells these dogs it is done the right way. The dog’s well-being always is the main priority. We would also appreciate that the companies selling these dogs monitor these dogs and know that the dogs are OK and at the right place.


Right now we are working with two companies and this collaboration feels good. They care about animals and the well-being of the dogs is main priority. They exactly know where the dogs live, who their handler is and if the dogs are fine.

What will the dogs do?

It is obvious that these dogs will detect. The companies will use them to detect drugs, explosives, bed bugs or other substances needing a detecting dog. After being trained for detecting new substances the dog will be matched with a handler and in general the dog lives with this handler. Next to being a detecting dog, the dog is also a family dog. Some dogs just cannot get used to live in a house and stay in a kennel, but always situated near the handler’s home.

All happy dogs

Our mission is: All happy dogs and I am convinced that all the detecting dogs we place are very happy dogs. Every day they can do what they like most: search and play with their ball or toy. Moreover every handler loves his dog very much and next to the daily training exercise, time to walk, hug and play is also part of a detecting dog’s life.

Please also read:

My blog about detecting dogs 


Do you have a suitable dog that cannot stay with you or are you looking for a green dog. Please contact Jolanda via or + 31  647559799