Unconfirmed alerts

Training with David Lattimer Oct 2014

Training with David Lattimer Oct 2014

When Maggie alerts, I try hard to find the source of the odor she’s alerting to, but it’s not always possible to find them right away.  Bed bugs are very good at hiding and can be very difficult to find visually, which is why we use dogs.

When she alerts and I’m unable to confirm the alert by finding live bed bugs near the area of her alert, I usually recommend continued monitoring.  I recommend continued canine inspections until the dog stops alerting or we find live bugs, but depending on the circumstances, sometimes I’ll also use active or passive monitoring devices.  I do not recommend a treatment based on a dog alert alone.

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Tail Docking

For those who have questions about tail docking, I wanted to share an article about the importance of tail docking for certain breeds of working dogs.

Why we dock our working dog tails by Totally Gun Dogs

All my dogs are working dogs, and my Springer Spaniels all have their tails docked.  Their tails were docked by their breeders, so I have no control over it, but I wouldn’t take a Springer puppy that didn’t have a docked tail.

Maggie’s tail is docked at 3/4 of it’s natural length, and Di’s tail is docked at 1/2 of it’s natural length.  I think I prefer the 1/2 dock, Maggie’s tail is a little longer than I prefer.

The dog does need it’s tail, which is why a longer dock is better than a shorter one.  They use them as a counter balance when they are running, and as a rudder when they are swimming.

If you have any questions about my dogs, Springer Spaniels, or tail docking, please email me and let me know!!

Wont let you watch?

This week I encountered a K9 team that wont let their customers watch the dog work.  The handler claimed his dog could not work with someone else in the room, even if that someone is another dog handler.  Maybe that’s why they are not certified by an independent certification organization.

While I do ask my customers residents to step out or wait in the kitchen, I always invite my property manager or home owner customers to accompany me during the inspection.  From time to time Maggie does get distracted, but that’s usually when the customer is not complying with my requests.  In those cases I’ll as the customer to step out, but in most cases people follow behind us and watch while we work without any problems.  We regularly train with distractions so that when we run into distractions in the field we’re more prepared to work through them.

There are alot of minor differences between dog teams, we often have different styles, different preferences, etc…  Most of those are irrelevant to the question of effectiveness of the dog team, but how can someone expect you to allow a complete stranger in your home and tell you that you have to leave your own home while they wander around in it?

If you’re working with a dog team that will be distracted by the presence of one other person, maybe you should consider a new canine team.  In most cases, your dog team should be able to allow 1 person to follow behind the handler and watch the team work.  How else can you know what you are getting for your money?

Would you let a stranger ask you to step out of your home while they walked throughout your home?  Please leave your thoughts in the comment box below!  For more information about how to avoid poor performing dog teams please read this article.


My kids

The kids


Best friends…  and worst enemies….  4 and 2 years old.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year from me, Maggie, and Clark Pest Control.  I hope the new year brings you happiness, peace, and success.

Whether we want them or not, the New Year will bring new challenges; whether we seize them or not, the New Year will bring new opportunities.” ~Michael Josephson


Bed bugs everywhere!

Today Maggie and I found bed bugs in Campbell and in Sunnyvale.  Bed bugs are more active this winter than what we’ve noticed in previous years, probably because of the unusually warm winter we’ve had.

If you think you may have bed bugs, email me or call me and we’ll talk about providing you some peace of mind!

Maggie and I are happy to provide you a canine assisted bed bug inspection to find any bed bugs you have, or to confirm you don’t have any.