On April 20th, the AKC Detection Dog Task Force (DDTF) hosted a webinar, Impacts of Covid-19 on the Working Dog Industry with Lane Kjellsen, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of K2 Solutions. K2 Solutions is an industry leader that is focused on domestic public security with highly trained detection canines.
Kjellsen explained candidly how the pandemic required him to make some difficult business decisions and make changes to his business model. Scaling down a significant breeding program, executive pay cuts and focusing on a services-based business model rather than a dog selling model were a few of the tactics he employed that helped K2 Solutions navigate the uncertain times.
AKC moderator Stacey West asked Kjellsen, “What are the hurdles the detection dog industry faces with regards to not having a part you can pull off of a shelf?”
Kjellsen said that one of the sacrifices that he and other industry players made was to sell dogs they otherwise would have kept for breeding programs. However, for him, it was important to keep enough dogs in the pipeline to be able to anticipate and respond to increased demand as public events and gatherings started up again. It was also important to seek out and be prepared for new opportunities, including increased demand for detection dogs in cargo screening.
Kjellsen noted that perseverance is one of the most important characteristics for success in the industry. It was crucial to the ability of K2 Solutions to stay afloat during the pandemic, and it’s also crucial for small-scale breeders and dog trainers as they seek to navigate and expand their opportunities in the industry.
The benefits that high-quality, American-bred, -raised and -trained dogs offer our domestic security far outweigh the diluted health standards and gene pools that are currently coming from overseas, Kjellsen says.
The AKC DDTF endeavors to fully support our breeders, puppy raisers, trainers and professional service providers of detector dogs.
To view a complete recording of the webinar click here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/2279943335837142029