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Special Forces troops and their dogs exit a helicopter during a terrorist apprehension and explosives search drill at Vohne Liche Kennels.

Special Forces troops and their dogs exit a helicopter during a terrorist apprehension and explosives search drill at Vohne Liche Kennels (View larger version)

Photograph by Schweet Entertainment / Tim Kasiewicz

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  • VLK was started in 1993 by retired Senior Master Sergeant Kenneth Licklider.

  • Ken started with one dog. He has grown the business to where they sell 750 to 1000 dogs per year.

  • VLK's staff increased in the last two years to include 18 trainers on-site and 6 trainers off-site.

  • VLK trains 5 law enforcement classes a year.

  • VLK comprises roughly 1000 acres used for operations and training.

  • VLK's main kennel is in Indiana. They have recently purchased kennels in Banning, California and have other kennels in Yuma, AZ , South Africa, Turkey, and Holland.

  • Ken and other canine trainers started American Working Dogs, Inc. in 2004.

  • American Working Dog promotes professionalism in certifying detector dogs and patrol teams. It produces a magazine to provide information on canine training and available seminars.

  • American Working Dog has over 500 members.

  • VLK is currently adding two new kennels. These additions will allow VLK to increase capacity from 300 dogs to 500 dogs.

  • VLK has trained handlers and provided services and dogs in 21 countries, including Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Iraq, and Nicaragua.

  • In early 2012, VLK set a new record by having 168 students on property at one time, including law enforcement, military personnel, and contract handlers.

  • 99% of the dogs at VLK come from Europe.

  • Dog prices at VLK range from as little as $5000 to as high as $50,000 depending on the amount of training and what the dog is trained to do.

  • Of all the military's bomb-detection devices, the best is a dog's nose.

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