We are very excited to have Jennifer Hirakawa as our HRD instructor this year. We are thankful that she could find time in her busy schedule to come to the Pacific Northwest and bring her over 30 years of K9 training experience with her! Jen brings a unique perspective to our HRD training that we think you all will thoroughly appreciate.
Originally from Ewa Beach, Hawaii, Jen joined the U.S. Army in 1989. It was in the Army where she first started working K9 detection dogs. She served as a Military Police Officer and worked a Narcotic Detection Dog. In 2013 Jen retired from the Army at the rank of Master Sargent. While in the service she provided a variety of training to other K9 teams. During her service, she also became interested in and studied human behavior. After retiring, she brought her knowledge of K9 odor detection work and human behavior into civilian K9 training.
Jen has developed a strong understanding of techniques to reduce negative K9 behaviors while increasing positive behaviors to train dogs. She currently dedicates herself to K9 training at home and at seminars from her base at Kawa Farms – her training facility in Winterset Iowa. Jen’s wide training spectrum includes training service dogs, law enforcement K9s (narcotics, EDD and dual purpose), SAR HRD dogs, SAR live find – scent specific and air scent non-specific, and K9s in need of behavior solutions. With patience, she provides clear guidance, works to instill a sense of empowerment in K9 handlers and creates a productive and valuable training experience.
Jen has certified with NASAR, SARDUS, AIRES, and NNCDS. She is a member of the American Standards Board – Dog and Sensors committee, Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT – Premier Member and C.L.A.S.S. trainer/evaluator), a Trainer/Evaluator with the American Kennel Club, a supporting member of the International Association of Animal Behavioral Consultants (IAABC), an instructor/trainer with Military Working Dogs (MWDTSA), a Canine Search Specialist and Master Trainer with Iowa SAR K9s, an Examiner, Chief Examiner, Mentor for K9 and Canine Search Specialist III/II with the Alliance for Emergency Response Examiners, an instructor of K9 with National Network of Canine Detection Services (NNCDS), an instructor for Canine Search and Recovery (CSAR), a member of Called to Rescue, a member of Klass Kids Foundation, a member of the National Police Canine Association, a Trainer and Behavior Consultant with Puppy Jake Foundation, a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG), and has deployed with Nebraska Task Force 1 as a Canine Search Specialist, .
This year at our Boot Camp, not only will Jen give us 4 days of her personal training but she will include a morning session with SARTopo where she will demonstrate how she would plan an HRD wilderness search. She will then work with handlers in preparing for their own searches, which we will execute in a pleasant and manageable wilderness environment that afternoon.
Jen has developed countless training plans and objectives for working dog handlers for years. With that knowledge and expertise, she will provide our Boot Camp handlers with an amazing individualized one-on-one training experience.
Handler spots are $400. Observer spots are $100.