Ron Gaunt, Amy Herot and Jill-Marie O’Brien founded and developed the activity and sport of K9 Nose Work to bring fun scent work to the greatest number of dogs and their people. 

K9 Nose Work blends the foundational skills used in K9 detection with a unique teaching style that promotes individuality and relationship building between dogs and their people, providing a lifetime of rewarding experiences.

Beginning in Southern California in 2006, K9 Nose Work classes, workshops, and competitions are now enjoyed from coast to coast, making a difference in the lives of thousands of dogs and their people.

Ron Gaunt, Co-Founder

Ron Gaunt has lived and worked with dogs the majority of his life. Ron began working with dogs and training for police Dog work in 1970. He has trained, worked, and managed service dogs for more than 40 consecutive years. During Ron’s 12-year tenure in the K9 unit with the Inglewood Police Department, he had the honor of working with three different K9 partners. Among Ron’s many accomplishments are multiple national certifications in detection, both explosives and narcotics. Along with many years of training detection dogs, Ron has trained hundreds of dogs for police work encompassing all aspects of K9 police work. One of Ron’s many accomplishments was that of Master Trainer. In 1981 Ron was the K-9 Program Director with the Inglewood Police Department and the training director of the Los Angeles Schutzhund Club.

Currently, Ron is the owner/operator of Travel’n ManDogs, a private detection firm established in 1995 to serve private businesses and corporate America by augmenting current security systems to facilitate the ultimate in personal safety and protection. Presently he is a working manager/handler of multiple Explosive Detection Dog teams deployed in the private sector; many of his clients are “Fortune 500” companies.

Ron has bred, raised, and trained in excess of 100 working dogs that have obtained degrees in both sport and police trials. Ron’s years of experience includes multiple breeds, but in recent years he has concentrated on German Shepherds, Labradors and Belgian Malinois for service detection work.

Amy Herot, CPDT-KA, Co-Founder

Amy is a professional K9 trainer and handler and brings over a decade of experience to her work. She has certified teams in Narcotics and Explosives and has logged over 1,500 instructional hours in detection dog training. In the canine sport world Amy has trained dogs for tracking, agility, sheepherding, protection sports, and detection. She has competed nationally with her Dutch Shepherd, Maya and took 3rd place in Narcotics Detection at the Gold Coast K9 Working Dog Trials and 1st place, open division, at the Oxnard Police K9 Foundation Inaugural Trial, 2009. Her Belgian Malinois, Seven, is a nationally certified explosives detection dog and took 1st place in the Explosives Building Search at the 2009 Ventura County Sheriff’s K9 Trial and holds an APR1 IPO title.

Amy holds a Bachelor of Science from NYU and is nationally certified through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). Additionally, she is a graduate of the Balu Academy for Dog Trainers and is a John Rogerson associate here in the U.S.  

Her professional memberships and affiliations include the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), Southern California Dog Trainers’ Forum (SCDTF), Southern California Schutzhund Club, California Narcotics Canine Association (CNCA) and International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators (IABTI). Amy gives much volunteer time and expertise to the betterment of shelter dogs. Some of Amy’s other achievements have been the 2007 President’s Volunteer Service Award, spcaLA’s 2005 Outstanding H.E.A.L. (Helping Enhance Animals Lives) Volunteer and 2006 Volunteer of the Year.

Amy is owner of the Los Angeles based All Good Dogs, LLC.

Jill Marie O’Brien, CPDT-KA, Co-Founder

Jill Marie has been working with and training dogs since 1987. She has been the Director of Behavior and Training at spcaLA since 1996. During her tenure there she has overseen the creation and continuing development of that agency’s first Animal Behavior and Training Department in its 130 plus year history.

Jill Marie’s twenty years of dog training experience includes agility, tracking, AAT, Schutzhund and detection training along with many hours of K9 Nose Work development and instruction. Her training philosophy is one of building strong working relationships and bonds between dogs and their handlers using positive, fun and motivational techniques. She is a strong advocate of ongoing education and development of skills. Not only has she attended many educational conferences and courses, but she has also organized educational events featuring some of the most sought-after lecturers and behavior experts in the world. She believes education for the humans is as important as education for the canines. Jill Marie is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, long time member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and is a facilitator for the Southern California Dog Trainers Forum.

Jill Marie and her dog Beckett are a nationally certified Narcotics Detection Team and took 1st place, novice division in the Oxnard Police K9 Inaugural Trial, 2009.  She has been a long-time agility enthusiast and has competed and trained in agility since 1990. In addition to her work with Beckett, Jill and her other dogs have earned many training titles and have competed at the USDAA’s Grand Prix of Dog Agility. Jill Marie’s newest partner is Raven, a Belgian Malinois. Jill Marie shares her life with her son and wonderful husband for whom she thanks everyday for their patience and understanding as she continues to build and develop her understanding and skill working with dogs and their people.