Matt has served as a police dog handler and department trainer for the Overland Park Police Department (Kansas) as well as the Federal Reserve Bank. He has trained and handled numerous police dogs as well as instructed hundreds of private and group obedience classes. Matt has trained dogs for police service, which includes patrol, drugs, bombs and tracking. He has also trained hundreds of dogs to detect things like bedbugs, mold, termites, ignitable fluids, peanut allergens and gluten proteins. Matt also trains search and rescue, personal protection, scent detection dogs and tracking for the public. His most recent endeavor includes the training of a dog to detect samples taken from Polar Bears to determine whether the females are pregnant for the Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife.
Matt Skogen has instructed at national workshops for law enforcement as well as the pest control industry. As the Director of Training for the IronHeart Training Center, he has trained numerous dogs for Homeland Security, correctional institutions and numerous state and local law enforcement agencies.
Matt has served many years as the Master Trainer for several large law enforcement agencies. He received accreditatation as a working dog trainer from several entities and continues to work with different associations and add to his resume along the way. He has served many years as a police dog handler, instructor at various workshops, certification evaluator and judge, and the Director of Training for two different private companies as well as two different law enforcement entities at the local and federal level. He has served as the President for a prominent police dog association and his private company is one of two accredited nationally by the National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association (NESDCA). His passion for dog training is exhibited in the superior quality of the dogs he trains. He takes great pride in knowing the working dogs he selects and places with various entities perform at a very high level. Matt is also heavily involved in the North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA).
Matt believes wholeheartedly that too many trainers are merely “buying” their credentials as a trainer and not “walking the walk” before they land on the scene as a “Master Trainer”. He believes the only way to become a good trainer in a selected discipline is to first become an excellent handler. There is no way a trainer can relate to the varying disciplines without first experiencing the many variables they encounter while spending their years as a handler.
Matt has always had a love for dogs and believes wholeheartedly that obedience training must be fun, fair, and only as firm as needed to get the desired results. He believes a good trainer must be flexible and adapt different training styles to conform to the needs of customers and the many variables in regard to energy level, motivation and behavioral problems. Matt has always had his working dogs perform at a high level. He has had many successes on the street and has competed at a high level in various competitions. He credits his love for dogs and ability to understand them for his success. Matt says there is not room for “cowboys” in dog training. He believes if you relate well to dogs and you respect them, you should never resort to overly “heavy handed” techniques. There are smarter ways to train that some simply do not understand. A lot of trainers or handlers may know how to train dogs, but simply do not relate and adapt as necessary to deliver the desired results.