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Instructor, Founder of IK9I

Tanja Karpela

Animal Trainer with Specialist Qualification (EAT), Special Detection Dog Trainer, and Instructor


Tanja is a Detection Dog Trainer, Instructor and an Animal Trainer with Specialist Qualification (EAT)

Tanja’s strong professional expertise are training Scent Detection Dogs for professional use (such as Explosive Detection dogs, Bed Bug Detection Dogs and Nature Conservation Detection Dogs) and behavior therapy and basic dog obedience training.

Tanja works in Finland and in central Europe. She is the Head Trainer in Luxenburg in the dog welfare center Martha&Friends and she is responsible for the training of the working dogs used at International K9 Institute and Martha&Friends. She works as an instructor in courses and training events, and plans training contents for the needs of clients. She is an encouraging coach and is a well-thought-of and experienced lecturer. 

Tanja is a pioneer in her field, as she has been the first in Finland to train Nature Conservation Dogs for large-scale professional use to help with nature conservation since 2014, at the same time creating a new profession as the first Conservation Dog instructor in Finland.

Conservation Detection Dogs

Tanja has many years of experience in developing and training quality standards for Conservation Dogs, as well as working with them in a variety of environments and terrain conditions. Tanja works as a trainer and instructor for Conservation Dogs and a surveyor with Conservation Dogs for EU-Life Flying squirrel project since 2018 and for EU-LIFE Revives (freshwater pearl mussel) since 2022. Tanja has also given the first example that the use of a Conservation Dog can be applied to the search for butterflies and thus contribute to the successful targeting of conservation measures.

Tanja has done surveys with Conservation Dogs, e.g. to private subscribers, associations, forest owners, cities, ELY centers, environmental activities, and Metsähallitus. Close cooperation with various experts and active monitoring of research data are strongly among the principles of Tanja’s work.

Long experience and reliable working dogs

Tanja works as a Explosive Detection Dogs Trainer to improve occupational safety at blast construction sites. In addition she trains Bed Bug Detection Dogs to help control pests for professional use. She has solid experience of operational work with working dogs. 



An encouraging coach

Tanja emphasizes strong basic skills, strong motivation, persevering, uncompromising search, and uncompromising reliability when training professional working dogs. She makes training plans for working dogs and their handlers with clear and realistic goals, solving complex scent-related training challenges, and always encouraging dog teams to reach their best.