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Home Security goes to the dogs

Apr 2, 2012
by Lenny Rutland, '03

Richardson, ‘01, builds successful dog security business in Costa Rica

What began as a concern for the safety of his family after a move to Costa Rica’s northern Pacific coast has turned into a successful security dog business for Flagler alumnus Brandon Richardson, ‘01.

Richardson, who had been visiting Costa Rica on surf trips since the 1990s, is the founder of Latigo K9 in Playa Guiones — a company that has placed dogs in homes throughout Central America and the U.S., and as far away as Kenya. The facility currently is training 20 dogs and has three full-time employees.

Latigo K9 uses German Shepherds, Dutch Shepherds and Belgian Malinois, all coming from the closed breeding system of a family-run Canadian company called Baden K9. These breeds are herding dogs, often used for police or military purposes.

The companionable, protective nature of the breeds make the dogs, if properly trained, an ideal security option for families, Richardson said. He views the animals he trains as part of the family.

“We do not train ‘attack dogs,’ ” he said. “While our dogs have the capacity to protect their owners, they are much more subtle and versatile than this.

“The truth is the dogs provide a lot of positive in this world. They bring safety to families and comfort to their owners. … In a world that is changing faster than most of us comprehend, the dogs remain a constant. They are there for us, no matter what we ask of them, just like family.”

It was his own family that prompted him to begin the company. Richardson, a husband and father of two, said he had always loved the people, the landscape and the natural beauty of Costa Rica. But adopting the country as his home meant giving up much of the security he had taken for granted in the United States.

“For me, personally, the tradeoff (in Costa Rica) is worth it,” Richardson said.

He purchased a puppy from a local dog trainer and after three years of working with the trainer, Richardson decided to begin his own security dog business.

Latigo K9’s growing reputation has also provided Richardson the opportunity to travel, from working with U.S. Army Military Police in Alaska to providing security training in Kenya.

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