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AKC Working Dog Detection Conference

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120 – May 2017

By Dr. Carmen Battaglia


The shortage of dogs needed to protect the security of our airports and our borders is now reaching a critical level. In today’s environment with the real threat of danger, one of the greatest needs is to have a continuous supply of detector dogs. The cause for today’s shortage is in part historical and dates back 50-years to 1968 when the US government established the first of its four breeding programs. It is interesting to note that all four government breeding programs have been discontinued. In each case, they were intended to produce purpose-bred dogs for a national security need. The most recent of the four breeding programs began at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas in 2002. It was terminated in 2012. History suggests that the government has not learned how to maintain a breeding program of this kind over time.

After the tragic events of 9/11, many government agencies began to use canines to assist in Homeland Security and law enforcement. These dogs were used for two primary purposes, their ability to protect their handler and the general public, and their ability to detect. For the past 30 years, the vast majority of these dogs have been purchased from European vendors who have a long history of breeding, training and trialing dogs in police/military style competitions and certifications. Efforts of this kind have not developed in the United States, only because dogs were readily available abroad. Now, because of the violence and continued threats of terrorism throughout the world, the European countries have sucked up the supply of these dogs for their own use. The irony in this situation is that, as a nation, we have not typically out-sourced the production of resources for our national security. It is even more difficult to accept the fact, that as a nation, we cannot meet our own needs for working dogs when we have so many breeders and dogs within our borders.

Click here to read the complete article
120 – May 2017

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Posted by on May 18 2017. Filed under Current Articles, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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