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Detection Dog Shortage – A National Security Emergency

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88 – September, 2017

BY AMY FERNANDEZ

I’ve ranted about this before, but needless to say, around here it’s just preaching to the choir. And let’s face it, who listens to me. Therefore, I was rather pleased when I opened my New York Times editorial section on August 6 and there amidst all those dreary political jags was a nice, big front and center alarmist diatribe alerting readers to the (belated) fact that America is rapidly running out of detection dogs. Yes, at a time when our nation needs ever larger supplies of highly trained dogs, we’re having really big trouble meeting the ever growing demand for them in traditional security and defense jobs (and there are way more breed specific niche specialties than you might imagine, like those disarmingly cute little airport Beagles.) Not only do recruitment needs for specialized sectors of this work keep expanding, there’s sky high demand for them in newly created fields of the K9 workforce such as those vapor wake dogs now seen patrolling every stadium and public event. On top of all that is the blossoming shortage of detection dogs in many areas of health care like cancer screening. Old jobs,new jobs, everybody wants highly trained specialty dogs.

Admittedly, the Times has a rock solid track record of printing naive misinformation on dog related issues, and a good part of this article must be considered in that context starting with the very broad and erroneous portrayal of Europe as the epicenter of working dog production and training. In fact, that honor has belonged right here since the early ‘40s when our first military and defense dog programs were organized and implemented thanks to our sport (i.e. competitive conformation) which the Times patronizingly dismissed in this piece as “the American notion of a show characterized by poofy dogs prancing around a ring.” Actually, poofy dogs deserve much of the credit in this case since those iron-willed ladies from PCA basically created Dogs for Defense, the groundbreaking organization that spawned all the military K9 programs that put American work- ing dogs at the forefront during World War II. Never mind all of the scientific research and training protocols that emerged during the 60+ years since then and continue to expand and enhance the science of detection dog training to this day.

Click here to read the complete article
88 – September, 2017

Short URL: https://caninechronicle.com/?p=131817

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