Working dogs Part One: Airport Security

Today we will be talking about those cute dogs you see at the airport, not only are they cute they are actually doing an incredibly important job. We will be mainly talking about detector dogs! Detector dogs play a vital role in the fight against prohibited goods heading into the country and are without them we would be missing a very important layer of defence! They work in a variety of places including ports, airports, mail centres and freight facilities. Having them around is obviously a very bad thing for people trying to import banned things, working with them can be amazing!

Imagine every time you go to work you have a co-worker who is always incredibly happy to see you, Labradors are commonly used for the job and they are bred and trained for duty across the country. The dogs are able to screen large volumes of people and goods in a very time efficient manner, they are a great tool when used in combination with technical capabilities such as X-ray and trace particle detection. The reason labradors are used is mainly because of their stable temperament and their non-threatening appearance and energy.

The dogs are generally trained at the same time handlers are getting trained, they learn together which helps them learn a consistent sequence for searching mail, luggage, freight, vehicles, vessels, aircraft, premises and people. These amazing dogs are trained to detect narcotics, firearms, explosive, currency or tobacco in the beginning. This initial training isn’t the only training the dogs get, they can be brought back in to be retrained if required or even learn new skills! Dogs are great at all of this because they can easily distinguish between different odours, unlike us.

The dog may work with an individual handler for up to seven years! That is a nice long work partner, the bond they form is obviously very strong but at the end of the day the dog goes back to the kennels and the handler goes home. After a dog gets too old for the work environment it may even end up going to live with the handler full time, sometimes they go back to the house they were bred at. Either way, the dogs lead a very happy and fulfilling life.

These dogs are an essential part of keeping our country safe. God bless them.