Meet some of the sweetest narcs on the planet. These are super sniffer drug
detecting dogs born at the CTAC-sponsored canine breeding unit in the U.S.
Customs Service's dog training facility in Virginia. They are the second generation
of American-born, Australian gene pool pups. Their older cousins are completing
their training and will soon be deployed at ports of entry across the
nation. That's bad news for drug smugglers. These pups have astonishing genetics
going for them, as well as world class training.
The government of Australia sent a gift of very talented wet noses to the U.S. to
help the U.S. Customs Service breed its first line of drug-detecting dogs. In the
Australian program's unique experience, each new litter of these very carefully
bred pups has produced a remarkably high percentage of dogs with a strong aptitude
for the challenging work of detecting hidden shipments of drugs.
One of every two puppies born in the program Down Under meets the rigorous
performance requirements of the U.S. Customs Service. Until now, the longestablished
U.S. drug-detector canine training program has relied exclusively on
donated animals. At least 200 donated dogs must be screened to find just one dog
who can make the grade.
The U.S. Customs Service/CTAC goal is to fully replicate the Australian program's
spectacular success. There is a happy symmetry
in all this. Australia's drug-detector
canine program began years ago with a gift
of fully trained dogs—from the U.S. Customs
Service. (The photo above shows
pups at Custom's training center in Virginia
being introduced to working on a