Originally published in the United States Canine Association, Inc. Monthly Newsletter, July 1, 2021.
Did you know that approximately 80 to 90% of our explosives detection dogs in the U.S. –whether they work in law enforcement, government/military or private security –are sourced from overseas?
Foreign sourcing for K-9s is not secure, because other countries face their own detection needs and security threats. Increasing demand, combined with geopolitical disturbances, terrorism and pandemics further reduce the number of dogs available for U.S. needs. Secure sourcing requires that U.S. must be able to rely on high-quality, American-bred, -raised and -trained dogs to protect our national and public security.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) founded in 1884, is a recognized and trusted expert in breed, health, and training information for all dogs. The AKC takes a strong interest in working dog issues and is actively working at the local, state & federal levels to improve the procurement process of domestically bred, -raised and -trained working dogs.
The AKC Detection Dog Task Force (DDTF) was founded in 2016 to help address this issue and encourage the breeding and development of high quality detection dogs that can achieve the rigorous standards necessary for explosives detection and other crucial work. The AKC DDTF works with experts from law enforcement, academia, government/ public policy, military, and training and breeding to create multi-pronged solutions to help address the shortage of U.S. detection dogs.
The AKC DDTF has launched initiatives in Public Policy/Government Relations, Networking/ Raising Awareness, and Breeder/Puppy Raiser Education to advance these goals. New and exciting opportunities have recently been announced by AKC Reunite, an AKC affiliate and the United States Police Canine Association, Inc. (USPCA).
AKC Reunite’ s Adopt a K-9 Cop Matching Grant Program matches funds (3:1) to help local AKC clubs to purchase police K-9s for local police departments throughout the United States. To date, 26 Adopt A K-9 grants have been awarded in AL, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, IN, NC, OR, PA, SC, and WA, with more to come.
The USPCA is the newest organization to be associated with the AKC, USPCA is the nation’s oldest and largest police K-9 organization. AKC looks forward to what our organizations can accomplish together for our K-9 units and our nation’s security.
As part of its ongoing commitment to public education about US bred, raised and trained detection dogs, the AKC DDTF hosts monthly webinars on a variety of related topics. The most recent program was “Exploring Issues, Challenges and Recommendations for Improving Government Acquisition of US-Bred Working Dogs”, with the authors presenting their research and findings. Click here to view a recording: https://register.gotowebinar.com/recording/7799966687780261132 , view other recent webinars, and sign up for future programs.
For information on the AKC Detection Dog Task Force: http://www.akc.org/edc