Customs and Border Protection employs several different classifications of dogs (including agricultural protection dogs that they acquire from USDA). At this time, we have only been able to acquire the statement of work for single use detector dogs. (Click HERE for the full Statement of Work)
General Criteria (Click HERE for the full Acceptance Criteria)
- CBP purchases a limited variety of breeds: Labrador retrievers, Golden retrievers, German Shorthair pointers, German Shepherds, and Dutch Shepherds. Other sporting/herding breeds may be considered with prior approval. Malinois will not be accepted.
- Candidates must be between 12 and 36 months of age at the time of testing.
- CBP also notes that candidates of must be of average height for their breed and must be between 16-25% body fat
- Candidates must pass medical testing and must be appropriately socialized so that they can be adequately examined. (Click HERE for the full description of medical requirements)
Behavioral Testing (Click HERE for the full description of Behavioral Testing)
*Something unusual about CBP testing is that no commands will be given to retrieve*
- Stable Character – This is essentially a test of environmental stability and sociability. This includes showing a confident, sociable attitude when approached by strangers. CBP has some specific tests for environmental stability: opening an umbrella in the dog’s face as well as gunfire from 50ft behind the dog. This test will also include slick floors, tight spaces, and may include an interior search of a running vehicle.
- Retrieval Prey Drive – Remember, no commands will be given to the dog. The candidate is tested outdoors and asked to retrieve objects that are thrown uphill. The dog is restrained on leash and is released with no command to retrieve. The objects used are intended to be strange and could include PVC, metal pipe, wood blocks, etc. The dog is expected to show concentrated interest in all objects and pull hard against the leash in anticipation of release, run with extreme effort, show scent hunting behavior to find the object and show satisfaction with playing with the object. The dog may be required to perform a retrieve on an elevated and unstable surface like a conveyor belt.
- Perseverance – The candidate is stimulated with an object which is then placed under something heavy (like a tire or cement block). The dog is released and is judged on its desire to “work out the problem” to obtain the object. This is intended to assess for adequate drive and the dog’s natural indication (passive/aggressive). Acceptable behavior includes a frozen stare or frantic efforts to physically obtain the object by biting/scratching.
- Water Conflict – After the retrieval test (2), the candidate is taken to a location where is water available (natural or a container) and the dog is shown the water, stimulated with the retrieve object, and the object is thrown past the water. The dog is expected to retrieve without stopping to drink.
- Food Conflict – The Candidate will be stimulated with the retrieve object which is then thrown downwind of food. The dog is expected to ignore the food and retrieve.
- Handler/Object Conflict – The candidate is stimulated with a retrieve object that is placed behind a fence or under a container. The dog is released and the handler goes out of sight. The dog is expected to ignore the handler’s absence.
- Hunt Drive – This test is conducted outdoors in an area with high grass or brush. The candidate is stimulated with a retrieve object which is thrown over 40 yards into the grass/brush. The dog is expected to crash into/through the brush and frantically scent hunt for the object. This expected to go on for 4-5 minutes without human assistance. The dog is expected to immediately pick up the object and show satisfaction with playing with the object.
- On-Line Search – The candidate is taken on leash to a search area that could include shelves, vehicles, etc. The dog is stimulated with an object that is then hidden out of sight and above ground level. The dog is directed through a systematic search including several areas above waist level. The dog is expected to follow directional commands/signals from the handler and to recognize the objects odor and follow it without distraction.
- Temperament and Genetic Drive – Candidates must be socialized around humans such that they can work without distraction or aggression in groups of people. Candidates must show confidence on/around unsure/shifting footing, tight spaces, moving vehicles, loud noises, other animals/odors, startling events. Candidates should show strong drives to hunt for thrown objects; use air scenting to locate hidden objects; chase, retrieve and play with a variety of objects; happily follow human instruction; and be consistently in motion/hyperactive.