The Department of Defense (DOD) is a major purchaser of prospective single and dual purpose dogs. DOD trains detector dogs in both explosives and narcotics (though never both). The Air Force 341st Training Squadron is the official purchaser for, essentially, all DOD canines regardless of the branch with which the dog will eventually serve. (Click HERE for the full DOD Canine Statement of Work)
This page is under construction - We have not completed our review of the 40pg SOW
General Requirements and Defects in Behavior (Click HERE for the full DOD General Requirements)
- Candidates must be generally sociable with humans, cooperative with physical handling (like being manipulated into a sit), able to work in proximity to other dogs, and cooperative with crating and placement of equipment/gear/muzzle.
- Candidates should not display aggression toward handler or equipment or a level of dog aggression that prevents effective work.
- Candidates should not show submissive/stress urination.
- Candidates should not show sensitivity or fear in response to the environment (including building interiors, elevated surfaces, slick floors, stairs, noise, crowds, etc).
- Dogs who have already been introduced to or trained to detect narcotics/explosives will not be considered
- Candidates may be rejected due to difficulty retrieving rewards. In general, if the dog will willingly transfer to a second reward object, release easily when its tongue is pressed (“gagged”), release with moderate upward collar pressure, or on command, it will not be considered “unmanageable.” Examples of “unmanageable” dogs include those that: require prolonged choking, require vigorous gagging, “gator roll” with the reward, or show other signs of extreme conflict with handlers when the reward recovery is attempted.
- Candidates must pass medical testing and must be appropriately socialized so that they can be adequately examined. (Click HERE for the full description of DOD Medical Requirements)
Physical Requirements (Click HERE for the full Breed, Sex, Weight, and Height Requirements)
- Potential Special Purpose Detector Dog – Sporting breeds are preferred including Labrador, Golden, Chesapeake Bay retrievers, Vizsla, Short- and Wire-haired Pointers, etc
- Potential Patrol Dog (including dual purpose) - German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, and Dutch Shepherds are preferred
- Potential Detector Dogs – Other breeds may be considered at DOD discretion including the above breeds as well as terriers under 12” at the withers.
- Age – All candidates must be between 12 and 36 months of age
- Height and Weight – Candidates should be of appropriate weight for their frame size (not overweight or underweight). Excessively large/heavy boned or small/light boned dogs may be rejected.
- DOD may reject German Shepherds, Dutch Shepherds, or Belgian Malinois if their coats are longer than 7cm or are very soft/woolly. Dogs of colors that are not in accordance with breed standard may be rejected.