I’ve been answering a lot of questions lately about what happens when a dog reaches the end of our program. The bottom line is that what happens is entirely up to you. We, the program staff, don’t require you to sell your dog and by the same token we can’t guarantee any particular outcome. Once your dog reaches 12-15 months old and shows fully developed possession and search behaviors, you have a few different places to find potential buyers:
· State and local law enforcement
· “Approved vendors” who sell to the federal government
· Canine vendors who field their own dog teams
· Direct to handler
What are some ways to build a network of contacts for dog sales?
· Introduce yourself to members of your state/local law enforcement agencies and talk to them about what they look for in detection dogs
· Join police canine groups or attend their events
· Seek out working dog professionals in your area and talk to them
· Attend conferences, participate in webinars, listen to podcasts, and familiarize yourself with the industry and the major players
The earlier you start building your network of contacts the better. We can assist you in identifying larger vendors who may be looking to purchase dogs, but you will also want to connect with any vendors or canine outfits that are in your area as well as law enforcement agencies who may be looking for a dog.
A few notes about different options:
· State/local law enforcement may have lower budgets but they generally have less red tape in the purchasing process
· AKC Reunite Adopt a K-9 Cop program may be able to provide funding for law enforcement to purchase detection dogs
· Individuals cannot sell directly to the federal government. Federal agencies are required to purchase dogs from approved vendors (businesses that have gone through an extensive vetting process to receive that designation) so that’s why you don’t see those agencies on my list of options