Today, military working dogs such as explosives detection dogs play a visible and unprecedented role in our national security. Few people realize, however, that 80-90 percent of the dogs America relies on for national security are imported from overseas vendors. Reliance on foreign and uncertain sources for such an extraordinarily high percentage of the dogs that protect the public and our national security should concern all Americans. With a vast increase in worldwide demand for working and explosives detection dogs, it is increasingly difficult for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, local law enforcement, other government agencies, and private security providers to obtain the quantity and quality of dogs needed for explosives detection work. Therefore, the AKC Board of Directors has adopted the following new position statement.
Support for Detection and Working Dogs
The American Kennel Club values the contribution that working and detection dogs make to national security and the extraordinary role that these dogs play in protecting the peace and security of individuals, communities and nations against extremist threats. The AKC honors the breeders, trainers and handlers of these dogs, and supports expanded scientific research and breeding programs to ensure that sufficient high quality domestically-bred dogs are available to ensure public safety and national security, and that specialized care is provided to assure the wellbeing of these dogs. The AKC Government Relations department continues to work with members of Congress to secure more information about the cause and possible solutions for the shortage of domestically-bred explosives detection and working dogs for national security purposes. Language in the recently-passed 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (HR 2810) will require reporting on specific aspects of current military working dog procurement and breeding programs to help address this issue and provide longterm, sustainable, high- quality sources of domestically bred working dogs to meet our national security needs.