TSA Transitions To Floppy-Eared K9s Because Pointy-Eared K9s Are Too Scary

Transportation Security Administration Administrator David Pekoske said that "floppy ear" K9s present less concern.

Arlington, Virginia – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has made an internal informal decision to swap out pointy-eared K9s for floppy-eared K9s, in an effort to make the security dogs appear less scary.

"We’ve made a conscious effort in TSA...to use floppy ear dogs," TSA Administrator David Pekoske told the Washington Examiner during a recent tour at Washington Dulles International Airport.

"We find the passenger acceptance of floppy ear dogs is just better. It presents just a little bit less of a concern," Pekoske explained. "Doesn’t scare children."

Branch Manager Christopher Shelton, who heads up the TSA Canine Training Center in San Antonio, Texas, said that the agency will still consider the overall quality of a prospective K9, and that a pointy-eared dog would likely not be ruled out simply because of its appearance.

The K9’s disposition, willingness to detect odors, and health are the primary factors considered during the selection process.

Many breeders have also begun moving towards more floppy-eared breeds, Shelton said.

The TSA currently uses five “sporting breed” K9s, including German Shorthaired Pointers, Vizslas, Golden Retrievers, Wirehaired Pointers, and Labrador Retrievers, according to the Washington Examiner.

The agency also uses two “working breed,” pointy-eared K9s – the Belgian Malinois and the German Shepherd.

During the course of the past year, 80 percent of the K9s TSA purchased were floppy-eared.

The agency uses approximately 1,200 K9s throughout the nation. About two-thirds of the force is utilized to check for explosives in baggage, while the remaining one-third screen airport passengers.

The K9s can also help nearby law enforcement agencies in emergency situations, such as a bomb threat.

“We train them at our expense,” Shelton explained. “We provide the dogs.”

It costs anywhere between $26,000 and $42,000 to train a K9 and human partner, the Washington Examiner reported.

Comments (35)
No. 1-30
JBo
JBo

The country is losing it's mind.

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

This has to be the most asinine thing I have heard of....... This country is doomed.

JDTpr7
JDTpr7

Good gawd... What morons.... The idiocy is uncanny!!

Patmandy
Patmandy

So people are afraid of pointed eared dogs checking their bags for drugs? And also children? Is this a joke? How much softer do they want America to get???

DocRyder
DocRyder

No problem with this. Trying to make the public feel less threatened and more comfortable is a good thing. We’re talking about a lot of children and elderly... They would be better served by training their employees to be less assholes and more competent though. TSA is a worthless joke with a near universal failure rate.

RIDGERUNNER
RIDGERUNNER

WHOA!! What would seriously make this country safer is to round up all of the idiots who come up with this crazy stuff. That would work much better than fretting over which direction a dogs ears go.

LordSeamus
LordSeamus

I'm with @RIDGERUNNER . I worked Airport security at Logan before the TSA was thought of, and even had a chance to work FOR TSA at Bradley ......thankfully I realized (after interacting with some of the idiots who work for them) that it was a bad career choice. I think getting rid of the idiots in charge would do this country a big favor. May the gods help us all !

Skidoo
Skidoo

The K9s don't scare me; it's black TSA female agent who's screaming at me that worries me.

MarineDoc
MarineDoc

"We find the passenger acceptance of floppy ear dogs is just better. It presents just a little bit less of a concern," Pekoske explained. "Doesn’t scare children." Translation, the SNOWFLAKES are scared. I thought the purpose of these dogs was to protect us and expose explosives and drug, not to be a cuddle toy for Snowflakes!

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

Sounds more like a Snowflake alert to me!!!

junkmansj
junkmansj

Stuffed Teddy Bears on a Pink leash are next

Chiefy
Chiefy

When I worked for the Gooding PD(Idaho), a former Chief had a giant schnauzer, as a drug and protection dog. The use of giant schnauzers, in law enforcement, was relatively new, at the time. Bumper was a great asset (drug detection and protection), to the department and although he was big, his appearance(floppy ears) wasn't intimidating to kids or adults. Bumper was a great PR tool, for our department. Bumper had a powerful bite, to which I can attest, as I wore the "bite" sleeve, several times, during his training. The fact that he shed less, than other breeds, was also a plus.

retiredcop
retiredcop

Who cares what kind of dogs they use as long as they work.

HAWAIIBLUE
HAWAIIBLUE

To me, that’s the problem with society now a days. All of a sudden Authorative agencies are bending over to please the public. Normal people would be glad, relieved there are people who stood up to do the job. But now they have been given their “bone” they want more. Last time I checked, Law Enforcement was created to enforce the law. Not play slave to the whiners.

ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

How about Labradoodles, then or Chiahahua crossbreeds? I'm thinking maybe Chihuahua / Silky Terrier Mixed Breed dogs - no pointy ears (soft tips) and the dogs are small and cuddly.

CME79
CME79

It shouldn't be of concern if the dog is scary or not. The point should be how well the dog does the job. If you buy dogs that can do the job then there is no story. But when you make one scary and the other "floppy" and loveable. (I love GSD and Floppys alike) then you have your fluff piece of "news".

pixiepup
pixiepup

This is absolutely stupid, floppy ears over pointy ears! Don’t do anything wrong and you have no worries!

MSK
MSK

My God, if I was headed on a vacation I probably wouldn’t even get on my flight if I saw one of those “pointy ear” dogs. 😂

Gap Filler
Gap Filler

The point should be: Bottom line, does the dog do its job or not? If it does, why spend more of the tax payers money unnecessarily? You don't want to scare the kids? Stop stuffing your dope or your bomb making materials inside their clothes or their underwear! Simple!

My baby is a highly trained Pit Bull, strange breed I know, I take her everywhere and she's very social, small kids pet her, aren't afraid of her in the least, their parents may be until she makes friends with them too, but try to hurt papa, pull a gun, knife, throw a fist, you're going to see the gates of hell come crashing down upon you in a hurry from a very loving dog just a moment ago.

You can keep your floppy earred breeds. I know the man who is the preeminent K-9 trainer in the entire world, and while he may train half and half, there's nothing like a good scary dog.

asillyrabbit551
asillyrabbit551

is there K9 profiling going on here? Maybe get TSA people who have some smarts.

Deb35802
Deb35802

Awww. Does everyone get an ice cream cone if they aren't afraid of the doggies? /SARC

Deb35802
Deb35802

Liberals destroy everything they touch.

GeeGirl
GeeGirl

S T U P I D S T U P I D thing I've heard so far, really?

61mouse
61mouse

If it was only that easy to do with the 2 legged ones .

Dispatch906
Dispatch906

Dear Lord let’s not upset the drug mules and make them too scared to smuggle!!!!!

robocop95
robocop95

This country is doomed

CrimeDoc
CrimeDoc

If their job is just to sniff...not patrol or pursue...use beagles like the USDA does.

K9-Duke
K9-Duke

TSA Im not surprised.LOL

grandmotherbos
grandmotherbos

This just goes to prove how stupid everyone is getting...personally they are dogs doing a job...they are not sniffing out grannies with chewing gum in her purse..they are drug sniffing dogs..being tough looking is a good thing..drug mules may think twice before stabbing the dog ...this is bad...but this just makes me wanna go slap the stupid out of whom ever thought up this stupid idea....use the dog best at the job...now there's a idea..use the best dog..you stupid bunch of pansy ass corrupt enablers...

Milman
Milman

Perhaps a cute widdle puddy cat with a big nose would suffice! I imagine this kitten would put the fear if God into the 9-11 hijackers! Seriously.. Whoever came up with this rediculous idea should be selling flowers... What a wuss!