Border Force Detector Dogs

INTRODUCTION

About Border Force Detector Dogs

They are a specialist canine resource working to help keep the UK safe by detecting illicit goods from entering the UK.

The team is made up of a central unit which provides advice, Dog and Handler training and practical support to 8 regional dog units based across the UK comprising a total of 70 dogs and 95 staff.

We are Nationally and Internationally recognised for our work in areas such as currency detection, document detection, and kennel enrichment.

1978

Formed by HM Customs & Excise.

2 detector dogs based in London trained to find Cannabis.

1980

1st Dog Unit established at Heathrow Airport.

Dogs now trained to detect Class A drugs such as cocaine and heroin.

1985

Increase in Dog Units nationally covering all major ports and airports in the UK from

Plymouth to Aberdeen.

Dogs now trained to detect Tobacco and Cigarettes.

1994

Dogs trained to search Passengers at airports and train terminals.

1998

Dogs were trained to detect Currency to help combat money laundering and terrorism.

2003

Following the outbreak of Foot & Mouth disease, dogs were trained to detect

Products of Animal Origin and worked in key airports.

2016

Dogs were trained to detect people being smuggled into the country.

Dogs were trained to detect firearms to help combat violence and terrorist activity.

History

Where it all started

History

Where it all started

1978

Formed by HM Customs & Excise.

2 detector dogs based in London trained to find Cannabis.

1980

1st Dog Unit established at Heathrow Airport.

Dogs now trained to detect Class A drugs such as cocaine and heroin.

1985

Increase in Dog Units nationally covering all major ports and airports in the UK from

Plymouth to Aberdeen.

Dogs now trained to detect Tobacco and Cigarettes.

1994

Dogs trained to search Passengers at airports and train terminals.

1998

Dogs were trained to detect Currency to help combat money laundering and terrorism.

2003

Following the outbreak of Foot & Mouth disease, dogs were trained to detect

Products of Animal Origin and worked in key airports.

2016

Dogs were trained to detect people being smuggled into the country.

Dogs were trained to detect firearms to help combat violence and terrorist activity.

ANIMAL WELFARE

How they’re looked after

  • 24 hour on call veterinary care
  • All dogs fully immunised against disease, worms and parasites
  • 6 month full veterinary ‘MOT’s’ for all dogs
  • Excellent working relationships with external vets
  • 2 hours Clean, Feed and Exercise time allocated to each dog daily
  • Top class kennelling kept to immaculate condition
  • Externally trained dog groomers within each unit
  • Kennel support staff involved in dog obedience training with handlers
  • Regular behaviour, weight and sociability monitoring
ANIMAL WALFARE

How they’re looked after

  • 24 hour on call veterinary care
  • All dogs fully immunised against disease, worms and parasites
  • 6 month full veterinary ‘MOT’s’ for all dogs
  • Excellent working relationships with external vets
  • 2 hours Clean, Feed and Exercise time allocated to each dog daily
  • Top class kennelling kept to immaculate condition
  • Externally trained dog groomers within each unit
  • Kennel support staff involved in dog obedience training with handlers
  • Regular behaviour, weight and sociability monitoring
INSIGHT

Detector Dog Training

It takes on average 3 months to train new dog how to be a search dog.

Training is conducted by experienced Border Force staff.

When they start with Border Force, the dogs are aged between 1-2 years. They retirebetween 7-8 years old and usually go home to live with their handler.

Once the dog is trained, it is paired with a Handler for a further 13 weeks training so that it gets used to searching for what it has  been trained on, in a ‘live’ environment.

All handlers undergo specialist training as required such as Sea Survival / Firearms / dangerous dogs / Health and Safety courses / Ship & Vehicle rummage.

CONTACT US

Want to get involved, or find out more?

We would not be able to do what we do without our army of wonderful volunteers. If you feel you would like to help us in any capacity, whether it be administration or fundraising, please do get in touch using the form below.

Likewise, if you have something you'd like to ask us, please do so using the form below.