Dog Trainer – Career Spotlight
Narrator: In this episode, we visit the Canine
Training Site, which is part of the U.S. Customs
and Border Protection. These working dogs
are trained to search and find illegal drugs.
Meet Bridget. She helps train the dogs for
working at airports, vehicle stops and other
U.S. border locations.
Bridget: Our agency [U.S. Customs and Border
Protection] usually sticks with Labs, German
Shepherds or Belgian Malinois. They usually
have a higher drive and they’re more motivated
We do a 12 weeks training with them. During
that 12 weeks, we’ll introduce them to a
lot of different environments [locations].
We start training them on the illegal drug
odors and once they get really well, good
at that, we bring in the handlers [officer
that directs the dog]. We team them up with
certain dogs on personalities and where they’re
going [where the dog will be working]. And
then for another 7 weeks, they train with
that team handler. After that, once their
12 week is over, they’ll go out into the
all across the nation into the workforce.
My favorite part is when my dog does find
illegal drugs. It makes all our practice and
hard work that we put into it pay off.
My #1 tip would be to be consistent. For example,
when you’re trying to play a sport like
baseball, you gotta do a lot of practicing
to get better. And the same thing with your
dog; he needs a lot of practice and encouragement
[praise] to get better.
I would have to say the easiest thing in training
a dog with would be verbal praise [let the
dogs know they’re doing something right]
and then a reward system. That could go anywhere
from a plastic pipe to a rubber hose. The
praise, it just stimulates [energizes] them.
Every dog works for it; they want to make
their owners happy. So they work hard for that.
Narrator: To learn more about the canine program,
visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s
page at www.cbp.gov
Other government agencies have dog trainers
and working dogs too. Meet Truman from ATF
for Kids at www.atf.gov/kids
And to learn more about working with animals,