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Canine Disciplines


Concealed Human and Narcotic Detection

CBP canine team inspects luggageTraining and certification in all aspects of canine behavior, along with handling, training and employing a passive response detection canine. Canines are taught to detect concealed humans and the odors of controlled substances, which include:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamine
  • Hashish
  • Ecstasy

Both the Officer/Agent and the canine are taught proper search sequences when searching private and commercial conveyances; freight, luggage, mail and premises. This commonality brings with it the opportunity to seamlessly interchange staff to further integrate the CBP Canine Program.


Search and Rescue

A CBP canine team performs search and rescue operations

The Search and Rescue canine teams are trained in three disciplines: obedience, tracking/trailing and large area search. The student candidates hone their land navigation skills during the training of the large area search. The students must demonstrate the proper procedures for using topographic maps, compasses, and global positioning systems. The canine teams are introduced to and receive training in rappelling for helicopter operations; backtracking, and deployments in various environments (snow, desert, forest, and mountains).



A CBP canine team tracks human movementsAn outgrowth of human detection training, this course involves the handler and canine being taught to follow the route of a person or persons. This discipline is used in the apprehension of persons and as an evidence-gathering tool during criminal investigations, and is operations-specific.


Canine Instructor

A Border Patrol agent and a CBP officer train a CBP canine to detect contraband in or around a vehicleThis is an advanced technical training course for CBP Canine Instructors responsible for managing the Canine Program at the Sector/Port of Entry level. The objectives of this course are to train experienced agents/officers to function as canine instructors for their respective units. Training includes assisting the CBP Canine Program training site instructor staff in the systematic development and progression of canine teams undergoing training in basic detection, search and rescue, human remains, currency/firearms and special response disciplines. Using existing outlines, lesson plans, and text materials, officers/agents are taught to present blocks of academic and field instruction relating to the training and proficiency of the detection canine team to classes undergoing basic instruction.


Special Response (Patrol)

A canine supports a special reponse teamThe Special Response (Patrol) Canine Program was initiated to address several issues that included:

  • Post-9/11 response in support of the War on Terror; increasing levels of violence along the border;
  • an increase in assaults against border agents and illegal aliens; and
  • enhancement of operational effectiveness and officer safety.

The Special response canine trained in human detection/tracking and the physical apprehension of violent subjects is singularly suited for this need.


Canine Currency/Firearms Detection

A canine team patrols a vehicle in search of contraband at a port of entryCanines are taught to detect concealed U.S. currency and firearms. Both the Officer/Agent and canine are taught the proper search sequences when searching vehicles, aircraft, freight, luggage, mail, passengers and premises.


Human Remains Detection/Cadaver

A CBP canine team detects for human remainsA regimen added to the search and rescue capability, canines are trained in the mission of locating the remains of persons who have expired in remote, barren areas due to exhaustion, exposure and dehydration. This skill is also used in missing person and suspicious death investigations.


Last modified: 
May 23, 2016