TSA's Puppy Program selectively breeds, raises and prepares puppies to be future explosives detection dogs. Dogs who graduate from training are assigned to airports and mass transit systems nationwide. The program is located at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.
The Canine Breeding and Development Center first bred dogs in January 2002, and the program has since produced more than 300 puppies. The mission is to produce approximately 80 puppies per year to help supplement the needs of National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program and other federal and state agencies in need of working dogs.
The program depends on volunteer families in San Antonio and Austin, Texas to raise puppies from age nine weeks to 12 months, when they can enter explosives detection training. During this time, families are responsible for providing their pups with a well-rounded, socialized and nurturing environment. The program also supplies food, equipment and medical care for the puppies while in foster care. The puppies are returned to the program for one week each month for medical and behavioral evaluation. The program provides feedback to the foster families on how the puppy is developing. At approximately one year of age, the pups are returned to the program to start their official training. Dogs who don't graduate from the program are placed for adoption.