Did you know that floppy-eared dogs are less frightening than pointy-eared dogs? Well, that is if you ask the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Who’d a thunk it?
The TSA is in the process of moving on from their “scary” pointy-eared dogs in exchange for the less offensive floppy-eared dog breeds.
"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 of operations 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 said. "Doesn’t scare children."
How dare they discriminate against those “pointy-eared dogs." Racists! And, yes, I mean racists, seeing as how that word can be used for just about anything nowadays.
Christopher Shelton, branch manager of the TSA canine training center in San Antonio, Texas, said the TSA will not rule out pointy-eared dogs based on appearance but the administration would look at the quality of the dog first and foremost.
The administration uses three criteria to determine whether a dog will make the cut: the dog must be healthy, have a willingness and ability to detect odors, and be able to observe its disposition to people and social abilities.
The Washington Examiner reports:
TSA employs the second-highest number of dogs of any federal agency. Dogs retire daily from the agency this year due to the force's aging population, but TSA is using it as an opportunity to grow its floppy ear population, which are technically classified as sporting or hunting breeds.
The TSA uses five types of sporting breed K9s, including Labrador Retrievers, German Short-haired Pointers, Vizslas, Wirehaired Pointers, and Golden Retrievers.
It also uses two types of working breed (pointy-eared) K9's: the German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois.
The interesting thing is even though the administration has decided to swap for the arguably friendlier looking dog, people are still obliged not to approach the dog while its working. It almost seems like the pointy-eared dogs would be better suited to keep people away from them, if you use the TSA’s logic.
I wonder what else they'll do to appear less offensive? Dress their agents as Barney the Dinosaur?