Through its world-class Canine Training Center, ATF’s National Canine Division trains explosives and accelerant detection canines for local, state, federal and international law enforcement, fire investigation agencies and the military.
ATF’s Canine Training Center opened over 20 years ago with a focus on establishing nationally recognized training, standards and procedures regarding the art and science of canine training. Since then, the Center has trained 3,863 U.S. Department of Defense canines in homemade explosives detection, 974 canines in explosives detection and 280 canines in accelerant detection.
ATF provides two rigorous types of training: the explosives and accelerant detection canine program and the Search Enhanced Evidence K-9 (S.E.E.K.) program. Candidate handlers and their canines participate in intense classroom courses and real world scenarios focused on detecting explosive and accelerant materials in diverse environments such as buildings, perimeters, warehouses, parking structures and transportation hubs.
Practical application of the canine training takes place across the country during ATF’s annual National Odor Recognition Test (NORT) competition, which serves as a benchmark for effective canine explosives detection. As of fiscal year 2020, more than 4,194 canines participated in the annual NORT competition.