National Canine Division

ATF’s National Canine Division is the leading federal authority for explosives and accelerant detection canines for law enforcement and military organizations. It was established in 1995 to support a variety of high-risk law enforcement operations, including bomb, arson, explosives and gun investigations, as well as the more traditional protective search and sweep responsibilities.

This program is the world’s only scientifically based canine detection program solely operated by law enforcement. ATF-trained canines are capable of detecting 19,000 different explosive compounds. Currently, ATF has 62 accelerant detection canine teams with state and local partners nationwide and 113 explosives detection canine teams nationwide, consisting of 40 SEEK, 47 other federal agencies and 26 state and local canine teams.

2023 ATF National Canine Division Digital Planner Check out ATF’s 2023 National Canine Division Digital Planner!

We are thankful for ATF’s National Canine Division for their dedication to training law enforcement K-9s for agencies across the country.

ATF’s explosive detection K9 teams work tirelessly to keep communities safe, and we are recognizing their hard work with a free downloadable 2023 ATF National Canine Division Digital Planner. It features some of our beautiful, intelligent K9s!

Download the planner!

Pioneering Leadership

Special Agent Canine Handler Grace Reisling and K-9 Charlie In the mid-nineties, ATF leaders asked Special Agent Grace Reisling to serve as the leader of the bureau’s pilot canine explosives detection program. During her tenure, she made history as ATF’s first special agent canine handler. Her trailblazing work included the creation of new canine detection methodologies, protocols and standards that continue to be used by law enforcement and military organizations today.

Tactical Training Programs

ATF conducts explosives detection, accelerant detection and Search Enhanced Evidence K-9 (S.E.E.K.) training programs at the Canine Training Center located in Front Royal, Virginia. Once trained, canine teams are assigned to local, state, federal and international law enforcement agencies, where they regularly lend support to investigations and national level security efforts.

ATF Search Enhanced Evidence K-9 Training Congress also recognized ATF’s National Odor Recognition Testing Standard (NORT) annual canine training as a nationally recognized proficiency standard used as a benchmark for effective canine explosives detection.

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Last Reviewed November 21, 2022