Two dozen service dogs visited a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

Marking the United States’ National Puppy Day, TSA officials screened 24 puppies and their trainers from the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind and America’s VetDogs.

TSA officers worked with the pups as they came through the checkpoint in an effort to acclimate the future guide dogs with an important piece of the airport experience – the security checkpoint.

The familiarisation opportunity will result in a smoother experience when the puppies graduate into certified guide dogs and return to take a flight, according to officials from Guide Dog Foundation. The exercise enables the canines and their trainers to know what to expect when the dogs and the people they guide return to take a flight.

The orientation session also served as a good review and reinforcement of TSA procedures for screening service animals for the TSA officers who were working at the checkpoint during the familiarisation exercise.

“The orientation session was a hit with the dog trainers, the TSA officers and of course with the dogs. There was plenty of tail wagging,” said John Busch, TSA’s federal security director for the airport. “The collaborative effort benefitted the guide dogs, the airport and TSA and will go a long way to ensuring that the dogs and their eventual owners will have a smooth checkpoint experience in the future.” The dogs also had the opportunity to sniff around the airline check-in counters, baggage carousels and TSA arranged for the puppies and their trainers to board an aircraft.


Both TSA staff and future guide dogs benefitted from the session
Both TSA staff and future guide dogs benefitted from the session TSA