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Uncle Sam Wants Some Good Dogs

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By Ken Dilanian for Tribune Washington bureau

WASHINGTON — Wanted, to serve their country: A few (thousand) good dogs.

As it guards the borders and hunts for terrorists, the Department of Homeland Security relies on an elite squad of about 2,000 canines to sniff for bombs, drugs and smuggled cash.

Now the department is moving to expand its four-legged force by 3,000 — about 600 dogs a year over the next five years — according to a recent bid solicitation aimed at small breeders across the country.

Males and females are eligible, ages 12 to 36 months. DHS is looking for Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, German shepherds, Dutch shepherds, Belgian Malinois “or other working, herding or sporting breeds with prior approval.”

DHS says no training is necessary — their experts will handle that. But the candidates must be “alert, active, outgoing, confident” and “extremely tolerant of people,” according to the solicitation, which sets a July 23 deadline.

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