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The Domestic Breeding Consortium: Odor Detection Canine Selection, Breeding, and Early Training Techniques – Presented by Karen Meidenbauer

Odor detection canines (ODCs) continue to play a critical role in homeland security as primary detectors of potential threats and aiding first responders. As the United States’ need for ODCs continues to grow the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) has been tasked to ensure that the ODC user community has a sufficient and stable domestic source of quality working canines and advance ODC capabilities through a systems engineering approach of applying selective breeding, genetic and phenotypic evaluation, and early development. JHU/APL in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology (DHS S&T) has stood up the Domestic Breeding Consortium (DBC). The DBC is focused on establishing and expanding a domestic supply for ODCs, developing lines of canines that are suitable for the user community’s immediate needs as well as long-term demand, and to intentionally take a scientifically based approach that can endure and improve over time. Modern scientific advances in canine theriogenology, genetic selection, neuropsychology, genomics, behavior, and physiology paired with biological and systems engineering should be used to advance traditional selection, breeding and early training techniques for ODCs. A commonality amongst commercial, government, and hobbyist communities of ODC users and stakeholders is the constant need to obtain quality operational ODCs. By defining and aggregating these phenotypes JHU/APL has established the critical foundation for developing metrics that can be used for accurate and repeatable canine selection criteria.

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