TSA Switches To Floppy-Eared Dogs To Put Airline Travelers At Ease

Portrait Of Police Dog On Sidewalk

(Picture Credit: Joe Ybarra/EyeEm/Getty Images)

Tight security shouldn’t mean airports have to be scary places for passengers. This seems to be the new prerogative for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). They recently switched out on their preferred breeds for canine sniffers in airport security. And the basis? Those adorable floppy ears.

Floppy-eared dogs seem to make better impressions on travelers, especially children, compared to pointy-eared dogs. TSA administrator David Pekoske said in an interview that they switched looks for dogs to make the children feel more safe.

Pointy Ears Won’t All Be Replaced

Even though the TSA will rely more on floppy-eared dogs going forward, you need not worry about existing sniffer dogs in airports. Pekoske reiterated that the TSA is mostly replacing retired pointy-eared dogs with floppy-eared breeds. For now, floppy-eared dogs will be for passenger screening, but training will continue for all dog breeds.

Currently, the ratio of newly-added are 4-to-5 canines favoring the droopy-eared types. Sadly, the pointy ears give breeds like the German Shepherds and Belgian Malinoises a bad rap, even when they are not necessarily less friendly.

Why Floppy Ears Are The Friendliest

An explosives and drug-sniffing police dog investigating a abandoned suitcase.

(Picture Credit: RichLegg/Getty Images)

Interestingly enough, people associate floppy ears with friendly dog breeds. These include the Labrador Retriever, Irish Setter, Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, Beagle, Collie, and Saint Bernard. Granted, the much-loved, pointy-eared Corgi is also on the list of top friendly dogs, which may be the reason why floppy ears are not the only quality associated with dog friendliness.

At the end of the day, this doesn’t mean we should only look at floppy-eared breeds as friendly dogs. Lisa Peterson of the American Kennel Club previously said in an interview, “Most dogs are friendly if they have been exposed to new people, places, and experiences as they were growing up.”

What do you think of floppy-eared dogs? Would you say they are friendlier than their pointy-eared pals? Let us know in the comments!

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