Transportation Security Administration canines’ noses are trained to detect explosives, but it’s their ears that have people talking.
The TSA is reportedly phasing out pointy-eared canines in favor of dogs with floppy ears to help put travelers more at ease.
That’s according to a report by the Washington Examiner.
Action News Jax has been unable to confirm the effort independently because TSA spokespeople are not answering questions during the partial government shutdown.
The Washington Examiner reports that TSA leaders believe droopy-eared dogs are less intimidating to travelers and less likely to “scare children.”
“I had a cut Doberman and an uncut Doberman. So, for us, it doesn’t matter. But I do believe for other people, a floppy-eared dog seems a little bit more friendly,” said Jacksonville International Airport traveler Candis Powers.
The Washington Examiner reports 80 percent of the TSA’s canines now have floppy ears.
When Action News Jax first reported on bomb sniffing canines working at JIA in August, the two dogs the TSA showed us had floppy ears.
The @TSA is reportedly phasing out pointy-eared canines in favor of dogs with floppy ears to help put travelers more at ease. This story is coming up at 6:15 on @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/qnozS6Lz9I— Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) January 1, 2019
“If someone is making an informed decision and it’s all going to keep us safe, then I don’t care either which way,” said JIA traveler Justin Kirkpatrick.
Although the floppy-eared canines might look friendlier, signs at JIA warn travelers not to pet the dogs.
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