How to Adopt Dogs That Failed TSA Training for Being “Too Nice”

These adorable puppies need a home. Are TSA dog adoptions right for you?

female with german shepherd dog in parkOsadchaya Olga/Shutterstock

It might be hard imagining innocent puppies doing anything wrong, but when it comes to service dogs, not all pups are cut out for high demands of the job. There is, however, a canine adoption program in place for those dogs that just don’t have what it takes to work for the government—and sometimes, it’s because they are “too nice.” To avoid being sniffed by dogs next time you travel, find out how to register for TSA precheck.

According to the BBC, a canine was switched from the Queensland Dog Squad in Australia to a more suitable role at the Queensland’s Government House as the official Vice-Regal dog—all because the pup was too nice and social. There are a few ways for Americans to adopt similar training dogs as well. The main way is through the TSA Canine Training Center Adoption Program, where you can adopt a pup without paying a fee. According to the TSA, these pups are untrained and aren’t housebroken, which means you’ll need these expert tips on crate training your puppy before going through with TSA dog adoptions.

When adopting your pet, be sure to avoid the most commonly made mistakes. There are a few requirements to adopt a furry friend from the TSA. First, your home has to meet specific criteria, including having a fenced-in yard. Any current other pets must be up-to-date on their vaccines, and you must agree to provide the dog with appropriate medical care, per the official TSA website. They also ask for references and may request photos of your home.

After applying, your name goes on a waitlist until you receive notice of any available dogs. They’ll share photos and profiles of pups who need a home, and eventually, you’ll be able to meet the dogs in San Antonio, Texas. Meeting the dogs in person is a requirement since the TSA will not send the dogs to you, and you may need to make multiple trips. Find out exactly how much it costs to own a dog.

The TSA Canine Training Center Adoption Program isn’t the only way to adopt service dogs, though. Mission K9, for example, helps find homes for older service dogs, and Service Dogs Inc. puts rescue dogs who couldn’t make it through service training up for adoption.


Emily DiNuzzo
Emily DiNuzzo is an associate editor at The Healthy and a former assistant staff writer at Reader's Digest. Her work has appeared online at the Food Network and Well + Good and in print at Westchester Magazine, and more. When she's not writing about food and health with a cuppa by her side, you can find her lifting heavy things at the gym, listening to murder mystery podcasts, and liking one too many astrology memes.