Facts about border guard dogs

  • Dog activities are part of the implementation of the statutory tasks of the Finnish Border Guard. 
  • According to the training and purpose of use, the border dogs are divided into patrol dogs, additionally trained patrol dogs and border dogs for The Finnish Border Guard Special Intervention Unit.
  • In addition we can also use dogs to support crime prevention, military national defense tasks, search and rescue tasks, and police and customs tasks. 
  • Finnish border dogs participate in Frontex operations of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency at the EU's external borders.

A good border dog is: 

  • healthy 
  • open and complacent
  • confident in different environments
  • curious and balanced
  • easily motivated with food and prey play
  • quick to recover and fearless.

Breeds of border dogs

We have three different breeds of dogs: 

  • German shepherd 
  • Labrador retriever 
  • Belgian Shepherd.

Dog handler training 

The Border and Coast Guard School trains border dogs and dog handlers. Border guards with at least one year's work experience at the Border Guard can apply for the task. 

In the training, dog handlers learn the theory of dog training: we go through raising a dog from puppy to working dog. We teach the dog handler how to use a dog to assist in various Border Guard’s tasks.

We teach the dog social skills, obedience, searching people and objects, as well as tracking in various places and on different grounds.

In additional training, dogs learn to find various things, such as documents, weapons and drugs. A very small number of dogs also receive additional training in the use of force.

If you are interested in the task of dog handler, familiarize yourself  with the border guard training (in Finnish).

Border guard dog is a loyal co-worker and family member

The dog handler and the dog form a seamless pair. The border dog lives in his instructor's home. The dog handler’s job is to take care of the faithful partner both during work and leisure time. The border dog becomes a family member of the dog handler's home. The border dog works on average 9−10 years. After that, the dog handler has the opportunity to take the border dog to spend retirement at his home. 

Not all dogs become border dogs

We buy puppies on the civilian market mainly in Finland, but we also buy dogs from other parts of Europe. Sometimes as the training progresses, we notice that the dog's qualities are not enough for him to be trained as a border dog. In these situations, we give up the dog and give it either back to the breeder or to a reliable person as a domestic dog.