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K9 Program

The Canine (K9) unit at Bahrain Customs supplements the non-intrusive inspections checks (scanning) and physical checks carried out by customs officers. They are an extremely valuable asset in helping us to protect our borders.

The highly trained dogs in the K9 unit can detect narcotics, firearms, weapons, explosives and many other dangerous items and materials. They are trained to find illegal items hidden in containers, luggage, vehicles, packages, and on people. Our ‘K9 officers’ are trained to respond passively, helping us deal with situations in a more safe and effectively manner.

The dogs selected for the K9 unit undergo training in the detection of specific types of items such as drugs, explosives etc. before being commissioned into active duty. Their ability to smell which is 700-900 times stronger than that of humans is honed during the training.

Before joining the K9 unit the dogs are also vetted for their temperament and ability to work with people. During its service life, each dog is constantly monitored and evaluated on its performance including it detection ability and success rate.


Similarly, the K9 handlers are specially selected for their ability to work with and understand the behavior of dogs. They are able to get the maximum out of the dogs as well understand the dog and its needs.

The specially trained dogs and their handlers which form the K9 unit have been extremely successfully and have unearthed numerous cases of drug trafficking, illegal materials and human trafficking. They have found drugs in the most unusual of places and are an effective deterrent against drug traffickers and terrorists.

The K9 teams are responsible for locating millions of dollars worth of drugs and other contraband. Since the K9 was formed in 2007, incidents of smuggling have declined significantly.