Labrador pups join border patrol
Beagles at the front line of border patrol keeping out fruit and other undesirables have received a boost - with Labradors to join the ranks of detector dogs for the first time.
Five Labrador pups - Shyann, Enya, Egypt, Ella and Eden - will patrol at Auckland International Airport, joining the 26 other detector dogs around the country that protect New Zealand from harmful organic matter.
The dogs are a first for the Ministry of Primary Industries Labrador breeding programme. The Labradors were chosen for their versatility and flexibility to cover both mail centres and airports.
Primary Industries Minister David Carter awarded the dogs their graduation coats on Friday after two years of intense training from birth.
''It was really fascinating, they are really remarkable the way they are able to find the risk,'' he said.
''The trainer would throw an orange peel onto a conveyer belt, there were literally thousands of items, and the dog would identify the package and point the handler in the right direction. MORE>>
Dogs are fascinating ... I never stop awing at their brilliance.