Thank you for your interest in the DoD Military Working Dog Adoption Program. Dogs available for adoption are ones that do not meet the DoD criteria for government work. Generally, the younger dogs available for adoption to the public are those dogs that did not pass the rigorous training and certification process to become a Military Working Dog (MWD). There is also a selection of older dogs available that have served in the field or were utilized in the training of new military dog handlers. Some of the available dogs may have hip, back, or other medical issues that prevent them from working. Additionally, dogs with medical issues may require prescription medications for the remainder of their lives. The most common breeds we have for adoption include; German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois and the occasional Labrador Retriever or German Shorthaired Pointer.
Applications are processed as they are received to determine suitability for adoption. Every effort is made to pair applicants who meet all requirements with dogs that suit their home, family and lifestyle.
Title 10 US Code 2583 gives priority first to civilian law enforcement agencies, then to prior handlers, and finally to the general public. In the event that a dog’s age or fitness precludes it from being considered for law enforcement duties, then a former handler is most often selected.
The DoD has the right to refuse any adoption at any point. Dogs cannot be returned once adopted.
**The dogs are highly active and in most cases, will require a lot of attention, additional training and significant exercise.
The 341st Military Working Dog Center will only consider applicants who meet the minimum requirements previously listed. If you are interested in adopting one of the dogs, please email the adoptions coordinator at MWD.Adoptions@us.af.mil; we will email you an application packet.
Meeting the dogs: Approved applicants will be given an opportunity to schedule an appointment to travel to the kennel facility in San Antonio, Texas, to meet the available dog(s). Please understand we cannot hold a dog for an extended period.
Selecting the right dog: It is important that we match each dog with the best suited family. To do this, you may need to make multiple visits to our facility before a final match is made.
Finalizing the adoption: Processing the adoption may take several days or weeks depending on the dog’s position in the disposition process. Approved applicants will have a time scheduled for them to travel to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in San Antonio, Texas where the dogs are located. The dog cannot be shipped to you and you may need to make multiple visits. There are no same-day adoptions. Travel is at the adopter’s expense. Once a pick-up date is set, you must bring a leash, collar, muzzle and appropriate-sized dog crate to the training center. To complete the adoption, you will be required to sign and notarize a “Covenant Not to Sue with Indemnity” agreement and complete a microchip registration prior to pick-up. You will be provided a copy of the dog’s medical records for the past six months, one month’s supply of flea and heartworm preventive, three-days-worth of dog food and copies of the adoption forms.
If you are a local, state, or federal Law Enforcement Agency interested in obtaining a free working dog from our program, please send an email to K9.LEtransfers@us.af.mil for additional information. Some dogs purchased or bred by us may not have met DoD requirements but are still healthy and suitable for work in Law Enforcement.
Follow us on Facebook!
All dogs are vaccinated. However, due many factors such as age and breed, some of our adoptable dogs have medical issues that may require special care, diets, or medications.
No. All dogs are spayed or neutered prior to adoption.
No. Approved applicants are required to visit the facility in San Antonio, Texas. New owners must be able to transport the dog from the facility in San Antonio, Texas to their new home.
There is no cost for the adoption. You will need to bring a leash, collar and crate when finalizing the adoption and picking up your dog. All transportation and future medical care treatment will be the adopters’ responsibility.
There are three categories of dogs we adopt.
Puppies- Bred here at Lackland AFB as part of our DoD Breeding Program. Puppies are usually between 10-18 months old. These dogs have very little training and some may have medical needs.
Training Eliminations- These dogs were unable to perform at the level the DoD requires for Military Working Dogs. Ages are normally between 18 months- 3 years. These dogs may have some training depending which phase of training they failed.
Training-Aid Eliminations- These dog were used to teach new and advanced courses for Working Dog Handlers. They normally retire between 6-10 years old. These dogs were trained and used for teaching purposes.
**Law Enforcement Transfers- These dogs will range in age and training levels. They may have not met certain DoD requirements, or they may also be fully trained in an area, but no longer suitable or needed for the DoD mission.
*Some dogs may have a medical condition that prevent them from performing government work. Known medical conditions will be identified and disclosed prior to adoption. A consultation with the veterinarian can be coordinated upon request. Dogs on medications will come with a two-week supply and a prescription for additional medication.
The DoD utilizes a variety of large breed dogs. You may see sporting breeds, such as German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, and Dutch Shepherds available for adoption. Occasionally there will be Labrador Retrievers and German Shorthaired Pointers.
*Breed or gender specific requests will lengthen your wait time.
The Indemnity Agreement must be signed in front of a notary to finalize the adoption. This document clearly states that the dog will NOT be used for illegal purposes, police or security related activities, private business activities, substance detection (public or private), and that the dog will not be sold or given to someone with the intent of doing any of the previously mentioned activities. Any violation of the contract may result in federal prosecution. You must: Accept all future risks and consequences of the dog, agree to pay for all of the dog’s future medical care, agree not to sell the dog, agree not to use the dog for anything other than as a pet.
Dogs that fail training for government work typically have some explosives detection training. Many, but not all dogs, have also received various degrees of Air Force controlled aggression training. The dogs are highly active and in most cases, will require a lot of attention, additional training and significant exercise. They are usually crate-trained, but not house-trained. Our dogs have not been exposed to or socialized with children or animals, including other dogs.
It could take several weeks or months for a dog to adjust to your home, family and other pets. You may have to seek professional assistance if your dog is not able to adjust.
Once an application is received, it is reviewed and kept on file for 2 years from the date of submission. We do our best to match a dog with an applicant that has been on file the longest; however, it is our responsibility to match a dog with the best fit adopter. Applications with specific age, breed and gender requests may be placed on a wait list until a dog becomes available. Applications with flexible preferences may be processed quicker. The average wait for a dog usually is 12 to 24 months.
Please note that Law Enforcement and service agencies have priority for available dogs.
No. Our dogs are trained specifically for the DoD for military use. Service dogs require a specific temperament which is typically not that of a military working dog. They are RETIRED from the service (referring to the military service). Once retired, these dogs are private pets. They are no longer working dogs and are not service dogs. They receive no special protections or rights by law.
All requirements must be met at time of submission or the application will be rejected. All of our requirements are mandated for safety reasons or by regulations. No exceptions.
These dogs live in a kennel environment and will likely need some house training when brought home. These dogs are not socialized with other animals to include other dogs, and have not been exposed to children, either.
While we do not foster dogs that are retiring, if you live within a 2-hour radius from Lackland AFB, you may be eligible to foster a puppy. As part of our DoD Breeding Program you are able to foster a dog from 6 weeks to 7 months of age. If you would like more information on this program please click here, or contact them at MWD.email@example.com