Read the passage. Then, answer the questions that follow.
Doggone Good Detectives
1. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is on the lookout for a few good beagles. The beagles must be friendly, have a great sense of smell, and follow directions. These beagles will become part of the USDA’s Beagle Brigade.
2. Each beagle works with a handler, a person-partner. Handlers train the dogs to sniff out banned foods and plants. The handlers and the dogs work as teams in international airports and shipping ports. They also patrol the country’s land borders. The dogs inspect purses, boxes, and suitcases. They sniff the bags and calmly sit next to a bag if they smell a banned food or drug. Beagles stop a lot of unwanted items from coming into the country.
3. Beagles are the perfect dog for the job. They are small and friendly. They don’t scare the adults or children they see at work each day. They have the energy needed to work all day and walk around large airports or shipping ports. They also have an amazing sense of smell. A beagle’s sense of smell is about forty-four times as strong as a person’s sense of smell. Usually, the beagle will work on a team for six to ten years. During that time, it can learn and remember up to fifty different smells.
4. A dog must be healthy before it can attend the training school. A doctor gives the dog a complete checkup. Then, a trainer looks over the dog to make sure it is not afraid of or too active around people. During training, the dogs’ partners reward them with dog treats. The dogs that make it through training go on to the USDA National Detector Dog Training School in Florida.
5. This is where the real work begins. The dogs learn by sniffing boxes that smell like meat or fruit. Trainers teach the dogs to sit by the box when they smell one of these odors. Other scents are added over time. Then the dogs are matched with a human partner. When the dog and its partner have learned to work well together, they try field work. For four weeks, the new team works in a busy airport. This tests whether or not a dog can do the job around strangers and a lot of activity. Each beagle must pass this final test to show that it can become a part of the Beagle Brigade. The little green jackets that the dogs wear on the job are really cute.
6. Not every beagle is cut out to wear the green jacket. Some dogs are too friendly. They would rather play with the children than do their job. Other dogs lack the energy needed to do the job. When this happens, the training school finds a good home for the dog. Being too friendly might be a negative on the job, but it is a plus when the dog is a family pet.