December 29, 2018

"TSA to deploy more floppy-ear dogs because they're less scary than pointy-ear dogs."

The LA Times reports.
But TSA Administrator David Pekoske said... “We find the passenger acceptance of floppy-ear dogs is just better,” he said. “It presents just a little bit less of a concern. Doesn’t scare children.”
Had you ever noticed the floppy-ears/pointy-ears difference in scariness? I don't know about the ears per se — clearly a German Shepherd is scarier than a Labrador Retriever. But...



Come on!

AND: Consider the lop-eared cat...



Less scary than an up-eared cat? I think not!

61 comments:

traditionalguy said...

So self driving cars need to be programmed like labradors and not like German shepards. That way the cats get home alive.

Ralph L said...

The Queen's corgis are trained, deadly bodyguards, not cute little ankle nippers.

Lash LaRue said...

Time for a new TSA Administrator!

Fernandistein said...

For dogs and other animals, floppy ears and curly tail = domestication.

"Down" ears also indicates submission in dogs.

The Queen's corgis are trained, deadly bodyguards

Not as deadly as Princess Anne's bull terrier that killed one of them, earning the "Princess" the first criminal charges against a so-called Royal since 1600-something. (now I'm going to look that up and see how far off I am).

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Some of the worst, most psycho, biting dogs that I know have big floppy ears.

Cocker Spaniels. Sneaky little buggers will also attack you from behind.

Mary Beth said...

Well-trained, well-behaved dogs aren't scary.

MadisonMan said...

As if we didn't need real proof that this is all security theater.

You have to wonder (well, I do) how many tax dollars have been wasted by TSA on this notion. The real question: Are the dogs more effective in detecting threats?

Rob said...

Leave it to the TSA to attempt an answer to the rhetorical question, “Who’s a good dog?”

tim in vermont said...

He’s the exception to prove the rule. I but if you looked at dog bite data, it would back them up.

tcrosse said...

The ears get the attention, but the teeth do the work.

Lucien said...

Because the number one complaint about the TSA is scary dogs.

chickenlittle said...

Aren’t Dobermans naturally floppy-eared but cut to look like Nazi dogs?

ndspinelli said...

DBQ, I've worked on several cocker spaniel bite civil suits. They go for the face. One case a disfigured 2 year old.

Hounds are good for the job and floppy eared.

ndspinelli said...

chick, I think you're correct. The same w/ great danes.

Henry said...

Wait, are these attack dogs or smeller dogs?

How often are non-smeller dogs actually used?

And what do ears have to do with noses?

rhhardin said...

Dogs are great for explosives and drugs. One problem is that they're being killed off by fentanyl they sniff.

Dogs at liberty in the waiting room would be optimal. Let them find their own targets based on whiffs floating in the air.

The trouble is that you can't trust people with dogs. The handler is there to fend off dog petters.

gilbar said...

floppy ears? here's your floppy ears!

MadisonMan said...

Makes me wonder how the clumber spaniel is. Titus?

Leland said...

Typical government breedism inequality.

Fritz said...

Black dogs tend to be scarier than yellow dogs, too.

My Siberian is black, with pointed ears. She's also the world's friendliest dog. Too friendly, in fact.

Ann Althouse said...

I prefer "up" ears. They seem cleaner and less likely to get fungus-y and weird. Also they make the dog look alert and ready for whatever. "Down" ears seems more low-energy and uninterested.

MadisonMan said...

@Althouse, yes, 100%. Our dog has floppy furry "down" ears that require tiresome and routine cleaning.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Beto's ears are floppier than Bernie's! I'll remind you of this post in a year!!

Mary Beth said...

Would Ronil Singh (not TSA) have been better off with a pointy-eared dog than with a lab?

Meade said...

Now do : large female doctor pushing a stroller with a lop-eared cat in it.

Meade said...

In seriousness (and I do mean seriousness), I think if you search "Fatal dog attacks in the United States," you will find that most attacking dogs have floppy ears.

Lucien said...

I always thought TSA should just hire some people to bring their dogs to the airport to walk around sniffing things. It would make the normal people feel safer, and even if only 10% of dogs at the airport were trained, the bad guys could never be sure.

Nonapod said...

Nothing puts me more at ease than a big silly labrador.

Mary Beth said...

Meade, that's because most of them are pibbles. Looking at the Wikipedia entry for that, it also looks like a number of them were family dogs.

Wilbur said...

Does Jeb Bush have down ears?

chickenlittle said...

The problem in a nutshell

Phil 3:14 said...

Snakes have no ears. Why doesn’t TSA use sniffer snakes?

Yancey Ward said...

What kinds of ears do the predators on the African plains have?

Hey Skipper said...

[Meade:] In seriousness (and I do mean seriousness), I think if you search "Fatal dog attacks in the United States," you will find that most attacking dogs have floppy ears.

Which doesn't mean much until we learn the ratio of pointy ear to floppy ear dogs. If almost all dogs have floppy ears, then it shouldn't be a surprise that most attacking dogs have floppy ears, ceteris paribus.

Rusty said...

Fritz said...
"Black dogs tend to be scarier than yellow dogs, too.

My Siberian is black, with pointed ears. She's also the world's friendliest dog. Too friendly, in fact."

I have a red Siberian Husky and she's the same way. She'd much rather hang out with the people at the dog park.

tcrosse said...

There are no flop-eared Pussy Hats.

Xmas said...

I'll just leave this here...

Kitties!

Fernandistein said...

Which doesn't mean much until we learn the ratio of pointy ear to floppy ear dogs.

I don't think anyone claimed floppy-eared dogs are less aggressive, just that they don't look as scary. Some breeds have been bred to be more aggressive, like these, which I think all have floppy ears (though are trimmed).

ALP said...

Well German Shepards ARE kinda Nazi. Ponder this: Doberman with natural floppy ears. Cut the ears...boom, now the dog is scary.

Fernandistein said...

(though [some] are trimmed)

ALP said...

Floppy ears - Bloodhound. But couldn't the melting face be seen as scary?

JML said...

Floppy eared dogs get no respect, so they develop an inferiority complex. To compensate, they bite your face off. RESPECT the FLOP! Do this for the children.

Jupiter said...

Blogger MadisonMan said...
"As if we didn't need real proof that this is all security theater."

Yes, indeed. Real policemen don't need to worry about whether their dogs are scary, but when you have been spending billions of dollars a year for sixteen years, searching for terrorists, without finding even one, you develop a public perception problem. One best addressed with floppy-eared dogs.

Mark said...

Floppy ears serve a purpose. They actually help in the collection of smells. Take a look at a blood hound and how long and floppy their ears are.

Hounds typically have floppy ears. That's one of the reasons they are the best sniffer dogs.

Coming back from Detroit Metro after Thanksgiving, they brought out the dogs which actually sped up the process of going through security.

Not Sure said...

Obviously a good move. Hitler preferred pointy-eared dogs.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Scary aggressive looking dogs > frightened passengers > less air travel >
..less delay at airports
..lower fossil fuel consumption

A WIN-WIN!

n.n said...

The big dogs with alert ears tend to be more confident and less aggressive. However, the small, cute ones serve better as objects for emotional appeals... well, what lies beneath. Still, perception matters.

ALP said...

http://spdblotter.seattle.gov/2018/12/27/burglars-arrested-in-distinct-getaway-car-after-being-chased-from-home-by-miniature-dog/

LOL very apropos to this thread, here is a Seattle Police blotter item about a minature Pinscher chasing 2 burglers away! I guess that pointy ear thing is irrespective of size.

ALP said...

https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/passenger-on-seattle-bound-flight-says-he-was-bit-by-a-dog-while-waiting-to-board-ten/895816403

But wait, there's MORE! In the link above, a 'man' was bit by a small dog belonging to a couple standing in the TSA line with him. The horror, the HORROR. I can't believe this even made the news, but I guess its one of those dog day afternoons.

I rarely call men pussies but - what a pussy. If a journalist tried to interview me due to a fucking dog bite requiring one band aid I'd tell them to stick it. I'd be shamed if my 15 minutes of fame were due to asking a flight attendant for a band aid. There is even VIDEO for pete's sake.

Ralph L said...

I believe they cut them because the floppy ears can get swollen with burst blood vessels from years of running around flopping. Then they have to be cut off to prevent more damage.

DannyG said...

Flying out of Shannon in Ireland a couple of years ago they used beagles in several locations. Certainly the kids present thought the dog(s) were cute. I wouldn't have minded a German Shepherd, but then I grew up with one.

Earnest Prole said...

they make the dog look alert and ready for whatever. "Down" ears seems more low-energy and uninterested.

I take it you've never spent time with Border Collies or Australian Shepherds, two of the most alert breeds. My Aussie is interested in "helping" with everything I do.

Earnest Prole said...

After TWA Flight 800 the French military started using dogs to sniff passengers sitting in the international boarding area at Charles de Gaulle. They used German Shepherds, not Poodles.

rcocean said...

Just get some bassett hounds.

talk about "Un-threatening"

John said...

I owned a Cardigan Welsch Corgi for about 16-years. I was scared to go to sleep every night because he had pointy ears, fortunately for me, he couldn't jump as high as the box springs so once my feet were off the ground I was safe. Of course in the morning when my feet hit the carpet I had the terror of having my toes licked.

I don't know how I survived. Oh wait, I am a baby boomer and not a millennial so it wasn't so bad for me.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Belgian Malinois... or Rottweilers let the bad guys sweat, they'll smell it. My neighbor just put down his German Shepard of 14 years. Best dog I've ever known, including the lab I grew up with.

Ann Althouse said...

“Just get some bassett hounds.“

Just 2 days ago, Basset Hounds scared me so much I screamed.

Not based on seeing them, but they ran at me barking.

Ralph L said...

Better give up the rabbit cologne.

Mountain Maven said...

Remember there has not been a successful terror airline attack in the TSA era. Get TSA Precheck and it's a breeze.

Bunkypotatohead said...

Pick dogs that scare terrorists the most.

Philip Sells said...

Cat's got murder in his eyes.