All handlers and their Quarantine Detector Dogs (QDDs) have to receive a two-month special training arranged by Australian experts. During the training, the handlers will familiarise the QDDs with different kinds of target animal odours (e.g. those from puppies, kittens, rabbits or birds), and train them to sit and await their food rewards whenever they detect a target odour. This sit-for-reward behaviour is called “passive” response in the field of animal training. In general, travellers find such “passive” response non-threatening and acceptable.
Having passed the basic training and assessment, the QDDs will be led by their handlers to the boundary entry points or airport passenger terminal for further on-site training. Besides, the Quarantine Detector Dog Team (QDD Team) has specially procured a large goods vehicle with demountable skip to provide specialised training to the QDDs in a simulated real-world setting. The QDD Team is based at Ta Kwu Ling Operation Centre where comfortable kennels and training area are provided for the well-being of the QDDs.