National OK9 network: Border Force

Say ‘hello’ to the OK9 wellbeing and trauma support dogs and their handlers in Border Force.

These dogs are all members of the national OK9 wellbeing and trauma support dog network and are able to attend the aftermath of a major incident to support those affected by trauma. They also get the opportunity to attend national events and to support our wellbeing outreach service. 


OK9 dog Max sitting in front of a Border Force van


  • Breed: English Springer Spaniel
  • Likes: Running in muddy puddles and playing fetch
  • Favourite toy: Kong
  • Character / traits: Very sensible when working but a typical crazy Spaniel the rest of the time
  • Favourite food: Cheese

Claire McDonald is Max's handler. She has been a team leader with Border Force for 16 years and has experience of handling and training operational dogs.

The team’s trial has been extended for a further six months to allow Claire to complete additional training. They cover Border Force’s North Region which includes North England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and North Wales.

Max is a retired search dog. They are both enjoying their new roles where the focus is on helping staff.