Apparently I had more to worry about than I thought. The man who sat beside me on the flight from San Francisco to Beijing had to wait a little longer than I did for his bags to appear. While I was thinking "Drat! No Chinese customs agency baggage-sniffing beagles! I could have sneaked in some cheese and other stuff" he was observing things I couldn't see. From his email just now:
Apropos the cheese beagle...no more than 2 minutes after you left baggage claim yesterday the little fellow came sniffing up your track... he left carousel 40 with a rather hang-dog look! No fun at flight 889 for him!
I believe this marks the end of my cheese-beagle chronicles. To commemorate this moment, a LA Times picture of some American sniffer-beagles. The Chinese ones look pretty similar but don't wear the little nylon coats, which remind me of the windbreakers saying "FBI" or "SHERIFF" that you see on cops in TV reality shows.