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Industry Standards and Beyond

The role of detection dogs in helping protect Australia is becoming increasingly important. Increase in population and productivity is on the rise, therefore, increasing the pressure on existing strategies and detection technologies. Detector dogs are fast, versatile and mobile detection technology that can screen across a range of environments.

Therefore, detector dogs are the way of the future and play an essential role in strengthening Australia’s screening systems in response to a growing threat.

The World has acknowledged the benefits in canine screening and is the most sought after screening mechanism available. The American Detector standards have been the universal choice around the World. There are no official standards regarding explosive detection dogs in Australia. Detector Dogs Australia, therefore, adopts USA standards as a minimum to maintain International competency.

Detector Dogs Australia exceeds the International requirements and has taken our roles in this industry very seriously. The only reliable component to quality results is a quality animal that has an equally viable support and training system.

Detector Dogs Australia also utilises odours from multiple global suppliers from USA, Russia and Europe to ensure excellent coverage of all odours available.

What You Should Expect From A Professional Provider

Technology solutions are unable to match the speed and efficiency of a well-trained detection team. The United States Defence Advanced Research Project proved this after spending USD 19 billion over six years in an attempt to create a technology that matches the efficiency of a dog. Well-trained dogs were more effective every time.

In cargo environments, the Maritime industry has observed that dogs screen at more than twenty times the speed of any technological solution because of their mobility. With X-ray, every single piece of cargo must go through a machine, and a screener must interpret each picture. Likewise, with trace detection, every single piece of cargo must be swabbed. Both of these processes are incredibly time-consuming and labour-intensive. They interfere with the sorting process, add time to delivery, and increase overhead costs.

Because a well-trained dog can detect odours down to parts-per-trillion, dog teams can effectively sort at the pallet or unit load device level. They can move around the cargo to search without interfering with the sorting process or freight environment. Where it might take hours to screen a cargo shipment by X-ray or trace detection, a detection dog can screen that same shipment in a matter of minutes.

As you begin your conversations with detection service providers, here are some considerations to keep in mind:

Single-purpose detection dogs are critical to success in searching for either explosives or narcotics. You want to confirm dogs are not cross-trained for another form of detection. This ensures they remain focused on the target odour and the environment, and that the handler can clearly identify any alert.

Dogs should be imprinted to detect all five families of commercial and military-grade explosive odours. They should also be imprinted to detect homemade explosive odours (HMEs) too. Patterns of terrorist activity over the past ten years indicate increasing use of HMEs as they can be easily acquired without attracting attention. They have the potential to cause mass causality events. The 2010 printer cartridge bomb was found to contain the commercial explosive PETN.

Select a detection dog provider that is appropriately licensed to procure and store live explosives for training and testing.

Your detection service provider should have procedures for daily sustainment training of all detection dogs. These procedures ensure the dogs maintain peak odour proficiency throughout its career.

Any detection provider should be independently tested and validated.

Your potential provider should have a robust technology solution in place to address record-keeping requirements, such as transfer certificates or video documentation.

Explosive detection dogs provide an excellent addition to your business model to facilitate full compliance with regulatory standards. Not only is a properly trained dog, the best detector, but the speed and efficiency a dog provides are also unmatched. NOTE: Detector Dogs Australia is not a Security Service Provider. 

What Odours Can A Proficiently Trained Dog Detect?

Pure Odour is what they can detect, Not Pseudo



How Sniffer Dogs Are Trained.

A detection dog is a dog that is trained to and works at using its senses, mainly their sense of smell, to detect a variety of substances. Their sense of smell is thousands of times much stronger, and fifty times more sensitive than that of a human’s, which is why a sniffer dog is used for several screening operations.

Sniffer dogs have no interest in the odour themselves. What they’re searching for is their reward. Their training program has led them to associate the reward with the odour. The sniffer dogs’ strong desire to search compels them to seek out what they’ve been trained to find, so the rarely falsely signal to get a reward, in their minds, finding traces of an odour is the reward.

So they do not make a fuss nor is there any malice. Drug detection dogs are taught two kinds of alerting responses; the passive and the active. Drug dogs generally use an active alert, where they dig and paw at the location where they smell the drugs without causing damage to personal or business property. When searching for explosives, they will use a passive approach, as scratching the location could be dangerous.

During the early stages of training, the sniffer dog will receive a reward when it displays any form of recognition of the target scent. As the dog’s skills progress, the reward will only be given when the dog responds with the correct reaction (e.g. sit, stand, stare, down, bark, etc…)

Canine Sniffer dogs and their handlers undergo extensive training for months to be certified and are successful because of their ability to work as a team. They will carry out testing and retraining throughout their entire careers to ensure their skills are reliable and up to standard. (Dogs typically stay assigned to the handler they were trained with, and the team is continuously re-tested together)

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A good work ethic which requires little talent.

Being on time, if you can’t be on time, then be early
Effort, give more than is expected
Embrace ownership
Work responsibly
Positive attitude
Display passion
Show energy
Be respectful
Be prepared
Be polite

Detector Dogs Australia is not constrained by what already exists; we lead the way by introducing new ways to achieve success.

Our canine detection teams are Internationally qualified with the capability of providing a highly efficient screening process for various scenarios. High profile event committees, manufacturing facilities, transportation companies, service firms, airlines, and schools are all requesting information about our detection services. For centuries dogs have helped people with hunting, herding, and protection. These examples clearly show that dogs are capable of much more. Only our imaginations may limit what dogs might do in the future.

Detector Dogs Australia is a wholly-owned Australian canine service providing scent detection search capabilities with the use of highly trained detection dogs. We do not perform any work associated with the Private Security Act 2004.

Detector Dogs Australia dogs are much more versatile than a mechanical device, and a single dog can be trained to detect thousands of relevant substances.

“Our goal is to work with clients to create safer environments for their staff and the world we live in.

DDA specialises in providing effective and reliable, National canine search teams covering many target odours. Selection, training and certification standards for detector dog teams are qualified to the International NPCA certifying official number PD 038.

Our proven results demonstrate high energy, self-motivated detector dog teams that are capable of working longer, more efficiently and more reliably than dogs that are pushed through a rushed course using large quantity scent targets to stimulate their indication response.

Detector Dogs Australia provides solutions to governments, private corporations and non-governmental organisations worldwide. We offer a wide range of training and consultancy services that are tailored to your requirements; to assist you in establishing, improving and supporting your organisation, in challenging environments.

To help optimise the performance of your organisation, Detector Dogs Australia will combine all of its capabilities in the delivery of its services. Detector Dogs Australia has the flexibility in immediate adaptation to changing circumstances and can design and tailor solutions to the challenges your organisation may face.

As the cornerstone of our company philosophy, we offer our clients multiple resources, while maintaining a honeymoon period. Our management team, including the Managing Directors, form an active part of the day to day operations, with an emphasis on delivering optimum service and being accessible to our clients.

The Victorian State Government has embarked on a courageous effort to tackle illegal narcotic in our Mental Health Wards. The operation is working very well. Many Hospitals are also taking the initiative to create a safer living and working environment by deploying the services of Detector Dogs Australia.

We offer a practical approach to eliminating drug activity in a variety of situations. We work with schools, universities, prisons, hospitals, offices, warehouses, mines, oil and gas industry and many other venues.

Our services are integrated into our client’s substance abuse policy and have led to the reduction of substance use.

Detector Dogs Australia is proud to offer services to the public and private school campuses in Australia. Unlike other canine programs, our dogs are specially trained to detect a wide variety of key substances.

With noses 10,000 times more sensitive than human’s, our friendly, dogs detect illicit narcotics listed above but not limited to.

Detector Dogs Australia mission is to provide a cost-effective deterrence and intervention program to assist our client schools in achieving “near-zero” instances of substance on their campuses. By dovetailing with existing programs, we help to provide a school atmosphere focused on education, minimising the safety concerns associated with the presence of drugs and weapons.

Our program sends a clear message to students, parents and the community served by your schools that you have taken a considered, proactive approach to eliminate substances from your campuses.

Detector Dogs Australia sells untrained (green), partly trained or fully trained dogs – Belgian Malinois, German Shepherds, Dobermanns, Rottweiler and Working Springer Spaniels for multiple applications. Our dogs are currently provided to many National and International Law Enforcement Departments, Breeders and dog sport competitors. Our focus is on providing dogs that have been extensively developed for the task/s required. We have eliminated downtime by completing pre-offer testing and development, thereby allowing handler/trainers to commence training to meet your operational requirements immediately.

Detector Dogs Australia can supply fully trained dogs to meet your specific requirements – ready for deployment. Provide us with your specifications, and we’ll do the rest. With Australia’s best equipped canine training facility, Detector Dogs Australia caters for Breeding, Handler training, Trained dogs, Purpose bred working puppies, Training Seminars, Training Products, Performadog Super Premium Dry Dog Food, Purposely Developed Training curriculum for you or your agency.

Forty-nine years plus thirty-nine years of combined experience in our Directors provides us with extensive Global canine partners, and as such, we can source and import dogs for any purpose. All dogs are tested explicitly by our principals to ensure they meet your working and health demands.

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In accordance with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, commenced the development and implementation of an affirmative action approach for all employment and training practices on 2 February 2015.

This policy is designed to ensure that all members of the community are afforded the same opportunities, training and support, regardless of gender.

Policy and Practice

Such an approach to gender equity, permeates the spectrum of decisions made and practices maintained throughout Detector Dogs Australia. By example, all staff members are considered equally and on merit in the following areas of Practice and opportunity, regardless of gender:

✓ Recruitment

✓ Opportunities and Engagement in Professional Learning

✓ Opportunities to develop capacity in acting positions and/or positions of added responsibility

✓ Professional Conversations and Reflections

✓ Line Management Support

✓ Exit Interview and Reflections

✓ Mental Health and Well being Care

✓ Remuneration

Conversely, the deliberate absence of gender quotas supports the approach that all staff are afforded equal consideration in all employment and training decisions.


The Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth) (which replaced the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999 (Cth)) includes the following key aims, which resonate strongly with the DDA’s

Approach to:

✓ promote and improve gender equality (including equal remuneration between women and men) in employment and in the workplace

✓ support employers to remove barriers to the full and equal participation of women in the workforce, in recognition of the disadvantaged position of women in relation to employment matters

✓ promote, amongst employers, the elimination of discrimination on the basis of gender in relation to employment matters (including in regard to the family and caring responsibilities)

✓ foster workplace consultation between employers and employees on issues concerning gender equality in employment and in the workplace

✓ improve the productivity and competitiveness of Australian business through the advancement of gender equality in employment and in the workplace.

Practices include a review of our workforce and personnel policies and Practice in the areas of recruitment, selection, transfer, promotion and reclassification, staff training, professional learning and work conditions