About Us

Our Drug Dogs

Drug Detection Dogs – Professional, Qualified Handlers

Our  drug detector dogs are trained to the highest standard in specialist scent detection by some of New Zealand’s most qualified detector dog trainers. The training team at New Zealand Detector Dogs have had years of experience and proven backgrounds in specialist training of detector dogs and Police dogs with some of the largest government agency dog programmes in NZ.

Our drug dogs are trained in our specialised training facility and we have developed standards that meet the International guidelines outlined by the SWGDOG organisation.

Although we have vast experience and knowledge gained from one of the most successful breeding programmes for scent detector dogs in New Zealand we have consciously chosen to make a difference.

New Zealand Detector Dogs policy is to source their drug dogs from the SPCA, pounds or animal welfare agencies in an effort to give the dogs that are unwanted or those considered untrainable a chance at having a productive and happy future.

Experience, Skills, Knowledge

While it may take a lot more expertise and patience to train such dogs, we are fortunate enough to have the experience, knowledge, skills and facilities to undertake this training. Our handlers and trainers are dedicated to bringing out the very best in each and every dog we take into our programme.

We select dogs not by breed, but by the qualities they possess and look for dogs of any or mixed breed that possess the intelligence, drive and desire to work safely in most environments. It is important to us that our drug dogs enjoy the role they are selected for and are effective in their work.

Fitness and psychological balance to the dog’s life is also considered essential to ensure that the dogs are able to work at their peak proficiency, while also having time out to ‘just be a dog’

New Zealand Detector Dogs takes pride in the high level of care and handling standards afforded to the dogs in our service.

Our motto:

“Our job is not to make dogs work – our job is to make dogs want to work”

Humane Society Story on one of our drug dogs.

K9 Indication

New Zealand Detector Dogs, drug dogs are trained to give a ‘passive response’ to their handler which means they will sit to indicate when they have located target drug odour such as Cannabis or Methamphetamine. They are trained in the most modern and up to date techniques and are a true passive response dog. Because of the environments we deploy in we do not use toys or throw balls around as a reward as this can be detrimental and unsafe in many of the safety sensitive sites we operate in.

How Long Can A Dog Work For?

New Zealand Detector Dogs will work its dogs in 30-50 minute sessions depending on the size of the site to be checked and the working conditions (temperature, number of items to be searched etc). It is up to the handler to ensure that their dog is working in a manner which maximises an efficient clearance of sites in an effective manner. This may mean they vary the time the dog is worked and give frequent breaks and drinks to their dog. As a general rule: for the amount of time a dog is worked in one session it will need an equal amount of time to rest. This ensures that when it is worked again it is working to its peak detection capability.


The safety of staff, employees and the drug dog team is of high priority when being deployed on safety sensitive worksites, such as construction sites, manufacturing sites or where there is machinery, chemicals or other hazards in the workplace. Some hazards which may affect successful operational deployment are temperature, fumes, toxic bait, food scraps, sharp surfaces, operational machinery, and chemical surface treatments.

Our drug dogs work in specially designed high visibility day/night harnesses to ensure their safety. Under most circumstances they will be worked on lead to minimise any risks to public or the dogs. We follow the best practice guidelines and standards which have been set by international experts from Police, Military, Government and Private organisations.

Our Company Mission Statement

To provide clients across NZ with safer, drug free environments using unwanted dogs from animal welfare and rescue agencies