About Us

Our Standards

New Zealand Detector Dogs – Leading The Way

It is important to New Zealand Detector Dogs that our detector dog teams are operating to a high level of proficiency, their indications are accurate and reliable and teams are deployed in an effective and efficient manner. A high standard of K9 fitness, healthcare, welfare and safety is also essential.

We have set the standards in New Zealand that all other companies now aspire to.

There are two main aspects to assessing and measuring performance in these areas:

Validation Testing

This is generally used when a legal right to search may be required to be established or where you wish to measure the accuracy of a detector dog team. This test is conducted in a controlled environment and tests a dog team’s recognition and identification of target odour. New Zealand Detector Dog teams operate to a high level of proficiency with our K9’s being tested annually by recognised, qualified assessors.

Operational Field Reviews

This is where the dog team is assessed in their operational environment. The purpose is to ensure that the dog team is deployed in a manner that maximises their effectiveness and efficiency when screening. This assessment also covers the physical and psychological care and management of a detector dog to ensure they are maintained to a high level of health and fitness in order to ensure that they are able to operate to their peak potential.


In 2009 Janet Williams was invited to attend the SWGDOG Conference in Tampa, Florida (Scientific Working Group on Dog and Orthogonal Detector Guidelines). This group of international experts set about establishing best practices for detection teams to improve interdiction efforts as well as courtroom acceptance of dog indication evidence by improving the consistency and performance of deployed detector dogs.

Our standards and certification processes are based on these best practice guidelines – which we were proud to have contributed to.

Through our accreditation and proficiency testing services we hope to assist other serious operators of detector dogs set similarly high standards of proficiency and care which define and set the standards for their industry increasing credibility and client confidence in the use of their detector dog teams.

New Zealand is in the infancy of private detector dog operations and has a unique opportunity to set and maintain high quality standards in order to provide and promote confidence in the use of detector dogs as a reliable and accurate detection tool.

New Zealand Detector Dogs carries out annual validation testing by qualified assessors. The tests carried out meet international guidelines for specialist scent detector dogs and is the highest possible level achievable in New Zealand at present. There is no other company in New Zealand that matches our standards.

“NZ Detector Dogs are brilliant. I have worked alongside Janet Williams who is the Auckland company director and covers the upper North Island. Wayne services the South Island and lower North Island. I can’t speak highly enough of them.

Their reputation, their professionalism and their success rate in “indications’” far exceeds any other “drug dog” company I have worked with over the past 15 years. I have received a considerable amount of positive feedback from a number of “very satisfied” companies.”

As a specialist in Workplace Drug and Alcohol Policy development, training and testing I would seriously advise companies to consider drug dog searches as part of the mix of options for keeping their worksites drug free.”
Sue Nolan, Drug Free Sites

Our Training Capabilities

New Zealand Detector Dogs uses secure training facilities specifically set up for the training of their dog teams in controlled environments. This is important when undertaking scent association and establishing good foundation training for new dogs. The training is undertaken by qualified, recognised K9 trainers.

Only real drugs, explosive components and target odours are used for the initial training of the dogs to ensure the K9’s are proficient and reliable in identifying and discriminating real odour from similar odours.

Because of our expertise, experience and quality training facilities we are able to select, train and maintain the proficiency of our dog teams to an exceptional level which meets international standards.

With a team of recognised, specialist scent detector dog trainers clients can be assured that our teams are proficient, accurate and the best in the country!

Our Company Mission Statement

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