Why use detector dogs when we have drug testing?
Drug dogs generally come before drug testing - they are the tool which helps you decide who should be drug tested or where the risk of drug use, possession and impairment may be. This approach may enable organisations to streamline their approach and result in targeting the risk in the most cost effective and efficient manner.
Drug dogs are also the most effective tool for identifying the actual presence of drugs or drug paraphernalia on your site, within your organisation or areas such as company vehicles and lockers. Drug testing will not identify drug dealers or couriers or other such illegal activity associated with drug use, possession or supply.
Do you carry out drug testing?Although our handlers are qualified collectors and have extensive training in managing drugs and alcohol in the worksite, we do not carry out follow up drug testing as it is a perceived 'conflict of interest'. Best practice is for independent testing to be carried out so there can be no perception that the dog indications are biased or contrived.
Our company is the leading provider of drug and explosives detector dogs in the private sector of New Zealand.
Our staff are highly trained with proven, documented professional backgrounds in specialist dog handling.
Staff with extensive police & government agency backgrounds and experience with an excellent understanding of legal and employment procedures.
Our dogs have undertaken comprehensive training in our specialised training facility and their proficiency and accuracy is maintained throughout their career.
Our company has developed Certification & Proficiency Standards based on the International guidelines of SWGDOG.Organisation, they are certified by qualified assessors so you can have confidence in our findings and they will stand up to legal scrutiny.
We set the highest standards of service and delivery to our clients and have the training, experience and expertise to advise you on how to manage the risk we detect in your worksite.
There are International Guidelines that define what constitutes a 'detector dog handler', who is competent to train a detector dog and the guidelines surrounding all detector dog disciplines. These guidelines have been developed by experts and professionals in the Military, Police, government, legal, private and scientific sectors from at least 50 different countries. Janet Williams was invited to attend this group and contribute as a guest member along with other experts and subject matter experts in their field.
A ‘scent’ detector dog handler is considered a specialist field and to be defined as a ‘detector dog handler’ you must have successfully completed a recognised course of canine handling, through a recognised organisation and have proven and documented evidence of training courses, operational deployment records, maintenance, proficiency and certifications you have undertaken throughout your professional career. In NZ the only handlers who would qualify would be those who have had full time professional careers in the government agencies such as Police, MAF, Customs etc.
Sporting and amateur handlers such as agility, show, obedience, schutzhund, rescue dogs, field and hunting dog handlers do not meet this criteria.
As the information provided by a drug dog handler may form the basis for legal, employment or procedural proceedings it is important that the handler is able to provide evidence of their training and level of expertise and it can stand up to legal scrutiny.
Our handlers all have many years of professional experience and the credentials that support any evidence they may have to give.
Can anyone train a drug dog?
No! A canine trainer is required to have several years of full time professional handling experience in the specialist field of scent detection with a proven and documented history of the dogs they have handled. Once they have this basic foundation they then need to take on additional training to be considered a canine trainer. A qualified canine trainer should be able to produce evidence of the additional training undertaken, evidence of dogs and teams they have successfully trained and have a proven track record over a period of years.
While it may seem relatively simple to train a dog to find drugs – the science behind ensuring this is done to a standard high enough to withstand legal scrutiny is anything but simple.
Inexperienced trainers are simply unaware of the extensive foundations that must be established to support the accuracy and reliability of a dog team in order to be considered as reliable evidence or information.
The risk is that you may be acting on inaccurate and incorrect advice and all processes that stem from that may be invalidated. It could result in staff being reinstated, compensated or worse legal proceedings initiated against your company. We would liken it to using a home handyman versus a qualified electrician.
Are your dog teams police certified?
No - the Police do not certify any private operators of detector dogs, so any claims of this are misleading.
Our dogs are certified to a standard based oin the International Guidelines of SWGDOG. Organisation by qualified assessors each year to ensure our clients can have confidence in our indications, but more importantly that we can establish the legal and legitimate reason to initiate the appropriate proceedings as a result of our indications.
In addition to the annual certifications we carry out a process known as a ‘Field Review’ which audits the operational deployment and care of the detector dogs. This is to ensure that the dogs are handled, deployed and managed to the highest possible level to ensure they are able to perform to their peak proficiency. The Field Review process was developed by Janet Williams and has been used by detector dog programmes in the government sector to assess and maintain the proficiency of their detector dog teams.
Our dogs receive continual and on going training in our national training facility to keep them proficient and to address any operational deficiencies that may occur.
What breed of dog do you use?
We do not choose dogs by breed, but by the qualities they possess. Detector dogs are not bred, they are developed by experienced and skilled trainers. Many do not have the skills or facilities to develop such quality dogs so rely on purchasing pre trained dogs from other agencies or overseas suppliers. At NZ Detector Dogs we only use dogs from animal welfare organisations that would not otherwise be rehomed in an effort to make a difference to the huge number of dogs euthanased each year. We train these dogs to meet international standards of specialist detection and as a result our dogs are sought by many overseas agencies.
What areas do you cover?
Our Drug Dogs provide nationwide coverage to all areas: Northland, Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Napier, Hastings, Palmerston North, Wellington, Chirstchurch, Timaru, West Coast, Dunedin, Invercargill - and everywhere in between!,