How to Become a Security Dog Handler in Queensland

how to become a security dog handler in queensland

How to Become a Security Dog Handler in Queensland

Becoming a security dog handler in Queensland (QLD) is a rewarding career path that combines a passion for working with animals with a dedication to public safety.

This profession requires specialised training, certification, and a commitment to continuous learning.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to become a security dog handler in QLD.

Understanding the Role of a Security Dog Handler in QLD

Before embarking on this career path, it’s important to understand the role of a security dog handler. Handlers work closely with trained dogs to detect and deter criminal activities, patrol areas, and respond to security threats.

The job involves significant physical activity, strong observational skills, and the ability to manage and care for the dog.

Prerequisites and Skills Required

  1. Physical Fitness: The role is physically demanding, requiring long hours on foot and the ability to handle a strong, active dog. Good physical fitness is essential.
  2. Communication Skills: Effective communication with the dog, team members, and the public is crucial.
  3. Patience and Commitment: Training a security dog and maintaining its skills requires patience and dedication.
  4. Interest in Animal Behavior: A genuine interest in and understanding of canine behavior is beneficial.

Steps to Become a Security Dog Handler

  1. Meet Basic Requirements
  • Age and Background Check: You must be at least 18 years old and pass a background check. Security work requires a clean criminal record.
  • Driver’s Licence: A valid driver’s licence is often necessary, as the job may require travel between various locations.
  1. Gain Relevant Experience
  • Volunteer Work: Gain experience by volunteering at animal shelters, veterinary clinics, or training facilities. This helps you understand canine behavior and handling techniques.
  • Work in Security: Prior experience in the security industry is important and you will need to hold a Class 1 Security Providers Licence in order to add Dog Patrol onto your licence.
  1. Complete Required Training
  • Security Training Courses: Enrol in a security training course approved by the Office of Fair Trading Queensland. This typically includes units on crowd control, security operations, and emergency response.
  • Canine Handling Training: Specialised training programs for security dog handling are available through accredited training providers. These programs cover obedience training, detection skills, protection training, and handler-dog communication. Asset College offers a comprehensive Security Dog Handlers course.
  1. Obtain a Security Provider License
  • To work legally as a security dog handler in QLD, you must obtain a Security Provider License from the Office of Fair Trading Queensland. This involves completing the necessary training and passing a criminal history check.
  1. Get Certified
  • Handler and Dog Certification: Both the handler and the dog must be certified. Certification programs test the skills and readiness of the handler-dog team, ensuring they meet industry standards. This may involve practical assessments and examinations.
  1. Join a Security Firm or Start Your Own Business
  • Employment: Apply for positions with security firms that offer dog handling services. Gaining experience with an established company can provide valuable insights and further training opportunities.
  • Self-Employment: Some handlers choose to start their own security dog services business. This requires additional skills in business management and marketing.
  1. Continuous Training and Recertification
  • Ongoing Training: Security dogs and handlers must undergo continuous training to maintain their skills. Regular drills, scenario-based training, and refreshers on detection techniques are crucial.
  • Recertification: Periodic recertification ensures that the handler and dog remain compliant with industry standards and regulations.

Career Advancement and Opportunities

With experience, security dog handlers can advance to supervisory or training roles. Opportunities also exist in specialised fields such as explosive detection, search and rescue, and high-security environments. Additional certifications and advanced training can open up further career paths within the security industry.


Becoming a security dog handler in Queensland is a fulfilling career that offers the chance to work with animals while playing a crucial role in public safety. It requires dedication, training, and a commitment to ongoing education.

By following the steps outlined above, aspiring handlers can embark on a rewarding journey that combines their passion for canines with a vital security function. W

hether working for a security firm or running a personal business, security dog handlers contribute significantly to maintaining safety and order in various settings across Queensland.

Find out more about our Security Dog Handlers Course.

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