Officers’ canine companions undertake training in South East SA

The canine companions of the South Australian Police Dog Operation Unit are invited to a working vacation in the southeast of the state.

Important points:

  • Police dog handlers and their canines traveled to the southeast to train in a different setting
  • Your handlers say the dogs must be exposed to work outside of subway areas
  • Police say the dogs have been well received in the cities where they are not seen often

Nineteen Brevet Sergeant Police Dog Handlers brought 15 German Shepherds and 12 passive alert Labrador drug detection dogs – or firearms and explosives detection dogs – to exercise in Millicent, Rendelsham, Beachport and Southend.

Operations and Training Director Sergeant Simon Rosenhahn said the dogs were trained to get them used to out-of-town environments.

“It is not good to train a dog on the same street all the time, they will get very good at doing what they have to do on that street,” he said.

“If we can mess up the environment and expose the dogs to a wider variety of tasks, they’ll become operationally better dogs,” said Sergeant Rosenhahn.

“We always try to make the training as realistic as possible to expose it to the different areas down here like the pine forests – it’s just another piece of exposure.”

The German Shepherd Zac is one of the 27 dogs that were trained in the southeast.

ABC South East SA: Becc Chave


Uninterrupted training

The entire dog mission unit was able to train their dogs in the southeast over the past two weeks.

The group stayed at Noorla Yo-Long Blue Light Camp in Rendelsham and lectured at Rendelsham Primary School, Beachport Primary School and met with cadets from the Mount Gambier Air Force.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to search, up and down arrows to volume.Play video.  Duration: 34 seconds Taco, SAPOL’s passive drug detection dog, sniffs out a suspicious package while training at Millicent. (ABC South East SA: Rebecca Chave)

“Most of the work is done alone, [just] Dog handler and the dog so it was great to get together in the southeast and take advantage of all the different cities, “said Sergeant Rosenhahn.

“We can do great hunts for clues with the shepherds in the streets and through backyards, and it is precisely that skill to train non-stop.

“When we trained in Adelaide, we were often called to a lot of operational duties, so having a week-long training block is ideal for us to really develop the dog’s capabilities.”

“Your dog operation unit”

The carers said they had a great experience meeting residents in regional cities.

“I think as soon as a police officer walks down the street with a police dog, everyone wants to say hello,” said Sergeant Rosenhahn.

A dog is standing in the trunk of a car, next to it is a man in police uniform Labrador Taco with handler, Brevet Sergeant Gavin Parish, at Millicent. (

ABC South East SA: Becc Chave


“We really appreciate that.

“It’s great for us to interact with the public like this, but like any working dog, be it a guide dog or a police dog, we just need to make sure that when” [the dogs] work, they are not there to be petted.

“I know you [regional communities] Don’t see their dog department as often as they do on the subway – I think it’s fantastic that they come and say hello. “

Police dogs also turn on and off

What may not be known about police dogs is that the dog’s routine mirrors the routine of its handlers.

Every dog ​​will spend its entire life with its handler, clocking in and out at the same time, leaving its handler’s house for work in the morning and coming home with him at night.

And finally, at the age of seven, the handler retired.

A white dog in a vest standing in the back of the trunk The dogs’ routines mimic those of their handlers. (

ABC South East SA: Becc Chave


“When I am free, my dog ​​is free and when I am on vacation our dog is on vacation,” said Sergeant Rosenhahn.

“They walk and go to the beach on days off, much like a normal dog … but we always make sure the dog has the most fun at work so that he can walk happily.

“The moment they see us put on a uniform or start the car, they are stormy.

“When you’re at work, it’s time to work, so are completely different dogs.”

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