Dog Operations


Lisa - Dogs Unit

This Unit has been operational since 1997 and as a functional arm of the State Special Operations Group, is required to maintain a state of preparedness to respond to emergency incidents and allied activities in accordance with defined standards of response.

The Dog Operations Unit is located at Technical Rescue, 480 Grand Junction Road Angle Park and also at the Royal Society for the Blind, Gilles Plains. Training occurs at metropolitan and rural locations such as Mount Crawford and Para Wirra. The Unit conducts two training sessions a week, on Thursday evenings from 7.30pm and Sundays from 8.00 a.m. Thursday training is usually held at Angle Park but may be held at Gilles Plains as training needs dictate


The primary role of the Unit is to support the SAPOL Dog Operations Section in searches involving tracking and air scenting for both missing persons and articles with human scent contamination. In addition, the unit is active in assisting rescue Units in the conduct of reconnaissance work at times of major flood or storm damage. It also has an active participation at public events such as the Royal Adelaide Show, Police Expo and various rural Field Days.

About Our Members

Members within this Unit, participate either as Dog Handlers or Support Members. Both roles are very important to the success of the unit.

Dog Handlers bring their own dogs into the unit and must be prepared to commit to the daily responsibilities of exercising, and training a dog in obedience and agility. Expenses for the dog such as working equipment, food and annual veterinarian vaccinations and check up are only provided by SES to operational dog teams. The dog and handler must work towards and pass the "Operational Standards" set by the SES Dog Operations.

Dog Handlers need to have a keen interest in dog training and the enthusiasm to maintain their training with the dog while at home. Regular Dog Operations Unit training and continuous assessment of dog teams is carried out. this an integral part of the training commitment required of the SES dog handler. 

Support Members are trained to work side-by-side with the Dog Handlers and the dogs to carry out search and rescue operations and allied duties. The support member, although not having responsibility for training or care of a dog, must be committed to participating in regular training and operational response to achieve and maintain the required standards of competence as a support member.

     Dog Unit - Mapping


   Dog Unit - Rundle Mall

Both Support Members and Dog Handlers have training which may include:

  • SES Dog Operations Unit Induction;
  • Map reading / GPS navigation;
  • Communication;
  • Land search operations;
  • Reconnaissance; and
  • First aid.

There is no maximum age for members of the Dog Operations Unit. However, a good level of health and fitness is required for both Support Members and Dog Handlers as they are required to walk long distances and often over rough terrain whilst training or in operation.

 Dog Unit - Jack

Join Us

If you meet the following criteria then you should phone the SES to enquire about joining the Dog Operations Unit on 1300 364 587 during office hours, or fill in the online form.

  • Over 18 years of age.
  • Have reasonable health and fitness.
  • Keen to work with dogs and learn new skills.
  • Available for training sessions and incident callouts.