What kind of work can dogs be used for

In the private security industry, we generally associate dog handlers with patrolling, searches, alarm response and supporting security officers in the event of an incident.

Guard dogs also have recognised preventative value. Given a choice between targeting one premises or another the presence of guard dogs will certainly be a serious factor for any criminal planning.

However, dogs can also be used for numerous other jobs:

  • Sniffer dogs – to look for:
    • Cigarettes
    • Currency
    • Drugs
    • Explosives
    • Wildlife
    • Blood
    • Contraband electronics such as illegal mobile phones, hidden hard disks/memory sticks etc
  • Search and rescue
  • Cadaver dogs – under the category sniffer dog but specially trained to look for dead bodies

I’ve read stories about dogs being trained to detect diseases – an interesting article can be read here:

6 medical conditions that dogs can sniff out – From cancer to migraines and even seizures, dogs can give us a heads up about a range of human diseases:


Although some activities are only carried out by trained police or military personnel, the role of the private security industry is rapidly expanding and the role of the dog handler as specialist is bound to develop within that trend.

Many dog handlers will have police or military backgrounds. If you are interested in learning more about the profession, training and career paths a very good place to start is with NASDU – National Association of Security Dog Users:

On their home page you will find 3 options:

  • Security Guarding Dogs
  • Security Detection Dogs
  • Search & Rescue Dogs

The NASDU site is packed full of useful information.

Another organisation worth checking out is The British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers