Military working dogs and their handlers are responsible for providing security, crime prevention patrols, emergency response and intruder detection, both on RAAF Bases and in deployed locations around the world.
The two main breeds of military working dogs used by RAAF are the German Shepherd and the Belgian Shepherd Malinois. The dogs are often from Air Force’s own breeding program, and members of the public can volunteer to foster Air Force puppies.
Dogs and handlers are carefully matched to ensure they can work well together. Once matched, handlers and their dogs work together to maintain a high standard of fitness and training. Both handlers and their dogs are tested regularly to ensure they are ready to deploy at any time.
Handlers are responsible for the care and welfare of their dog on a daily basis, including feeding their dog and cleaning their kennels. Over time, they form a strong bond.
Where possible, military work dogs will retire to their handler’s home at the end of their Air Force service. A number of checks are undertaken to ensure the dog can enjoy a happy and healthy retirement after their loyal service.