There were a few tails wagging at Corrections' National Office as drug detector dog teams from around the country came to Wellington to take part in a special training session.

Aussie, Spark and Wally pay attention.Up to 30 colleagues volunteered as subjects for dogs Preston, Aussie, Spark and Wally to test out their body scanning skills searching for contraband on people under a timed trial.

Earlier in the day the dogs under the guidance of their respective handlers, Ricky, Matt, Fiona and Kent, put their noses to the test to sniff out substantial quantities of drugs at a session held at NZ Customs headquarters.

Our drug detector dog teams have partnered with Police and Customs to develop a more joined-up training approach to share best practice and offer greater development opportunities for the dogs.

For instance, working with Customs gave the dogs the chance to search for larger quantities of drugs, which has a huge impact on their sense of smell.

“It’s important that our detector dogs continually hone their skills. The drug market is constantly changing, so these training sessions help our dogs stay ahead of the game,” says Principal Tactical Dog Instructor Craig Statham.

Detector Dog team (l to r): Matt Feterika and Aussie, Ricky Trevithick and Preston, Southern Regional Manager Damian Hancock, Kent Sanders and Wally, and Fiona Muir and Spark.
Wally in action.
Preston detects.