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Detector dog program

Detector dogs help us protect Australia's border

Detector dogs help us protect Australia's border

We train detector dogs to find prohibited and restricted goods. They can check people, products and large areas quickly, without discrimination or intrusion.

Other government law enforcement agencies also use our detector dogs.

We operate out of a purpose-built facility in Melbourne, Victoria. The facility manages operations, breeding and training.

Become foster carer for an Australian Border Force pup.

DDP Officer:

Do you love dogs? Enjoy getting out and about? Have a safe and secure yard?

Then why not apply to be a foster carer for an Australian Border Force pup.

A nurturing home and lots of socialisation is needed to raise Australian Border Force pups to become detector dogs. This is why we need your help to foster them.

Foster Carer:

Being a Detector Dog Program Foster Carer is an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

The staff are very supportive and regularly come and collect to assess his/her development progress.

We’ve learned a lot about developing and caring for our dog and the Program covers all his/her food and medical expenses.

DDP Officer:

As a foster carer you will need to have access to a vehicle, take the pup for daily walks and undertake three socialisation activities each week.

For up to 18 months you can experience the joy of raising a pup with the knowledge that one day this little guy may grow up to protect Australia’s borders.

DDP Officer:

If you live in the western or northern suburbs of Melbourne and would like to foster one of our future detector dogs, find out how by visiting abf.gov.au/detectordogs

Breeding program

We choose breeding pairs carefully, to reduce the risk of hereditary medical conditions.

We want to produce dogs that are bold, outgoing and have a strong drive to hunt.


See breeding program details

Training program

Learning to be a detector dog, and a handler, is challenging.

Each detector dog team (dog and handler) needs to do at least 7 months’ training together before graduating.

See training program details

How to foster a detector dog

Submit Foster Carer Application