A Queensland Police Service (QPS) General Purpose Dog is trained to perform multiple functions which include obedience and agility exercises to build partnership skills. These are important functions as handlers must maintain control over their dogs at all times.
General purpose dogs skills are used in many situations such as tracking (following a person's scent) to find offenders and missing people if they are moving on foot. They are equipped with an excellent sense of smell making them invaluable for searching buildings, enclosed areas and bushland. Here the dog searches for scent drifting in the air and follows it to locate a person. Their sense of smell is also used for searching an area for recently discarded property or evidence. Other duties include assisting with the control of crowds which may threaten the safety of the general public.
Specialist police dogs are trained to perform specific tasks requiring precise training. Teams from the Drug Detection Unit of the Brisbane Dog Squad are trained to search for dangerous drugs including Cocaine, Amphetamines, Heroin, Ecstasy and Cannabis. These handler/dog teams can be used for interior and exterior searching of dwellings, vehicles and vessels.
The Firearms Explosives Detector Dogs (FEDD) are trained to search for all types of explosives including firearms and ammunition and are based in Brisbane. These handler/dog teams are engaged prior to major events or VIP visits to assess the safety of the area. The handler/dog teams are also trained in locating hidden firearms and/or ammunition.
Other specialist dogs can be trained for cadaver searches and locating evidence of fire accelerants at fire scenes. Several QPS dogs assisted in locating victims of the recent Victorian bushfires.
The QPS police dogs have a great life. At the end of the shift the dog is taken home with the handler and spends their time off with the handler and their family. The dog and handler work exclusively as a team from start to finish which makes it easy to understand how they become very attached to each other. The dogs receive the very best attention, food and veterinary care to ensure their health and happiness throughout their lives.