Message from the Chief Commissioner

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Guard with a Dog

Release date: Wed 2 January 2013

Last updated: Thu 14 November 2013

Section 3 of the Private Security Act 2004 outlines that:

A security guard means a person who is employed or retained to protect, watch or guard any property by any means, which may involve one or more of the following:

(a) the protecting, guarding or watching of any property by patrolling the property in person-

  • (i) while exercising control over a dog; or
  • (ii) while armed with a firearm; or
  • (iii) while unarmed; or
  • (iv) being the collecting, transferring or delivering cash or other valuables while armed with a firearm;

(b) the protecting, guarding or watching of any property by monitoring the property by operating a security system that utilises closed circuit television, a closed circuit monitoring system, radio or other similar device -

  • (i) where the person may be requested to attend an activity; or
  • (ii) where the person cannot or does not attend an activity;

As such, dogs cannot be used for other licence activities, for example crowd control purposes.

Note: Commercial yard dogs which are left on their own at premises as a deterrent to thieves are not captured by the Private Security Act 2004.

The relevant legislation applicable to the use of dogs for private security duties are the following:

  • Domestic Animals Act 1994
  • Domestic Animals Regulations 2005
  • Code of Practice for the Operation of Dog Training Establishments
  • Private Security Act 2004

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does the dog have to be trained?

It will be a condition of any security guard licence with the sub activity of "Guard with a Dog" that dogs used for security purposes must be trained to the minimum obedience level as defined by Regulation 49 of the Domestic Animals Regulations 2005.

What breed of dog can be used for private security work?

Any breed of dog can be used for private security work however if a dog has undergone "protection training" it must be a breed of dog specific to those breeds outlined in the Department of Primary Industries' 'Code of Practice for the Operation of Dog Training Establishments'.

For further information on "protection training", please refer to the Domestic Animals Act 1994 and the Department of Primary Industries' Code of Practice for the Operation of Dog Training Establishments.

What are the training requirements for the dog handler/licence holder?

A Certificate III in Security Operations and the specific units can be found by clicking here.

Please Note: As at the date this information has been published, there are currently no Registered Training Organisations approved by the Licensing & Regulation Division to deliver training specific to dog handlers.

What if I have undertaken previous training relevant to dog handling?

Attach a certified copy of any qualification specific to this application that you consider relevant so that a determination can be considered under section 25 (3) or 26 (3) of the Private Security Act 2004 where applicable. If further information or clarification is sought regarding any application, a written request will be made to the applicant before a final determination is made.

What if I want to become a trainer for guarding with a dog as a security activity?

Any person seeking to obtain a private security trainer licence will find further information about the requirements and process by accessing information on Private Security Trainers.

Further Information

For further information regarding dog training establishments, dog breeds and other requirements specific to dogs, please access information on the Department of Primary Industries website at

For further information regarding guarding with a dog, please email the Licensing & Regulation Division at

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