BS 8517-1:2016 Security dogs – Part 1: Code of practice for the use of general security dogs

BS 8517-1:2016

Security dogs. Code of practice for the use of general purpose security dogs

Status : Current   Published : September 2016



security and detection dogs

What is this standard about?

Security dogs must be safe among members of the public as well as able to defend their handlers if the need arises. This standard exists to help ensure that such dogs are fully trained and are healthy, humanely disciplined animals working under the control of suitably trained handlers. 

Trained security dogs are used in the following situations:

  • Mobile patrols and alarm response units
  • Security guarding
  • Searches at airports and ports (for perimeter security)
  • Escort duties (following arrest)
  • Special events
  • Crowd management
  • Tracking and detaining offenders
  • Property evictions
  • VIP protection

NOTE 1: This standard excludes detector dogs and handlers such as drugs detection, explosives detection or dogs and handlers used in search and rescue operations.

Who is this standard for?

  • Security dog training and handling services
  • Security dog services providers and services procurers
  • Private security companies deploying such services
  • Individual handlers
  • Local authorities
  • The police and the MoD

Why should you use this standard? 

It gives recommendations for the operational use of a dog by a security dog handler when providing manned guarding services on a static site or mobile patrol. It covers all the relevant issues including records, kennelling/husbandry, dog health and welfare, equipment and clothing, training and operational requirements.  The standard also includes recommendations for procuring security dog services to ensure the service fits the end-user’s requirements and risk profile.

NOTE 2: If engaged in the training or use of guard dogs, organizations must comply with all applicable legislation including The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (as amended), The Town Police Clauses Act 1847, The Metropolitan Police Act 1839, the Animals Act 1971, and The Guard Dogs Act 1975, and must supply evidence that training is carried out exclusively by properly qualified personnel by methods which pay proper regard to the welfare of the dog and are related to the production of a healthy, humanely disciplined animal of good general temperament, trained, when working, to do so under the control of a suitably qualified handler and of the provision of proper facilities, and the maintenance at all times of high and humane standards in relation to kennelling, feeding and exercise with regular qualified veterinary inspection. NASDU, SSAIB and NSI inspect under ISO 9001 to BS 8517-1.

What’s changed since the last update?

The standard needed to be brought up to date with changes to BS 7499:2013 Site guarding and mobile patrol services, and to take in new breeds and legislation, e.g. on compulsory microchipping. 

Changes have been made to the following sections:

3. Terms and Definitions – additional terms

4.2. Insurance – the need for specific reference to security dogs

4.3. Canine records – the requirement for compulsory microchipping – guidance on age of dog

5. Kennelling – the need to identify internal and external kennelling

6. Health and welfare of the dog

7. Equipment and clothing – use of correction collars 

8. Training – the need to identify monthly/quarterly/annual assessment

9. Operational requirements – the need for “safe distance” – the need to be on “safe leash” at all times

10. Transportation – the need for temperature control/monitoring

Standard NumberBS 8517-1:2016
TitleSecurity dogs. Code of practice for the use of general purpose security dogs
Publication Date30 September 2016
Normative References(Required to achieve compliance to this standard)BS 7499:2013, BS 7858
Informative References(Provided for Information)Private Security Industry Act 2001, Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, Microchipping of Dogs Regulations 2014, Animal Welfare Act 2006, Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, 2003/88/EC, Control of Dogs Order 1992, Road Traffic Act 1988, Guard Dogs Act 1975, Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order 2006, Sale of Goods Act 1979
ReplacesBS 8517-1:2009
Draft Superseded By16/30331797 DC
DescriptorsSecurity, Dogs, Working animals, Security personnel, Anti-burglar measures, Records (documents), Training, Animal welfare, Occupational safety, Protective clothing, Transportation, Animal housing facilities
ISBN978 0 580 92027 1
File Size1.408 MB

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