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Our leak detection dog Kep has earned the canine detection version of a degree with flying colours, receiving her Certificate of Compliance that qualifies her and handler Andrew Blair with the Canine Detection Certification of Australia.

Our leak detection dog Kep and handler Andrew Blair

Kep joins a very prestigious list of detection canines performing a wide variety of jobs, mainly in the field of conservation, all around Australia.

These dogs detect a variety of scents including for koalas, quolls, foxes, feral cats, rodents and all varieties of noxious weeds. Kep’s target of chlorinated water is quite unique, though we can expect to see more leak detection canines in the future.

The certification is a huge achievement for our Canine Leak Detection team, verifying that Andrew and Kep have both trained to a high level that is nationally recognised.

“Luckily Kep had no idea she was being tested - our assessment was conducted over the course of a week while working as normal in the field, so Kep thought it was business as usual, but we were actually getting all the boxes ticked,” said Officer – Canine Handler Andrew Blair, part of our Asset Monitoring and System Investigation team in Engineering.

“Part of the assessment saw Kep working while an object resembling a rabbit was thrown in her field of view to simulate a small animal sprinting away. When she took off after the target, as her handler, I had to be able to stop her in place with a command. She then had to wait for me to signal her release before she moved again.

“During our assessment in the field, this actually happened with a real rabbit very unexpectedly! Thankfully our hard training paid off, and Kep stopped on the whistle blast and waited very reluctantly in place. It was a very lucky rabbit.

“Kep passed all the assessments with flying colours. The sit and stay in place for three minutes with me as the handler out of sight was by far the hardest part of the assessment to train for. Three minutes turns out to be a long time when Kep can’t get eyes on me! This took us about two months training most days to get it drilled in, but we got there.

“Kep and I had the privilege of being assessed by one of Australia’s top trainers, Steve Austin.”

A hearty congrats to Kep and Andrew for this well deserved achievement!