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8 Engineer Brigade

1st Military Working Dog Regiment

Military Working Dogs (MWD)

We generate and prepare military working dogs and veterinary capabilities, in order to support UK resilience, current and contingent operations and directed tasks.

Our people and MWDs

Veterinary Officers

Our Veterinary Officers manage our military working animal capability and lead soldiers in their command.

Veterinary Officers are employed as Troop Commanders, a role which sees them lead and manage MWD Handlers. They are also employed within the 1st Military Working Dogs Regiment Veterinary Hospital as veterinary clinicians.

Veterinary Officers are responsible for the health and welfare of MWDs, ensuring they are fit to deploy around the world to complete their role. They provide routine and emergency care to the MWDs both in barracks and those who are deployed. They also conduct emergency first aid veterinary training for the MWD handlers to ensure that the highest level of care is available for our dogs when on task.

Veterinary Technicians

Our Veterinary Technicians care for MWDs alongside our highly skilled Veterinary Officers, working in a dedicated and well-equipped Veterinary Clinic and dispensary.

It is a small clinic of three vets and five veterinary nurses, with a senior vet and hospital manager, responsible for the health and welfare of the Regiment's 125 Military Working Dogs.

As qualified Registered Veterinary Nurses, our Veterinary Technicians complete a range of tasks including nurse consultations, dental and weight check-ups, wound and bandage care, strength and conditioning and physiotherapy. Veterinary Technicians also deploy in support of operations and exercises providing care to our MWDs wherever they are in the world.

Arms Explosive Search

Arms Explosive Search (AES) MWDs provide commanders with additional assurance during routine patrolling or deliberate Strike Operations and allow freedom of movement through an area of responsibility.

They can be used to search urban and rural areas, buildings, compounds, vehicles, routes, roads, railways, and personal effects to detect the presence of weapons, explosives, and ammunition. AES can assist in searching at Vehicle Check Points, Incident Control Points, Helicopter Landing Sites, and cordon positions.

The majority of AES dogs at the 1st Military Working Dogs Regiment are Labradors and spaniels.

High Assurance Search

High Assurance Search (HAS) MWDs operate within a Defence Advance Search Team. They provide the detection capability of Improvised Explosive Devices during high-risk search operations.

They deliver a high-intensity slow and systematic search of a given area. HAS dogs can search routes, train lines, vulnerable points, vulnerable areas, and building/compound exteriors.

The majority of High Assurance Search dogs at the 1st Military Working Dogs Regiment are Belgian Malinois.


Patrol MWDs are primarily a Force Protection asset, they provide commanders with a high-profile visual deterrent that can detect, pursue, and detain an intruder with sub-lethal force.

Patrol dogs use their visual, audio, and olfactory senses to highlight the presence of enemy forces or unidentified personnel within an area of responsibility. They can be employed in the following scenarios: static or patrolling sentry, within an ambush, crowd control or as an escort for detainees.

The majority of Patrol dogs at the 1st Military Working Dog Regiment are Belgian Malinois and German Shephard Dogs.

Vehicle Search

Vehicle Search (VS) working dogs provide a high profile and compact versatile aid to searching all types of vehicle platforms for the presence of weapons, explosives, and ammunition. Furthermore, they can search motorbikes, cars, lorries, aircraft, ships or containers and any contents within (personal belongings, freight, cargo). 

The capability is primarily used at main entry points to installations and barracks or employed on deliberate Vehicle Check Point operations.

The majority of Arms Explosive Search dogs at 1st Military Working Dog Regiment are spaniels.

Army Reserve Capability

101 Military Working Dog Squadron is the only Army Reserve unit of its kind in the British Army, and it is co-located with the 1st Military Working Dog Regiment establishment in North Luffenham.

We recruit from all over the UK and have a more unique role than other reserve units, we recruit people with specialist skills but will train individuals with no previous experience in Military or Service dog handling and husbandry.

As a Reservist you will get paid for the time you spend training, and your minimum training commitment will be 19 days a year, there are also subsidies that will pay for food while you are on duty and travel to the unit plus many more benefits.

When you join the Army Reserve, you will get involved in everything that the Regular Army counterpart does - You'll be given the opportunity to gain experience and new skills, make new friends and can take advantage of opportunities - like adventurous training.

Many Reservists are employed and fit the Army Reserve around their regular hours of work. For further information regarding joining our reserves please email [email protected]

Rehoming Military Working Dogs

When it comes to the time to retire our MWDs we look for the most suitable home for them. We assess each dog’s needs on a case-by-case basis to find the best home for them to have a happy retirement. At the heart of any decision about a dog’s new home is that their health, welfare, and behavioural needs are met in both the short and long term by prospective owners.

For further information on the availability of retired MWDs and their rehoming criteria, please contact the rehoming team by email at [email protected]


Protect & Detect

The 1st Military Working Dog (MWD) Regiment consists of 4 Regular squadrons, a Headquarters and Support Squadron, three task squadrons, and one Reserve squadron.

The Regiment is comprised of 284 Regular soldiers and officers with 125 MWDs, and 112 Reservists. 

The Reserve component provides an exciting opportunity to generate, train and fully integrate Army Reservists into the Regiment. Regular and Reserve roles include Dog Handlers, Veterinary Technicians, and Veterinary Officers.

The Regiment holds the Field Army’s only deployable MWD and veterinary capability. The military effects the regiment provides in support of operations range from deterrence and detection, right through to the use of sub-lethal force. The Regiment deploys Arms Explosive Search, High Assurance Search and Patrol MWDs which are able to detect a range of threats protecting supported units and civilian populations.


At home and overseas

The Regiment supports a range of operational tasks, in the UK and overseas.

It has a MWD Troop permanently based in Cyprus to support the Sovereign Base Territory.

MWD teams with Veterinary Officers and Veterinary Technicians travel all over the world, supporting a range of units including infantry, logistics and engineers.

Currently the Regiment is also supporting Operation Newcombe in Mali, with a High Assurance Search Dog Team.

Our location

  • St George's Barracks

    North Luffenham, Rutland


HRH The Princess Royal visits 1st Military Working Dog Regiment to mark its 10th anniversary

Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal has visited 1st Military Working Dog Regiment (Royal Army Veterinary Corps) to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the formation of the Regiment and hear first-hand about its contribution to defence.

JIAG-2019-MWD CO Annual Biathalon-021.jpg

1st Military Working Dog Regiment Tackle Commanders Canine Challenge

Military Working Dogs and their handlers have demonstrated their unique bond during the 1st Military Working Dog Regiment (Royal Army Veterinary Corps) (1 MWD Regt) Commander’s Canine Challenge.

Military Canines and Handlers To Get Hi-tech Training Facility


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