Steve Austin provides handling and training services for canine detection, canine conservation, canine and handler training, education seminars and courses

About Steve Austin


When Steve was just 13 years old, he trained his black mutt, "Sooty", to entertain crowds outside the pub. This was when he began his unique relationship with dogs.

Steve’s accomplishments over 40 years are numerous and wide ranging.  From winning the Sydney Royal Easter Show Dog Obedience section (Utility Dog Class); gaining Australian Obedience Champion title, Field Trial Champion titles and Australian (breed) Championship title; to being a part of the historical rabbit eradication programme on world-heritage, Macquarie Island.  To get a picture of just how successful he has been, have a look at the following list of some of his many achievements.

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Steve’s formal qualifications include:

  • CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed)
  • CCPDT (Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, New York, USA) Board Member 
  • Certificate IV in Workplace Learning and Assessment
  • Certificate III Dog Behaviour
  • Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services
  • Licensed Judge under the Australian National Kennel Control (ANKC) in both Field Trials and Gundog Obedience Tests
  • Holds A & B class NSW Gun License.
  • Firearms Safety Trainer (Department of Primary Industries NSW)
  • Canine Temperament Assessor (Department of Local Government, NSW)
  • Canine Certifying Official (California Narcotic and Explosive Detector Dog Association)

Some of Steve’s accomplishments:

  • National Trainer for Australian Quarantine Inspection Service, 1996-2006.
  • State Trainer for Quarantine Inspection Service, Tasmania, 1996 to current
  • Trained dogs and handlers for Quarantine/Biosecurity applications of scent detection for Australia, Japan, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Tasmania, Western Australia
  • Trained dogs and handlers for the Fox Task Force, Department of Primary Industries, Tasmania
  • Trained dogs and handlers for cane toad detection, Australian Northern Territory
  • Trained dogs and handlers for Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC), for tracking feral animals
  • Trained and handled own dogs in cane toad detection for Brisbane City Council (Moreton Island) and various Local Government Areas, Department of Primary Industries, etc
  • Trained dog and handler for World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Germany for detection of illegally sourced timber/trees.
  • Trained dogs and handlers for Koala/scat detection for private contractors
  • Trained dogs and handlers for fox, feral cat and rabbit detection for private contractors and government officers.
  • Trained and handled own dogs for ongoing fox, feral cat and rabbit detection contracts
  • Trained the first truffle detection dog in Australia that found the first truffle grown in Australia.
  • Trained dogs and handlers in water leak detection for West Australia Water and Sydney Water
  • Trained the first dogs and handlers in effluent leak detection for Sydney Water
  • Trained the first dogs and handlers in Australia for detection of invasive weeds (Hawkweed) for NSW Parks and Wildlife
  • Trained dog and handler in detection of invasive weed (Chilean Needle Grass) for ACT Parks and Wildlife.
  • Trained dog and handler for detection of invasive weed (Serated Tussock) in Tasmania for a private ecology company.
  • Trained dogs and handlers for detection of introduced ants in Australian Northern Territory and Norfolk Island.
  • Trained dogs and handlers for detection of rodents (rats) on Lord Howe Island
  • Trained dogs and handlers for detection of rabbits on world-heritage, Macquarie Island for the historical rabbit eradication programme.  The programme was declared 100% successful and Australia’s most successful pest eradication programme to date.
  • On three occasions, judged at the European Drug Searching Championships, held in the Czech Republic. On two occasions, Steve was invited to take the Judge’s Oath on behalf of all of the event judges.
  • Trained dogs and handlers for Cheetah Conservation in Namibia.
  • Trained dogs and handlers for various endangered reptile detection including Bells Turtle, Gould’s Goanna, Earless Dragon.
  • Trained dogs and handlers for scent detection of various endangered mammals including Koala, Smoky Mouse, Endychondis, Quoll
  • Trained dogs and handlers for scent detection of various endangered bird species including Plains Wanderer, Australian Eastern Bristle Bird, Coastal Emu
  • Trained dogs and handlers for termite detection professional services.
  • Director of Defence Community Dogs, for the training of rejected dogs by inmates of NSW Corrective Services, for the service of returned serviceman/woman struggling with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
  • Performs the role of Professional Witness in court cases involving dogs.
  • Performs the emcee duties at numerous events and functions.
  • Provides education and practical experiences, through his Assessing and Handling Dangerous Dogs presentation, to those working with dogs or who may encounter dogs in their professional or voluntary role: Animal/Dog Rangers, Veterinarians, Veterinary Nurses, Dog Trainers, Dog Welfare Officers, water meter-readers, postal workers, etc
  • Trained and handled numerous dogs, cats and other species for media purposes such as movies, television series, commercials, etc.
  • Television presenter for Harry’s Practice. 

Work with Steve

Canine Scent Detection Services & Accreditation


Scent Detection Training Course


Consultations With Steve


Steve's Services

Range of services include but not limited to:

  • Conservation detection for preservation of wildlife with the use of a canine
  • Feral animal detection and management with the use of canine
  • Pest control with the use of canine
  • Quarantine and Customs canine consultancy and training for canines and handlers
  • Drugs / Narcotics canine consultancy and training for canines and handlers
  • Explosives canine consultancy and training for canines and handlers

Whilst based in NSW, Steve Austin operates throughout Australia and overseas.

Request a quote

Dangerous Dog Workshop


Motivating Miracles Workshop


Dog Training and Behaviour Certificate


Dangerous Dog Demo with Raffa 

More from Steve

Motivating Miracles Book


On the Blog


In The Media



I am a rural generalist doctor and also a vet with an interest in animal behaviour married to a farmer who has a passion for collaborative relationships with animals.

We have a farm in the border of NSW and QLD “Hoya Pastoral Partnership” it’s a Santa Gertrudis, Australian Stock Horse and Kelpie stud. We also lucky enough to own the most northerly Trufflere in Australia.

We met Steve Austin at a truffle conference to which we took our 10-month-old maniacal cattle Kelpie “Fergus”, it was a life changing encounter. We sent Fergus down to him to be trained in finding truffles. 4 weeks later he rang us and requested “the humans” for training (having worked out where the trouble was). My husband Steve was duely sent down to face the music and was trained to handle Fergus (and vice versa). Steve Austin has changed our thinking about the dog/human relationships. He has a natural empathy for canines, uses positive reinforcement and thinks like a dog (no offense intended Steve). In response, the dogs think he is a Dog God. I admit to being a little bit stunned by his innate ability and skill. He managed to twist our brains enough to respect the canine relationship and has turned Fergus the maniacal Kelpie (who is a little bit neurotic when not working cattle) into a dog with patience with an “attitude of gratitude”.

Thank you, Steve, I am jealous of your skill.

Coralie Endean

In past months Steve has delivered the first of our “Dangerous Dog Handling Course Part 2” to over 50 different councils in QLD & NSW.

The feedback received from the participants that attended has been great as you can see below:
“nothing less than excellent”
“exceeded my expectations”
“best training I have ever received”
“excellent, best ever”
“have never seen such an excellent presentation”
“unreal, fantastic”,
“I thoroughly enjoyed the course and I’m sure the skills I gained will be very useful in the field”
“he understand how we do our job”
“passionate about teaching us to read dog language”
Steve was in tune with out work ethic’s, excellent presenter”

Evi Messer

“My name is Lee T. Titus. I recently retired after 35 years of Federal service in the US Government. I spent 31 years in the US Customs Service in the K9 Program, the last 7 years as the National Director. I first met Mr. Steve Austin as he was performing as an acclaimed international judge in the Czech Republic many years ago. It was through this meeting that I have had the upmost respect in his abilities as a K9 trainer, author, international judge, and lecturer. Where most K9 trainers find road blocks or challenges, Mr. Austin finds windows of opportunity to train K9s to their highest level in any capacity. It is with absolute pleasure and the highest regard that I would recommend anyone to his service.”

Lee T. Titus

I was fortunate enough to attend your seminar at KCC Park today. There were many instructors and aspiring instructors among the audience, and I think your presentation was perfectly pitched to inspire and challenge us all. Most people are aware of the role of dogs in narcotics detection and search-and -rescue, but your use of scent-discriminating dogs in environment and wildlife protection is sensational! The important thing, of course, is that the methods are applicable to all training, whatever the goal.

Keith Heale

“In all our dealings with Steve Austin, he has provided us with great insight and brought amazing experience to our team at For Dogs Sake!. He is able to teach through experience, and knowledge of all animals, and techniques.

Steve is always able to give us the proper guidance and information we need as a daycare, and animal lovers, to be able to continue growing and learning.

He is an invaluable resource and an amazing person to have on your side when you are dealing with animals.

We highly recommend Steve Austin as a trainer, teacher, mentor, and behaviorist

We always look forward to his visits and his input.”

Karina Hould

“Steve Austin has been a long term supporter and advocate of the Pet Industry. His professionalism and knowledge has been very effective in raising the standard within the Australian Pet Industry. Steve has tirelessly assisted not only our business but the responsible pet industry as a whole. Steve has voluntarily given his time to teach our customers about responsible pet ownership and training tips in entertaining and educational ways.”

Siggy Grima

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Steve Austin for over 25 years and admire him in many ways. As everyone knows he is an outstanding professional animal trainer but he is also an all round good guy.” Everything Steve does is done with so much enthusiasm and a big heart! Steve’s dedication to his conservation work is highly respected. On a personal note I am very grateful for all the help Steve has given me over the years. He is one of the busiest people I know but always happily gives his time to others.”

Anne Harris
Aussie Farm For Kids