SA Police Dog Ruger Hangs Up the Collar for Retirement

Ruger in NZ

SA Police are celebrating a Happy retirement and a round of ap-paw-ause for police dog PD Ruger as he hangs up the collar today after just over 6 years working for the South Australia Police!

PD Ruger

Arguably one of the best General Purpose Police Dogs in Australia, the now seven-and-a-half-year-old German Shepherd started work for SAPOL in February 2013 with his human police dog handler Senior Constable First Class (SC1C) Craig Charles. Ruger has been trained to track suspects, conduct area, building and article searches, and also conduct arrests of fleeing suspects and armed offenders.

During his career Ruger has been deployed 1022 times around the State, apprehended 158 suspects, located property 103 items of property - to the value of approximately $55,000, and has cleared 379 outstanding police reports.

In October last year Ruger and SC1C Charles flew to Wellington, New Zealand to compete in the Australasian Police Dog Championships. Ruger brought home gold for South Australia in the four day event winning the individual patrol dog championship title.


In not so happy times, in September 2016 Ruger contracted pneumonia and was down to 24kgs with SC1C Charles told to ‘prepare for the worst’. But thankfully after 10 days in Adelaide Animal Hospital, he made a full recovery!

Ruger also underwent major dental surgery in 2015 and was notably compared to ‘Jaws’ from the early James Bond movies having his canine teeth capped with titanium crowns!

Ruger titanium teeth

Some career highlights include a deployment at Edinburgh where Ruger tracked a suspect for 30 minutes before finding him hiding in a creek bed. The suspect denied driving a vehicle that had been found nearby, however, Ruger was able to conduct an area search finding the keys to the car hidden in a tree stump. Inside the car police allegedly located a firearm, ammunition and stolen property.

Ruger also assisted in finding evidence after being deployed at 4 am around Tatachilla in howling wind and rain, and tracked for 3 kilometers finding weapons, a balaclava and torch dumped at various points along the route. Thanks to the items located by Ruger, the suspect was later arrested and charged.

As well as possibly taking up lawn bowls and buying a caravan, Ruger’s retirement plans include long walks on the beach and being the pampered house pooch to SC1C Charles and his family.

Ruger sleeping


5CC are wishing Ruger the happy pupper a happy retirement and a big thanks for fighting crime. We hope you are showered in treats and pats for the rest of your days.