The premier function of the Dog Training School at Voortrekkerhoogte, was to train dogs and their handlers in mine detection reconnaissance, tactical and security work. The unit was also responsible for acquiring suitable dogs and researching dog diseases, nutrition and breeding.
Many young servicemen wished to be trained as dog handlers. He was required to be physically fit, patient and display and affection for and understanding of animals, particularly dogs. In the main, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Labradors and Border Collies were trained and this training started when the dogs were almost two years old and lasted from one to two years. The Dog Training School was established at Voortrekkerhoogte in 1964. Later that year, the school duties were extended to also include control over all matters relating to horses in the South African Defence Force. In 1971, the unit was renamed the SADF Horse and Dog Centre. It was disbanded in 1974 to form two separate units, one of which became the SADF Dog Centre at Voortrekkerhoogte. In 1979, the dog centre was moved to Bourke's Luck. The centre's heraldic emblem features the head of an Alsation superimposed on a red shield.