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12 South African Infantry Battalion

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Active  1964-2005
Branch  South African Army
Country  South Africa
Garrison/HQ  Potchefstroom
12 South African Infantry Battalion
Type  Horse and dog assisted infantry
Engagements  South African Border War

12 South African Infantry Battalion was a horse, dog and motorbike assisted infantry unit of the South African Army, which provided horse-mounted infantry and dog handlers to the army for defence purposes.



The SADF established a dog and equestrian centre at Voortrekkerhoogte in 1964.

Equestrian history

By 1974, the Equestrian Centre was moved to the farm Welgegund near Potchefstroom.

A stud farm grew out of the equestrian centre in 1980. Budget cuts starting in 1989 eventually let to the closure of the De Aar facility in 1991.

The unit's equestrian capability was transferred to the police on April 14, 1995.

Dog history

The main 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 In the main, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, Labrador Retrievers, and Border Collies were trained. This training started when the dogs were almost two years old and lasted from one to two years.

The dog centre was moved to Bourke's Luck, in Mpumalanga, in 1979.

Amalgamation into 12 SAI

By 1993 the Equestrian and Dog Centres were formed into the 12 SAI.


The unit's dogs and related infrastructure was finally transferred to the SA Military Health Service while the units motorcycle and visual tracking capabilities were transferred to the Infantry School near Oudtshoorn.


12 South African Infantry Battalion Wikipedia

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