Home > Training Animals > Training to be a Police Dog Handler

Training to be a Police Dog Handler

By: Elaine Everest - Updated: 15 Jul 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Police Dog Force Search Patrol Handler

Dogs can be trained for many assistance roles and work with their owners and handlers in many situations, but how do you train to become Police Dog Handler?

The dog

When you think of police dogs the first breed that comes to mind is a German shepherd, this type of police dog is the one you will see most. However, there are many other breeeds that that undertake this arduous work. The Rottweiler, Doberman, and Giant Schnauzer are just three other dogs considered for the job.

Tasks

Dogs are used to undertake many tasks when working with our police forces. These specially trained dogs have the ability to sniff out illegal substances during body searches as well as drug searches in buildings, offices, airports and nightclubs. The detection of explosives is another skill these clever dogs undertake, as well as recovering lost persons and seeking out bodies. Police dogs also carry out work such as; routine patrol, the tracking of offenders, plus work in riot and dangerous situations. The role of the police dog is ever growing as these clever animals prove their worth.

Applying for the job

The job of a police dog handler is sourced from within the force. After an initial application form is processed applicants will be interviewed by a panel of senior officers. A home check will follow to ensure that the officer has room at home, and that it is a suitable environment for a dog. There follows a two week suitability course where officers are assessed as suitable candidates for the job. Application and training processes can differ slightly between police forces.

Entry level

A police dog handler is one of the most sought after jobs within the police force and competition is fierce to get into this unit. Before an officer can apply they have to have been a serving police constable for two years. Most police dog handlers stay in this job until retirement.

Training

Dog and handler will have to attend a three month course at a dog training school where both learn to work together. Training includes obedience, search, tracking and obeying commands. Both will learn to work as a team and have all the necessary skills to work in the police dog unit. Training is ongoing and both dog and handler will attend training days and courses each year to enable dog and handler to remain licensed for the job.

Day to day care

The police dog handler must keep his dog fit, healthy and happy. The officer has to understand canine care as much as any pet owner would. Feeding, grooming, vaccinations and veterinary check ups must be followed and dog and handler must be aware of all bylaws concerning dogs.

The police dog

Dogs who work with the police dog unit are donated by breeders and members of the public with some forces having their own dog breeding unit. Officers as well as volunteers are used as puppy walkers until the dogs are old enough to be assessed as suitable candidates and matched with an officer who they will live with for life. Donated dogs will go through a four week assessment programme to see if they are suitable for work as a police dog. Those who fail are returned to the breeder or owner.

Similar jobs

The Ministry of Defence has a joint services dog school where dogs are trained for the Army and the Air Force. Like dogs working within the police force they are trained in detection and defence work. Dog handlers are trained from within the forces themselves. The Civil Nuclear Constabulary also have a dog unit section who supply protection for civil nuclear licensed sites. This section of the police force has its own training centres and units throughout the UK.

Licensed

Police dogs are licensed and assessed through the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). The Police Dogs Manual of Guidance is provided by the ACPO working group who regulate all working dogs within the UK’s police forces.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
I'll be Just over 20 when I finish all my college courses as will be doing level 2 and three animal management and horse management and thinking of becoming a dog handler so I need to do another course on public services ? Many thanks if some one could help
Meagan - 15-Jul-17 @ 1:01 PM
Bowie - Your Question:
I have applied to be a police officer just to get this job - I am through to the final stage and this will definitely be my career ????

Our Response:
We hope you achieve your ambition and get the job you want at the end of it. Good luck.
CareerWithAnimals - 23-Sep-16 @ 10:37 AM
I have applied to be a police officer just to get this job - I am through to the final stage and this will definitely be my career ????
Bowie - 22-Sep-16 @ 5:18 AM
I am looking to become a police dog handler
Happy - 9-Jul-16 @ 4:55 PM
I'm 19 years old I have done a 3 year coruse on public services I walked out with a distinction star i would like to become a dog handler
Smithy - 30-Jan-16 @ 6:25 PM
Iv done 3 years in college on public services and I done a level 3 degre n got Distinction star looking for a job in dog handerling
Smithy - 29-Jan-16 @ 9:17 PM
I'm 25yrs old man. I'm interested to work at dog unit.. What can i do that can make me, to work there?. Please help me..
lua lua - 1-May-15 @ 12:08 PM
@TC - you might be better picking up the phone and talking to people directly, as people tend to let emails drift by. I'm sure someone would be glad of the help!
Pat - 3-Mar-15 @ 1:02 PM
Hi I don't know if anyone can help but I am looking to do a work based learning from June/July for 4-6 weeks as part of my university course and I am interested in dog training in cambridgshire area? If anyone knows of anyone that would be willing to take me on as I have emailed many and no one gets back to me. Thank you :)
TC - 28-Feb-15 @ 11:51 AM
im 18 years of age and i live in the uk mansfield area i want to be a dog handler of some kind and i just need help on where i need to go i love animals and my best favorite animal is a dog and i want to work with them please somone help me :)
cookie - 23-Feb-15 @ 10:13 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Charlie
    Re: General Work Experience with Animals
    Hi, I'm a year 10 looking for work experience in June. I will be 25 and I'm just looking for somewhere where I can just…
    14 November 2017
  • CareerWithAnimals
    Re: What You Need to Become a Vet
    Doug - Your Question:Hi, I'm Doug, I'm 12 years old in Year 8, and I want to do some working experience at a veterinary surgery…
    10 November 2017
  • CareerWithAnimals
    Re: What You Need to Become a Vet
    Hollister - Your Question:Hi I am a witch and want to be a vet but I have 5 when I need 6s or 7s so I have been told I can't do…
    10 November 2017
  • Hollister
    Re: What You Need to Become a Vet
    Hi I am a witch and want to be a vet but I have 5 when I need 6s or 7s so I have been told I can't do it by my sience teacher I…
    9 November 2017
  • Doug
    Re: What You Need to Become a Vet
    Hi, I'm Doug, I'm 12 years old in Year 8, and I want to do some working experience at a veterinary surgery over the holidays. Can…
    8 November 2017
  • Kay
    Re: Run your own Animal Shelter
    I want to start no kill dog shelter sick of seeing dogs killed because of over populated love dogs need help with getting funds to…
    6 November 2017
  • ScaredOfDogs
    Re: Job Roles at Animal Rescue Centres
    what gcse's do you need to work in an animal shelter without dogs?
    20 October 2017
  • Spirit
    Re: Run your own Animal Shelter
    Hi I’m looking to buy a green belt plot and assist an existing horse samnctuary provide land for their rescued tethered horses…
    19 October 2017
  • Karly
    Re: General Work Experience with Animals
    Hello I’m karly , I’m 14 and based in Luton , I am looking for work experience with animals in shelters , clinics or vet…
    12 October 2017
  • Malc
    Re: Sniffer & Police Dogs at Work
    I'm looking to start training and working with my own drug detection dog to work in private housing and collages, schools…
    7 September 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the CareerWithAnimals website. Please read our Disclaimer.