How to become a police dog handler

Learn how to become a professional dog handler with our downloadable insider’s guide which has been written in conjunction with currently serving handlers. We will advise you on how to pass the selection process, what the role of a handler involves and how to train your dog in preparation for police work.

How to Become A Police Dog Handler Guide
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  • Police dogs are crucial to a police officer’s work. They carry out many essential tasks during their service as working dogs for communities;
  • The police dog is a highly trained animal, many of which are German Shepherd dogs;
  • Other breeds, such as Labradors and Spaniels, are also used for their highly capable scenting abilities; which can be used to locate drugs, arms and explosives;
  • Dobermanns, Rottweilers and Weimaraners are also highly useful dogs, and are trained to support police officers for a variety of purposes;
  • Police Dog Handlers must be prepared to exercise and care for the dog whilst off duty;
  • All Police Handlers need to know the operational and legal implications of what they are doing at each incident, and why;
  • Obviously, you must be confident around dogs. There is an element of running and lifting your dog over fences, often whilst wearing boots and body armour, so you must maintain a suitable level of fitness.

Tips From a Serving Handler

“Work hard and get a good few years’ experience as a police constable before specialising; this will give you the insight and skills needed in dog handling. Other forces like the RAF and Army can train you to be a dog handler, but if you want to be out day-to-day on dog-handling operations, I would recommend a career with the police. This guide will show you EXACTLY how”.


A dog’s nose is one of the most precise and effective items of equipment available to the police. A trained sniffer dog’s nose can detect 10-year-old smells and is approximately 2,000 times more accurate than a human’s nose. A competent police dog exhibits the ability to expertly follow a human scent; this skill enables the police to quickly locate anyone who may be lost or hiding. Large crowds, especially those who may exhibit volatile or potentially criminal behaviour, are an ideal place for police dogs to be visible; because they deter possible incidents from occurring. Police dogs have a wealth of other uses, including the ability to:

  • Locate, run after, or stop a fleeing suspect;
  • Operate crowd control at major sporting events;
  • Search buildings and open land for misplaced, missing, or wanted people;
  • Search for evidence or data;
  • Detect drugs and explosives;
  • Strategic firearms operations;
  • Community order response;
  • Intelligence-led patrols supporting officers;
  • Guard their handler.


Police dogs live with their handler and see their owner as part of their family. Therefore, to qualify as a handler you must have sufficient space in your home to house the dog. This includes outside space, and therefore those without a garden are unable to qualify. When these dogs retire, normally at around 9 years old, they usually become household pets, although this is not always the case.

To become a Police Dog Handler, it is necessary to be fit in order to keep up with your dog during the precision training workouts. Police dogs are trained to be extremely obedient. This obedience is highly important because they need to be kept under strict control during highly hazardous situations.

Police Dog Roles


The first type of specialised police dog is the drug detection dog. These dogs are specifically trained to search a place, building, or individual for the scent of certain types of drugs. By focusing on one particular scent, it enables the police dog to be more effectively trained, and therefore perform to a higher standard when on duty.

In many countries, these types of dogs are used in airports to sniff the baggage/people passing through airport security, in order to detect illegal substances. They are often trained to follow a simple command to indicate that they have found something. For example, they often sit down if they detect any illegal substances.


The second type of specialist dog is the explosive detection dog. These dogs are trained to detect the scent of explosives. Today these dogs work very closely with the bomb disposal team. They are an essential part of the police force.

This job is one of the most exciting and challenging careers that an individual can undertake within the police force. Give yourself every chance of success with this definitive guide which covers every part of the selection process.


Police forces use a wide range of breeds of dogs for a variety of policing duties. The specific breed of dog often impacts the type of work which they will be trained to respond to. Listed below are some of the most common breeds which are currently being trained as police dogs in Britain:

  • German Shepherd;
  • Rottweiler;
  • Giant Schnauzer;
  • Labrador;
  • Belgian Shepherd;
  • Springer Spaniels;
  • Weimaraners;
  • German Short-Haired Pointers.

Searching and tracking are the main tasks of police dogs. A single police officer is no substitute for a police dog, as dogs are able to search more rapidly and efficiently and often in very constricted places.

Some dogs are trained specially to search for drugs, explosives and guns. Springer Spaniels and Labradors are often used because they are such excellent trackers. Due to the fact that terrorism has become a very real threat in today’s society, these specialist dogs are frequently used by the police in an array of areas which may be a possible target for terrorists.


  • Information about the role of a Police Dog Handler;
  • What the role involves, including working hours and conditions;
  • Background information on the role;
  • In-depth information regarding the day-to-day care of your dog;
  • The specific training required;
  • The training courses that are available for you to undertake;
  • How to care for your dog and certify police dog commands;
  • The specific criteria for becoming a Dog Handler;
  • The particular qualities and experience required by your assessors;
  • How to beat the competition;
  • The different types of police dog;
  • In-depth explanations of handler equipment;
  • The day-to-day life of a working dog handler;
  • How and where to apply;
  • Starting your application;
  • The selection process;
  • What the recruitment process involves;
  • Completing the application form;
  • What the police look for during the suitability course;
  • The different entry routes available;
  • Exclusive insider tips;
  • The interview;
  • Sample responses to the interview questions;
  • Exclusive insider insights about how to pass the selection process.

Plus many more pages of essential information…

How to Become A Police Dog Handler Guide
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How to Become a Police Dog Handler 

  • Extensive information about the role;
  • Crucial advice on how to look after and train your dog;
  • In-depth knowledge to prepare you for your career as a Police Dog Handler;
  • How to prepare for, and pass the recruitment process;
  • Free ‘How To Get Fit’ information guide;
  • Essential advice from an experienced Dog Handler.

Free Bonus Items


Free Interview Skills Questions and Answers Book


FOR A LIMITED PERIOD ONLY we are able to send you our comprehensive 150-page ‘Interview Skills’ guide, free of charge. This guide has been written by a former firefighter officer with over 17 years experience. As a result, the guide offers relevant and exclusive information about how to successfully pass job interviews. This wealth of professional expertise and on-the-job experience makes it the perfect guide to help you prepare for your interview! The guide will be sent to you via email within a few seconds of your order being placed.

How to Get Fit Guide


The ‘How To Get Fit’ information guide has been specifically designed to demonstrate how you can improve your fitness level in order to meet the requirements of this physically demanding role. This essential guide is included, free of charge, and will show you how to plan your workouts in order to maximise your potential and significantly increase your levels of fitness and stamina.

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How to Become A Police Dog Handler - Immediate Download

✓ Information about the role of a Police Dog Handler;
✓ What the role involves; including working hours and conditions;
✓ In-depth explanations of handler equipment;
✓The day-to-day life of a working dog handler;
✓ How and where to apply;
✓ Exclusive insider insights about how to pass the selection process.
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