A Dog Handler is responsible for the care and control of a specially trained dog.
In day to day work you may; help prevent and detect crime, locate or stop suspects, search areas for missing or wanted people/ evidence/ data, patrol, crowd control, guard places/ people/ items.
Key Skills Required:
- Ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- Self confidence
- Ability to work effectively both in a team and individually
- Excellent observational skills
- Physical fitness
- Reliable & responsible
- IT skills
Key Points to Know:
- This role is physically challenging and required tough training.
- This job could involve being outside in difficult terrains and in all weather conditions.
- The hours may be long and unsociable e.g. evenings and weekends.
- Depending on your employer, you may look after your working dog in your own home.
To be a Dog Handler you will need to:
Have experience working within the organisation you’d like to become a dog handler in, for example if you want to be a police dog handler you will need to have been working within the police force for a number of years before you are able to apply to be a dog handler. Once you are accepted as a dog handler, your employer will provide you with training.
It may be helpful to have a diploma in Animal Care or Skills for Work: Uniformed and Emergency Services to help you secure the role you’d like but it is best to think about which organisation you would like to work for as a dog handler and look into the entry requirements for that particular organisation.
Estimated average salary: £16,000 – £25,000 annually.
As a Dog Handler, you can anticipate employment in a variety of roles including:
- Police Force
- Royal Air Force
- Search & Rescue
- HM Revenue & Customs
- Fire Service
- Private Security Firms
- Anti-Poaching Units
Being a Dog Handler is an excellent opportunity for someone with a passion for animals who wants to work within uniformed services. There are many different avenues you could take so whether you are interested in search and rescue, anti-poaching or being in the army you could do so as a dog handler. Progression tends to be limited but you could go on to be a senior handler or a progress to become a manager.