Utilising dogs within the police is becoming more and more common and as such more jobs are arising in this industry. Police Dog Handlers are responsible for working alongside their specially trained dog and as a result ensuring their care and control. Together you would work as part of a team to search for not only criminals and property, but locate drugs and explosives and assist in hostage situations and missing person searches.
In addition to the above mentioned, it would be your responsibility as a Police Dog Handler to:
- Perform crowd management
- Search buildings
- Search for evidence
- Chase armed criminals
- Locate human remains
The skills required for this role include
- Relevant experience caring for dogs
- Relevant experience in the police industry
- The ability to control a dog
- Observation skills
- The ability to multitask
- Judge a situation quickly and efficiently
Extensive training is provided by the employer for this type in position. This means that you would typically receive 3 months initial training from an experienced Dog Handler alongside any further specialist training. This could include; search and rescue, illegal substances detection, firearms detection, etc.
The typical salary for a dog handler in the UK is £25,000. This can vary depending on the employer and the dog handler’s experience.
So you might be wondering who is actually responsible for training the dogs that eventually become part of the force? Well the answer is Puppy Walkers. Yes, you read that correctly. Puppy Walkers. A Puppy Walker receives the puppy at 6 weeks old and it is then their responsibility to train them up until the age of 12 months. The different breeds that are used in by the Police today are German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois and Dutch Herder. During this time they will be trained by a variety of socialisation environments, like busy train stations, as well as different biting techniques. After the age of 12 months the puppy should be capable of tracking property and people as well as biting and chasing criminals. Pretty impressive for a 7 year old (in doggy years).
A Puppy Walker is a voluntary position, yet a vital one. As such there is a 6 month waiting list along with a screening process to ensure the correct candidates for the position are chosen. Here at CU Coventry we are fortunate enough to have 1st year Policing Student, Luke, who is a Puppy Walker. We had the opportunity to meet his latest trainee, Nero.
Fun Fact – Each litter is allocated a letter of the alphabet, the latest Midlands letter being N!