Dog Handling Unit

Police dogs working with police dog handlers in one of the many police dog units in forces around the UK perform many essential tasks.

The Police Dog Unit is a support service that can be called upon to assist in missing person searches, searching for criminals or property, locating drugs or explosives, hostage situations and crowd control.

If you are interested in a career as a police dog handler, you might find the following ‘Quick Links’ useful;

  • If you are not yet in the Police Service: Police Recruitment – and check out the resources to help you with a successful application.
  • If you are a police officer considering a transfer, visit the Police Jobs Section.

Other functions that police dog units regularly perform include:

  • Crowd management at major sporting events
  • Searching buildings and open ground for missing and wanted people
  • Searching for evidence
  • Drugs detection and explosive detection
  • Tracking suspects
  • Victim recovery dogs
  • Tactical firearms operations
  • Supporting community-based initiatives
  • Public order response
  • High-profile, proactive, intelligence-led patrols

To apply for a post as a dog handler you must have completed your 2-year probationary period and must have proved yourself to be a competent police officer. You can then apply to the dog unit for a trial course with a police dog that is trained to accept commands from any handler. If you are deemed suitable you will have to wait until a vacancy arises, and at this time you can apply for the position. Other suitable candidates may also apply for the post, so the department has to decide who they feel is most suitable for the post. Previous dog handling experience is therefore an advantage for any officer applying to join the police dog unit.

Police dog handlers must have a genuine love for animals and be very patient. Your dog will live with you and will be part of your own family. When dogs retire normally at around 9 years old they will generally become your household pet.

How 2 Become – A Police Dog Handler

The 'How To Become A Police Dog Handler' CD Rom is a 140 page guide that will provide you with insider information on how to get one of the most sought after jobs within the Police Force! Full of insider tips and advice, and brought to you by a retired Police Dog Handler with 20 years experience, it will guide you through the selection process and help you to pass at the very first attempt!

£15.99

£13.99

How 2 Become – A UK Police Officer

Want to join the police force? The 'How to become a UK Police Officer' CD ROM is the most comprehensive product available to guide you through the UK Police Officer selection process and help you to secure this fantastic career at the first attempt.

£42.89

£11.45

You must be fit to be able to keep up with your dog during the rigorous training exercises they need to go through. Police dogs must learn to be highly obedient, so that they are always under strict control in the most dangerous of circumstances.

German Shepherd dogs are generally the most commonly used breed of dog within the UK Police, although other breeds such as Labradors (for sniffing), Dobermans, Rottweilers and Weimaraners are used too.

Police dogs are commonly specially bred within Police kennels, to ensure a constant supply of dogs. However, some are still bought in, or provided by the public if the dog is still young enough for training.

You may have arrived on this page from a search engine. The information contained above is relevant for the following search phrases; Police Dog, Police Dog Handler, Met Police Dogs, Police Dog Unit, How to become a Police Dog Handler.

In the News
Derbyshire PCC funds stalking advocate positions 14:12, 16th August GMT
PCC Angelique Foster has committed to funding for two new Stalking Advocate positions across the next three years.
Justice awards to include custody and detention category 14:04, 16th August GMT
Skills for Justice awards to include 10 categories for non-frontline staff.
Scottish officers to receive 5% pay rise and end 'goodwill withdrawal' 09:59, 16th August GMT
The Scottish Police Federation has written to officers informing them that an agreement has now been secured.
Officer on barred list after flouting Covid rules and lying 15:55, 15th August GMT
The former West Midlands officer had resigned from the force in June.
PCCs fund first aid equipment in dog section vehicles 15:39, 15th August GMT
The TVP and Hampshire PCCs have collectively awarded more than £48,000 for the initiative.
200m euro needed for Gardaí to catch up on technology 10:37, 16th August GMT
A Policing Authority bi-annual report, released today, has underlined that the service needs 200m euro capital investment to enable it to catch up with the digital capabilities both of other police services and OCGs.
Hampshire Fed calls for increase on South East allowance 13:29, 15th August GMT
Other forces are taking their allowances to the maximum limit to attract and retain officers outside the Met.
More live links and BSL interpreters in court 11:35, 15th August GMT
New rules around courts have come into effect from today.
New Chair elected at British Transport Police Federation 10:49, 15th August GMT
Response officer takes over from previous chair who retires after six-year tenure.
Graeme Biggar appointed director general of NCA 15:37, 12th August GMT
He has held the role on an interim basis since October 2021.