Dog Handler

Job Family Operational Support
Job Sub Family Specialists Operations
Code OPS-SPO-SD-Dog Handler V1.0

Role Purpose

Provide proactive and reactive assistance in support of all operational officers and specialist departments by appropriate use of police dogs; to locate and retrieve evidence or offenders, to control potential and actual disturbances, and to enhance officer and public safety.

Key Accountabilities

• Respond promptly to requests for a police dog, supplying professional expertise and tactical advice and operational support to front line officers.

• Conduct searches using general purpose or specialist dogs in support of local officers; to expedite the location of missing persons and the arrest of offenders; and to support local officers in their investigations and responses to incidents.

• Support the containment of dangerous dogs out of control including inter-familial dog attacks and cases on private property, to protect public safety.

• Conduct directed patrols in response to local priorities and in support of divisional and area officers, to detect and prevent crime.

• Support front line Officers in the capture and control of dogs on premises to enable a safe working environment when conducting search warrants or interventions into premises.

• Provide a source of specialist advice to operational policing units on the deployment of dogs, to contribute to the development of appropriate strategies and tactical plans in support of front-line initiatives.

• Promote and deliver educational talks and displays to colleagues and members of the public; to acquaint them with the roles and skills of police dogs, and to support the development of positive relationships between the police and public.

• Undertake the proper care, training and handling of general purpose and specialist police dogs; to ensure the health, wellbeing and operational effectiveness of the dog(s).


All roles are expected to know, understand and act within the ethics and values of the Police Service.

The Competency and Values Framework (CVF) has six competencies that are clustered into three groups. Under each competency are three levels that show what behaviours will look like in practice.

It is suggested that this role should be operating or working towards the following levels of the CVF:

Resolute, compassionate and committed

Inclusive, enabling and visionary leadership

Intelligent, creative and informed policing

Education, Qualifications, Skills and Experience

Prior education and experience:
• Completed initial training and passed probation period.

• Completed General Purpose Dog Handling Course.

• Completed Specialist Dog Handling Course (if required).

• Meet Force specific fitness requirements for role.

• Good team working skills demonstrating awareness of individual differences, and a proactive approach to relationship development with colleagues and stakeholders.

• Good communication skills with the ability to set out logical arguments clearly, adapting language, form and message to meet the needs of different people and audiences in diverse situations.

• Able to produce concise reports or other documents.

• Demonstrable experience of using effective communication skills with members of the public, particularly in confrontational situations.

• Problem solving skills with the ability to identify cause and effect and develop a course of action designed to target root causes as well mitigate effects.

• Able to identify, analyse, and manage risk to inform balanced, proportionate, evidenced-based decisions.

• Good time management skills with the ability to organise and prioritise.

• Able to use standard IT packages, systems and/or databases to fulfil role requirements.

• Able to review own performance objectively and take steps to make improvements.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

• Maintain and update key knowledge, understanding and skills relating to legislation policy and practice in relation to the Dog Handler function and area of policing operational responsibility.

• Maintain knowledge and understanding of new approaches identified by evidence based policing research relating to the Dog Handler function, including problem solving and team working, and synthesise these into working practice(s).

• Maintain a working knowledge and understanding of new and evolving crime threats and priorities that impact upon the role of Dog Handling teams; and current best practice to tackle these in order to enable a pro-active and preventative approach.

• Complete all annual and mandatory training including for example, fitness tests, personal safety training, first aid, and protecting information.

Professional Registration/Licenses

• NPCC General Purpose Licence
• NPCC Licence for specialist dogs

Links to other Profiles

• Sergeant Dog Handler

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