Question about becoming a k9 handler. - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by David Winners View Post
How handlers are chosen is going to be different depending on the size of the department/program and the potential politics involved.

Having previous experience is always a plus.

Having an exemplary record as an officer is probably more important. Your verbal and written communication skills are very important. There is quite a bit of extra work that goes along with being a handler. Your training records may come under scrutiny in court. You need to make sound decisions about the safety of your dog and the public on a regular basis.

A good handler is made up of a good cop with the capacity to take on 30% more workload and responsibility who loves the job enough to put up with the negatives that go along with having a K9 partner.

You may also miss out on classes/training opportunities because you can't be taken out of rotation. Your peers may get promoted ahead of you. Getting time off may be more difficult, particularly in a small department.

All that being said, bring a handler has been the most rewarding experience of my life and I would definitely choose that path again.

I'm sure the patrol officers will come in here and add or correct me. I was a military handler and LE/MIL trainer. I have no experience as a Law Enforcement handler.

If you choose to pursue this career, concentrate on being the best Officer you can be. Always do your best and pick the hard right over the easy wrong. There really are no short cuts in the working dog world. Being a proficient handler is but a small, and rather easy, part of the whole.

I really appreciate your response. Thank you so much


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 08:12 AM
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I think David and Slam gave you good insights. Also, there are many good female K9 officers these days, especially in the military. Become a good police officer and supplement this with joining a sport club and learn to handle/read a dog and you will begin laying the foundation for being an attractive candidate in any department.
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