How to become a dog handler
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- applying directly
You could take a course that will increase your knowledge and skills to handle and work with animals like a:
- Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Animal Care or Animal Management
- T Level in Animal Care and Management
You'll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level
You could do an animal trainer higher apprenticeship.
Some employers may expect you to have previous experience of working with animals.
Employers will set their own entry requirements.
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
You can train to be a dog handler if you work or have worked in the uniformed services.
Check the entry requirements for applying to be a dog handler in the:
You can gain confidence with dogs and develop your training skills through volunteering.
Organisations like the National Search and Rescue Dog Association and dog rescue charities may be useful places to search for opportunities.
You can apply to work with a private security firm as a dog handler. You'll need a Security Industry Authority licence to do this.
You'll have an advantage when you apply for jobs if you've got experience of working with dogs.
You can find out more about becoming a dog handler from the College of Animal Welfare.