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How to Become a Police K9 Officer – Become a Dog Handler

How to Become a Police K9 Officer – Become a Dog Handler

k9 officer How to Become a Police K9 Officer   Become a Dog Handler

Many people who have an interest in both law enforcement and animals find themselves attracted to the work of K-9 police officers. Law enforcement canine units are among the most coveted slots in police agencies, but just how do you become such an officer? Are there special requirements and training to consider?

STEP 1 : Obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent. Most law enforcement agencies require at least a high school diploma and some even require or prefer some college education like an Associate or Bachelor’s degree.

STEP 2: Check with the law enforcement agencies in your area about the physical requirements for basic police recruitment. These requirements can vary from one locality to another and from state to sate. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and in many communities, must meet some minimum requirements for height, weight, eyesight, and hearing. Rigorous physical exams are sometimes required. You should make sure the agency for which you apply has a police dog unit in its division before you decide to apply for the agency.

STEP 3: Check with law enforcement in your area for the training and testing requirements specific to those agencies. Generally, applicants must pass written tests measuring analytical skills. Background checks are also required. Recruits  must attend police academies for classroom training and if they pass all tests (including a civil service test), train with a senior officer for a period of time (usually several months).

STEP 4: You will spend three to five years minimum and sometimes longer (depending upon the jurisdiction) in regular uniformed officer duties before you’ll be able to apply for the K-9 unit. Preference for special units like a K-9 is usually given to officers with high performance ratings and commendations. So you must perform well in your job; it will assist your future K-9 application.

STEP 5: Donate your time to work with K-9s in training, apart from your regular officer duties. Get to know the current officers in that division. This will give you an edge when it comes time to apply for open K-9 officer positions.

STEP 6: Apply for K-9 officer positions when they become available and when you meet the minimum requirements in your agency. Be aware these positions will require additional training.

STEP 7: Spend time training with your new canine partner. The length and type of training will again vary from one agency to another. For instance, in Oregon, handler and canines have to complete a minimum of 400 hours of basic training and pass the Oregon Police Canine Association Standards.

Read more: How to Become a K-9 Police Officer | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5098072_become-police-officer.html#ixzz1Fcetqb57

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Comments & Responses

43 Responses so far.

  1. Nicola says:

    Hi, I have an interview next week for a Police Dog Handler, in South Wales Police, UK. I have bee a Police Officer for 14 years, and any tips on questions I could be asked would be appreciated.

    Many thanks

  2. Julie says:

    Hi im 15 years old and I want to become a police officer and hopfully become part of the K9 Unit. I now realize i might not be able to since im legally blind in my right eye. Do you think that would be a problem in becoming a police officer? I have perfect vision in my left eye though.

  3. cal says:

    Hi I’m 16 and i want to be a k9 officer but might not be able since I’m defth in my right ear

  4. Christina says:

    Hi. My name is Christina. I am 11 yeara old . When I grow up I want to be a K9 Officer. I admider the dedication that it takes to be a Police Officer . I especially admider all of the dedicated K9 officers and thier K9 partners. God Bless them all . Be safe.And most of all Thank you.

  5. Christina says:

    Hi my name is Christina and I am 20 years I would really like to become a K-9 trainer I don’t know how to start doing this so I would like so info on it plz e-mail me

  6. officer forestal says:

    Christina you’ll have to become a regular patrolman first, and then later on in your career (1-2 years) you can interview to become a k9 handler.

  7. Nathan says:

    Hi. My name is Nathan and 12 years old and I want to be a K-9 cop. How many years do I have to go to college?

  8. Officer Forestal says:

    Majority of police agencies don’t require a college degree.

  9. Tyler says:

    Hello, This is Tyler Im 19 have a highschool diploma started college live in FL and want to become an Officer. Where do i need to go? who do i need to talk to? i wanted to be out in the feild yesterday! that is how eager i am to get started.. i understand it take experience to become a k9 unit yes but i just want to know who to talk to in order to get started as a police officer Please shoot me an email it would be highly appreciated Thankyou so much-Ty

  10. Officer Forestal says:


    Contact the recruiting department of the agency you are interested in. Explain to them your career goals. They will take you by the hand and show you exactly what you need to do to get started.

  11. carl says:

    hi, I am currently active duty marine aircraft mechanic stationed in yuma arizona. At the end of my enlistment i will have 5 years active duty completed. I have read in many postings on the web that police fields require degrees and so many years for certain jobs. Will those 5 years help me at all when applying? I personaly would like to go k-9 but being that i have a background in aircraft maintenance what would you sugest i do?

  12. Taylor says:

    Hello, my name is Taylor, im 14 years old and just got intrested in the k-9 cop cause I saw the show on animal planet.:) They do dangerous things and take many risk while doing that and thats the kinda stuff i want to be doing when i get older. I am in this progam in school called AVID (Advancement Via Indeividual Determination) it a college prep. class and she said this would be a good plan for my future. After reading some of the comments what things do your think I can do around the community or classes I can take to help me get into the k-9 unit?!?!?

  13. cerdan says:

    hi im cerdan ramos 21 years old i’m a k9 handler i want to be trainor master…..i don’t know how to start doing this so

  14. brittney says:

    hi my name is brittney,im 16 but will be wanting to join a k9 unit. i am currently working on my highschool diploma. i think this would be a good job for me because im fit, have good communicating abilities, and i love animals. ive known about the k9 unit since i was young and then saw the animal planet show and that boosted my interest even more. i am currently in AFJROTC as a third year cadet. i get good grades. my teachers say if i want to i could be a good k9 unit. i think i would be good at it because i have 4 dogs and i trained all of them. i hope i can get an email back on this matter for it would be greatly appreciated

  15. Michael says:

    hi i am 12 years old and i would like to grow upand be a k-9 unit police officer.i love dogs espically german sheperds.do u know why u have to be 21 years old and at least 5 years as a regular police officer?

  16. Jack says:

    hi iam jack and im 15, i live suffolk county in new york do you think starting out at an animal shelter handling dogs and volunteering my time would make a difference especially before i go to college for criminal justice?

  17. Collin Dunn says:

    my name’s Collin. I’m 18 and am very interested in how to become a police officer for the K-9 Unit somewhere in Texas. That is my only plan for my future and don’t know how to get started. If you have any tips please email me at bntdunn@yahoo.com. Thank you

  18. Yesenia Gutierrez says:

    Hey, I am 14 and I want to become a k-9 officer when i am older i cant wait.

  19. Eddie Tolles says:

    Hi, my name is Eddie I am !7 and a Junior in high school, i am interested in joining a K9 Unit but im not sure of how to start my education after high school. Please email me at ettetolles@yahoo.com with tips on how to start. Thank You.

  20. Victor Archer says:

    hi, im 22 years old, about to get out of the US Marines after completeing 4 years of honorable duty, my dream job is to become a K9 police officer, i have extensive training with firearms, house clearing, interrogation, security, hand to hand combat, i have certificates for being OC sprayed, and all sorts of weapons training. when i get out im going back to my hometown in Royse City, TX, and would like to know what i need to do to become a k9 police officer!! if you can help me out or know of anyone that can please email me back at living4him89@yahoo.com, thankyou for your time and have a great day!

  21. Robert Baxter says:

    I Am 19 years old and I have my high school diploma and currently enrolled in Bryant & Stratton please contact me hennyjones99@yahoo.com

  22. Amy Sal says:

    Hi i am Amy and i am 14 years old. I always wanted to be a K9 unit cop. Please help my dream come true!

  23. Madison Hill says:

    Hello,I am Madison,I am 17,I want to know if there are really my college requirements to become any type of police officer. I also really want become a K-9 unit officer because I really love dogs and I have the patience and dedication needed to train the dog in a specific area of expertise,othe rwise i would love to become a member of any one\\\\\\\’s two person team.

  24. Madison Hill says:

    Hello,I am Madison,I am 17,I want know if you need a bachelors or a masters degree for the job

  25. dakota says:

    how much training do you need

  26. dakota says:

    contact me at 2157738

  27. sofia says:

    Hi, my name is Sofia and I am currently 13 years old. My striving goal is to be a K-9 Unit Cop. I watch all these programs on television about K-9 Cops and what they do. I love animals and I even have a dog of my own that I’ve trained. I would really like to be a K-9 Cop, but the problem is, I am home schooled. Well, actually distance-educated, but I’m not sure if you can be home-schooled and then be a K-9 Cop. Thank you for your time!

  28. sofia says:

    Hi, my name is Sofia and I am currently 13 years old. My striving goal is to be a K-9 Unit Cop. I watch all these programs on television about K-9 Cops and what they do. I love animals and I even have a dog of my own that I\’ve trained. I would really like to be a K-9 Cop, but the problem is, I am home schooled. Well, actually distance-educated, but I\’m not sure if you can be home-schooled and then be a K-9 Cop. Thank you for your time!

  29. Chaneka Roby says:

    My name is Chaneka Roby I am 18, I am in college right now and I wanted to know what would be the courses I would have to kave to become a K9 Officer

  30. Lucia says:

    Hi my name is Lucia and I am 16 years old. I want to be a k-9 officer but do not know all of the requirements to become one. How many years would i have to be a regular officer before being apart of the k-9 unit? If you can please email me, thank you.

  31. Kevin says:

    Hi my name is Kevin and i am 15 years old . I want to become a K-9 officer and i know all the requirements. I know i have to be a regular police officer first. i can’t wait till i become older.

  32. Samantha says:

    Hey, I’m Samantha, I wanted to know if you NEEDED a Associates Degree or Bachelors Degree? If you are a K-9 Officer, can you please contact me at sammie.nicole12@yahoo.com
    It will be greatly appreciated, thank you.

  33. Deirdre says:

    I have completed 4 years of college (ciminology major) What should my next step be to pursue the k-9 unit career path?

  34. dave says:

    hey my name is dave im 20 years old and live in nyc. im currently in college getting my associates and cant wait to become a police officer and hopefully later on when im qualified join the k-9 unit. although ive heard that its who you know that gets you in.. good luck to all

  35. bailey hays says:

    im 12 i have to do a project on k9 unit salary’s?. can you give me a range of what the salary is ?

  36. Jonathan says:

    Hey I’m looking for info on how to be a k9 unit handler. I’m currently active duty marine working and flying on helicopters. I have a little over two years left and been taking my general education classes for college not sure what to get my degree in if I should do criminal justice or if there is something better I should get a degree in and what can I do to help my chances with this career path.

  37. Keleigh says:

    hey im 14 and my name is keleigh and im looking to be a canine cop when i get older. does anybody know at what date i can start becoming a police woman then onto my canine career . i would like to be a canine unit because my grandpa tim is a police canine unit and we breed and raise rottweilers and that would be the breed i would want to work with ive been around rottweilers german sheppards and pitbulls my whole life so i am use to them. my uncle mike is a canine unit also but his german sheppard recently died . can anybody tell me what dog would be better a rottweiler german sheppard or pitbull and can i switch dogs out when 1 gets rlly old like if i had a rottweiler to start out with when that one gets old can i go to a german sheppard ??

  38. Vladimir says:

    Hi, At what age does a dog come to the academy for training

  39. caiden says:

    hey im 17 and ive been wanting to be apart of the k9 unit ever sense i was a kid and it happend u just have to belive in yourself to acomplish the goal that u set for yourself

  40. Officer Forestal says:


    I agree with that statement. I would also add to stay the course

  41. Briana says:

    Hello, My name is Briana and i am 14 years old. I wish to become a k-9 officer but i dont know what types of classes to take in high school to be better prepared for all the work aheah. can you please help me out with that?

  42. Kody says:

    I’m 16 an heard of a special task force that involves marksman ship and K9 at the same time I would love to know all the info needed to become a true K9 officer but i also want to be in a special marksman task force. Also i know to go to Georgian orillia

  43. Marie says:

    I am 13. What kind of activities or school classes do i need to be involved in to be a K-9 Cop?