Our police dog handlers

We have more than 160 police dog teams at the RCMP. No other organization or agency in Canada has more fully trained and operational police dogs. We’re in a unique position to develop training and programs relating to police dog enforcement.

We encourage our police dog handlers to:

  • get involved with their communities
  • become proactive in youth education of youth (particularly vulnerable youth)
  • be positive role models for youth

Becoming a police dog handler

To become a police dog handler with the RCMP you have to be:

  • a regular member of the RCMP
  • a good investigator
  • able to work independently
  • self motivated
  • physically fit
  • willing to maintain a fitness lifestyle

You’ll also need to:

  • successfully complete the imprinting course
  • imprint puppies and demonstrate animal compatibility
  • successfully complete a map/compass/GPS course
  • successfully complete the 5-month dog handler course with your police dog partner

Qualities of a good dog handler

Beyond the requirements of the job itself, to be a good dog handler you have to be:

  • patient
  • considerate of the impact of your actions on your police dog partner
  • decisive
  • flexible
  • emotionally disciplined
  • even tempered
  • able to take responsibility for your police dog partner’s actions and mistakes
  • understanding that your police dog partner is only a dog
  • able to respect your police dog partner’s uniqueness and talents

Becoming a police dog trainer

To become a police dog trainer, you need to:

  • be an experienced police dog handler in the RCMP
  • demonstrate your competencies in facilitation techniques
  • have extensive involvement in training police dogs and police dog teams
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