If you’re a dog lover like me, you may wish to up your game and build a career in Dog Training. In this article, you will learn how to become a police dog trainer, duties of police dog trainers, education requirements, salary and career outlook of police dog trainers.
Training police dogs typically involves teaching them to protect their handler, assist in apprehending criminals and detect bombs. Keep reading to see more.
Duties of police dog trainers | Police Dog Trainer Jobs
The duties of police dog trainers include:
#1. Working for training schools, private companies or police departments where they teach dogs basic and advanced skills needed to work with police officers.
#2. Training the dogs for police departments or work with dog and handler teams to prepare them for this specialized career.
#3. As a police dog trainer, you train dogs in the fundamentals of obedience with and without leashes, as well as basic verbal and hand signal commands, such as stay, sit, heel and come.
#4. You also prepare dogs for specific police jobs such as searching buildings or an area, protecting the handler, tracking and catching criminals. Advanced training classes cover specialties in detecting drugs, guns and bombs. Many police dog trainers are also police dog handlers. Additional job duties as a handler may involve living with, working with and training your assigned police dog, as well as assisting with police investigations.
Education Required Experience and specialized training Key Responsibilities Care for and train dogs Job Growth (2018-2028)* 13% for all animal trainers Median Salary (2018)* $29,290 for all animal trainers
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Police Dog Trainer Job Requirements
To become a police dog trainer, their are job requirements you must meet. The job requirements for a police dog trainer vary from state to state, but most require you to have 3-6 years of experience as a police dog handler and 200-1,000 hours of formal training for the career.
You may receive this training from a K-9 instructor school or state-approved association. Sometimes these schools are part of a college curriculum; in other cases, they may be schools run or recommended by state or county police agencies. Some police dog trainer positions may require you to have certification.
Police Dog Trainer Certification
Those seeking certification that is specific to police dog trainers will most likely obtain it by completing a police dog trainer program. Otherwise, general dog training certification is offered through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). Candidates can become certified in training knowledge and skills, with knowledge certification requiring a written exam and the skills certification requiring a practical exam.
Certification is also available for police officers working in their department’s canine unit. This certification ensures that a team (the handler and their dog) can perform satisfactorily in the field. The United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) offers certification in several areas for handlers and their dogs and is obtained through a practical exam.
Certification requirements variations depend not only on the employer, but on the specific certification you are shooting for. You may also be required to be a member of a national or regional K-9 association.
Generally, a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent is required to work as a dog trainer. While some employers may offer on-the-job training, there are programs available that teach canine training instruction.
What is more?
Some programs offer specialized police canine trainer instruction and can result in certification upon graduation. Students will learn how to effectively work with police dogs and their handlers and how to solve problems on their own. Programs can last up to 12 weeks. Some schools offer training and certification for law enforcement to become instructors.
Any former and current police officer who have worked with the canine unit have the option to become a police dog trainer. Some training schools even require their instructors to have experience as police canine handlers. Becoming a police officer requires postsecondary education, usually with courses in criminal justice or law enforcement. Candidates will also have to enroll in a police training academy.
Police Dog Trainer Salary
There are no specific salary statistics for police dog trainer wages. However, According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median wage in 2018 for animal trainers is $29,290. This is an estimate for animal trainers across several industries, not just dog trainers for police canine units. Additionally, the BLS reports a job outlook of 13% for animal trainers from 2018-2028.
Salaries depend on your experience and geographical location, as well as what kinds of specialty certifications you have earned. If you become a private police dog trainer, your income may vary on the number of clients and how much you charge.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
If you are interested in a similar career, you may want to consider working as veterinary assistant or lab animal caretaker. These positions also only require a high school diploma, though training is typically undertaken on the job.
These animal caretakers work under the supervision of veterinarians or scientists to provide routine care for animals, including feeding, exercise and bathing, as well as possible administration of medication. They are responsible for the cleanliness and maintenance of the facility, including cages, equipment and exam rooms. Another animal-related career is a groomer, which involves bathing pets and cutting and cutting their hair and nails. Groomers may also investigate health issues that could require veterinary attention.