Dog Handler

Army Medical Service

DOGS ARE CAPABLE OF SOME INCREDIBLE THINGS.

THE PAST THREE YEARS HAVE BEEN AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE
As a Dog Handler, you’ll take Military Working Dogs (MWD) wherever the Army is deployed. You start by working with protection dogs; making sure that bases and Army sites are safe and secure. Later, you might be chosen to handle specialist dogs that can sniff out arms and explosives. In barracks and on low-level training exercises, you’ll work with colleagues in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps. On operations or large-scale exercises, you’ll support troops from every part of the Army – wherever military dogs are needed. You’ll train your dogs to the highest standard and enjoy an incredible bond. Together, you could save lives.

Training For The Role

Step 1
You'll start with your initial military training which will teach you how to be a soldier - this will cover everything from fieldcraft to how to handle a rifle. Your initial training will be at either Pirbright or Winchester and last for 14 weeks.

Step 2
Trade training happens at the Defence Animal Centre in Melton Mowbray. It’s a ten-week course that includes an induction week, a Protection Handler and Practical Training Assistant course, Field Skills phase, Veterinary First Aid package and a key skills test week. You will finish your trade training with a Class 3 dog handler qualification.

Entry Requirements

Age: 17 years 6 months - 35 years 6 months
Qualifications: No formal qualifications required; however desire to work outside, with animals and previous kennel or dog handling experience will be looked on favourably.
Fitness:
  • Mid Thigh Pull 46kg
  • Medicine Ball Throw 3.1m
  • 2km run 11m 15s (11m 30s for Junior Entry)
More information about the fitness test

Qualifications You Could Get After Training

  • Level 2/3 apprenticeship qualifications in Animal Care
  • Specialist Military Working Dogs (MWD) handling qualifications (based on ability and the needs of the Army)

Rank Progression

Learn about rank progression here.

Pay and Benefits

From the Field

“The past three years have been an amazing experience; I have deployed on operations, and supported numerous search tasks. I have gained skills that I can use both in my military career with dogs and in civilian life. I have been lucky enough to be posted to the Canine Training Squadron (CTS) at the Defence Animal Centre where my role has been to train Protection dogs that the MOD uses to patrol bases in the UK and abroad. I have trained three Military Working Protection dogs to date, which are all now in service.”

HOW TO APPLY

Once your online application has been approved, you'll meet with a local recruiter. This is your chance to tell us about the role that you're interested in. When you go to the Assessment Centre,you'll take tests - the results will show whether you'd be suitable for this role, or should consider a different role.

Training For The Role

Step 1
You will complete your initial training over 4 weekends at your Unit or a central location found across the UK. If it suits you better, you can condense this into a 1 week training course.

Step 2
You will then attend a 2 week long training course at an Army Training Centre, these are located across the UK.

Step 3
Once your basic soldiering training is complete, you will move on to do trade specific training with your Unit.

Entry Requirements

Age: 18 years - 49 years 6 months
Fitness:
  • Mid Thigh Pull 46kg
  • Medicine Ball Throw 3.1m
  • 2km run 11m 15s (11m 30s for Junior Entry)
More information about the fitness test
Qualifications: No formal qualifications needed

Qualifications You Could Get After Training

On successful entry into the Army Medical Services Reserve you will be eligible to apply for funding for Professional Qualifications to help you in your role with the Army Medical Services.

Pay and Benefits

You’ll get paid a day rate according to your rank, starting from £37.47 in training and rising to £46.42 per day once you’re a Private. This includes being paid for weekly drill nights. Plus, if you complete all of your annual training days, you’re entitled to a tax-free lump sum called a bounty.

More about Reserve benefits

From the Field

“The past three years have been an amazing experience; I have deployed on operations, and supported numerous search tasks. I have gained skills that I can use both in my military career with dogs and in civilian life. I have been lucky enough to be posted to the Canine Training Squadron (CTS) at the DAC where my role has been to train Protection dogs that the MOD uses to patrol bases in the UK and abroad. I have trained three Military Working Protection dogs to date, which are all now in service.”

HOW TO APPLY

Once your online application has been approved, you'll meet with a local recruiter. This is your chance to tell us about the role that you're interested in. When you go to the Assessment Centre,you'll take tests - the results will show whether you'd be suitable for this role, or should consider a different role.