What is the Patrol Dog Handler Course?

Aim of the Course

To provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become an operational Patrol Dog Handler.

Facilitated by IDT(A).

Entry Standards

  • The course is open to Private soldiers and all non-commissioned ranks.
  • IELTS level 6.
  • A reasonable level of physical fitness.


Two (2) weeks, with twelve (12) course per year.


Defence Animal Centre (DAC) Melton Mowbray.

Outline of Course

On completion of the course the dog handler will be capable of:

  • Maintaining the dog, kennel, the kennel area and kennel equipment in a clean, healthy and tidy condition.
  • Carrying out obedience with a trained dog both leashed and unleashed.
  • Recognising the basic signs of health, detect signs of sickness and report any abnormalities.
  • Patrolling continuously for at least 3 hours in all weather conditions with the dog at heel.
  • Interpreting the dog’s behaviour and “reading” its silent indication of the presence of an intruder at a minimum distance of 300 metres in good weather and 50 metres in bad weather.
  • Demonstrating the correct challenge, release and arrest procedures for apprehending an intruder with the aid of the dog.
  • Controlling the dog whilst carrying out the search and escort of an intruder.
  • Conducting all forms of continuation training to maintain their dog at a high level of operational efficiency.

The Defence Animal Centre can sometimes provide trained dogs, but refer any queries on this to IDT(A).

Qualifications Gained



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