What is the Vehicle Search Dog Handler?

Aim of the Course

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

Facilitated by IDT(A).

Entry Standards

  • Private soldiers and all non-commissioned ranks.
  • IELTS level 6.
  • Experience in basic dog handling.


Four (4) weeks, with two (2) courses per year.


Defence Animal Centre (DAC) Melton Mowbray.

Outline of Course

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

  • Maintaining a close working relationship with a trained Vehicle Search dog.
  • Advising a Search Team Commander of the correct procedures for the employment of a Vehicle Search dog under various operational situations.
  • Employing the dog to search, find and indicate the presence of arms ammunition explosive and associated items.
  • Recognising common terrorist booby traps, weapons and explosives.
  • Operating a Vehicle Search dog to detect and clear all types of vehicles.
  • Controlling the dog to search vehicles at Vehicle Check Points both leashed and unleashed
  • Completing reports and understanding safety precautions.
  • Recognising the basic signs of health, detect signs of sickness and report any abnormalities.
  • Conducting all forms of continuation training in order to maintain his dog at a high standard of operational efficiency.

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

Related course: Patrol Dog Handlers Course.

Qualifications Gained



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