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  • Getting into K9.

    I'm currently with a Fed agency (BOP) and will be making the switch to a local Sheriff's department that currently has 4 K9's. I know it's not something I immediately will get to do, but how would one go about expressing interest in working the K9 program and getting in? Are there any classes/certifications I can work on? I imagine K9 is something a lot of people are interested in, so any suggestions on how to break into the field would be very appreciated.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    First you have to remember that you may have to have some time on the department to become eligible. During that time, meet the handlers and talk with them about being in the K-9 unit. Show the handlers that you are interested in becoming a handler by going out to train with them as much as you can. Learn to be a good agitator....not just someone who goes out and puts on the bite suit.

    When on the street, try to be the backup for the handler as much as possible. Get to where the handlers actually want you to be their back up because they are comfortable with you and because they know you know how to act around the dogs. Also, while out on the street, offer to lay tracks for them or assist in any extra training that the handler needs.

    Study the K-9 Unit SOP and department policies regarding the dogs. It is one thing to talk about wanting to be a handler, and another to actually go out and show it. Eventually an opening will come up and you should have a "leg up" on the other applicants.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Kdog9 View Post
      First you have to remember that you may have to have some time on the department to become eligible. During that time, meet the handlers and talk with them about being in the K-9 unit. Show the handlers that you are interested in becoming a handler by going out to train with them as much as you can. Learn to be a good agitator....not just someone who goes out and puts on the bite suit.

      When on the street, try to be the backup for the handler as much as possible. Get to where the handlers actually want you to be their back up because they are comfortable with you and because they know you know how to act around the dogs. Also, while out on the street, offer to lay tracks for them or assist in any extra training that the handler needs.

      Study the K-9 Unit SOP and department policies regarding the dogs. It is one thing to talk about wanting to be a handler, and another to actually go out and show it. Eventually an opening will come up and you should have a "leg up" on the other applicants.

      I agree 110% with this statment. You have to really want it and be in it with everything you have. Alot of responsibilty comes with the job, it's not just a cool gig it's a life.


      SGT. K
      "whys the sky blue? because god loves the Infantry"

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      • #4
        Thank you for that advice. I definitely understand that it's not just hanging out with a dog and that k9s are working dogs, far different than simply a pet and my lifestyle needs to adjust to such.

        I wasn't sure if asking the handlers to volunteer for training would be a good idea or if it's looked at more like a "gee, pop, can I tag along?" type thing lol. So it's good to hear that it is welcomed. Thank you Sgt.K and Kdog9!

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