Meggan wrote to me to advice her on how to become a dog handler.
She is a head nurse for the last 7 years and she feels is the right time to venture into the Dog Handling profession.

They are so many people in this world who are working in a job just for the money and they don’t leave their passion.
My advice; if you have a passion and can be turned into a carrier go for it.
I was breading and start training dogs when I was 15 and I remember my grandmother shouting at me from the balcony.
‘Stop playing with the dogs!!! Get back indoors and do your homework. You not going to eat after your dogs’
In the 80th, 🙂 Yes I know, I’m ancient 🙂 😉 they were no jobs as dog handlers or dog trainers.
So I struggled through the school and I tried all kind of jobs. From waiter to painter/ decorator, Weather Forecaster as a Meteorologist [That was a good one] to Web designer and Stock Trader (where I lost some money 🙂

Only 18 years ago I discovered I can make a living as a dog handler and I instantly become the happiest man in the world 🙂

Nowadays whatever your passion is, you can make a living from it.

This is my answer to Myriam on how to become a Dog Handler.
I thought I’m going to post it in here in case some other folks may be interested in a quick 5 steps process on how to become a Security Dog Handler.

I understand you are looking for a Security Dog Handler position.
The CV you sent me is for a dental nurse position. It doesn’t say much about your experience with dogs.
However, I understand you have a Border Collie you trained yourself and have many Kennel Club awards.

Dog Handler is more of a self-employed position.
We at Guard Dog Security do train Dog Handlers on the job time to time.

They are a few companies out there that employe Dog Handles but most of us are self-employed.
Self-employment is the fastest and easiest way to get into this wonderful way of life.

Most of the companies out there including Security Companies prefer to subcontract the Dog Handlers then to employ them because it’s a difficult and a grey area where you need to know the legislation or you can get into big trouble.

To work as a Dog Handler you need the following:
1 SIA Licence (an SIA Door Supervisor license will doing it)
2. Driving License and to be able to drive.
3. A trained dog and NASDU qualifications or equivalent.
(You have to be able to keep the dog with you in your home or backyard. )
4. A dog vehicle and dog equipment for the job you want to do.
5. Register as self-employed and get a UTR number.

You can be a GP Handler (General Purpose) dog handler that’s working with a Protection Dog like German Shepherd, Malinois, Rottweiler or similar, protecting clients premises.
A Search Dog Handler. Working with a couple of search dogs like Labradors, Springer Spaniels or similar gun dogs.
Or a dual handler. GP and Search dog handler.

The steps you have to do to get into this industry is to get your SIA licence first.
Get a young dog and start training it.
To cut corners you can buy a trained dog but you still need to take your NASDU or similar qualification. Or to find a company to take and qualify you on the job and then to get your exams.
Get your dog van or an estate car and kit it up as a Dog Unit.
Register as self-employed and learn how to write invoices and timesheets.

There is work; and the industry needs dedicate men and women who love training and working with dogs.
They are a lot of handlers out there who hate their job and don’t like dogs but they keep working because money is not bad and is a demand for handlers.

And don’t forget.
In this job are lots of night hours and usually lonely hours only you and your dog.
The GP dog handler is suitable for people who love outdoors, camping and spending long nights by themselves.
GP dog handler is not suitable for people who like comfort, nice comfy warm toilets and like spending weekend nights in clubs and bars.

We are in the security industry and we have to work when other folks are off; nights, weekends and Bank Holidays.

To know if this job is for you or not look at how you spend your weekend nights.
Clubs and bars?
or outdoors and camping?

If you want advice on how to do each of the 5 steps listed above let me know.
Keep me posted on how is working for you.

Best Regards,
Ray Zamfir
Guard Dog Security ltd.