Dog Handler

Army Medical Services

At a glance

  • Soldier
  • medical

Train a dog to Army standards. Go on exercises and operations worldwide and enjoy adventure, challenges, sports and an amazing bond with your hound.

  • £18,687The minimum amount you’ll earn during training
  • £23,496Your pay after completing basic trade training
  • AgeFrom 17 years & 6 months to 35 years & 6 months
  • QualificationsNo formal qualifications needed

The past three years have been an amazing experience.

As a Dog Handler, you’ll take Military Working Dogs 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.

The Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC) provides the service lead in the development of good animal husbandry, training practice, preventive medicine and care for Military Working Animals (MWAs).

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Key Responsibilities

  • Work in challenging and hostile environments

  • Work mostly outdoors

  • Work outside normal hours looking after animals

  • Use your patience and a consistent approach to work successfully with animals

  • Carry out other military duties

Have any questions? Talk with us

Regular (full time)

Entry requirements

  • Age:

    From 17 years & 6 months to 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.

  • Basic physical fitness assessment:

    • Mid Thigh Pull 50kg

    • Medicine Ball Throw 2.7m

    • MSFT (beep test) level 6.6 (5.8 for Reserve candidates)

    More information about the fitness test

Training for the role

Step 1
Initial military training teaches you how to be a soldier. This covers everything from fieldcraft to how to handle a rifle. This 14-week course takes place at either Pirbright in Surrey or Winchester, Hampshire.

Step 2
Trade training happens at the Defence Animal Training Regiment 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 by gaining a Class 3 dog handler qualification.

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)

Pay & benefits

Earn £18,687 a year during training. When you have completed 26 weeks' service or finished basic trade training – whichever comes first – your pay will rise to £23,496.

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.

More about the joining process

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