Dog Handler Job Description and Duties

Updated on: July 18, 2022
Dog Handler Job Description

Dog handlers work in many settings, including in private service, armed services, and kennels and shelters. 

Some dog handlers may even be brought onboard to handle sniffer dogs for security agencies.

Depending on where you work, you will be required to ensure the physical and emotional well-being of the dogs.

Since dogs become attached to the people who look after them, it is important for you to be kind and patient at all times.

Working as a dog handler means that you may often have to perform duties that are not too savory, including picking up litter and cleaning dog kennels.

And if you are squeamish about this kind of work, this may not be the right career decision for you.

The following is a list of duties that you will have to perform in the role of a dog handler:

Related: Dog Handler Resume Sample

Dog Handler Duties and Responsibilities

  • Confer with dog owners to determine their pets’ unique needs and behaviors.
  • Assess dogs to decipher their behavior in sync with what their owners say.
  • Create and implement specially designed care programs based on each assigned dog’s specific requirements.
  • Verify that implemented programs are effective and modify them where necessary.
  • Take assigned dogs for walks on specific routes and ensure that they are kept safe from harm.
  • Observe dogs’ behaviors and ensure that any concerning issues are communicated to their owners immediately.
  • Use positive reinforcement to reward good behavior, in addition to other techniques to correct or adjust bad behavior.
  • Sweep and mop dogs’ dwellings and ensure that they are adequately sanitized regularly.
  • Clean and disinfect play and exercise equipment, and ensure that play yards are free from droppings.
  • Monitor social time with other dogs and intervene in situations that require dog restraining.
  • Detect and discourage overly excited dogs and aggressive or inappropriate behavior.
  • Intervene in cases that may result in injuries, and provide first aid to injured dogs.
Position Requirements

No specific education is required to work in this capacity.

Training is usually provided on the job, in accordance with the rules and procedures of the facility that one is working at.

A cool temperament, along with the ability to handle aggressive canine behavior, is critical in this role.

You will need to be a dog lover by nature.

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