A 13-week course at the police dog training school in Exeter, is undertaken by all General Purpose Police dogs, regardless of their handlers’ experience. All of our dogs are German Shepherd dogs from our puppy development scheme.
The ultimate aim of police dog training is that a dog will react in the same way, each time it hears a certain command, or sees a visual sign from the handler. To obtain this degree of response from the dog, the handler must be consistent in commands and manner.
Control is the major factor in training dogs; self-control on the part of the handler as well as control over the dog. Self-control requires that handlers must, at all times, have complete control over themselves. A handler who loses their temper during the training period will also lose control of the dog. A handler must have 100% confidence in both his dog’s ability and his own in controlling his dog.
At the end of this intensive 13-week course which covers the principles of tracking, searching for people and property, obedience training and criminal work, there is an independent assessment to nationally recognised standards to ensure the dogs and handlers are suitable to undertake operational duties.
The dogs and handlers have to pass an annual assessment to ensure they continue to develop and be safe and effective in their role.