Dog Handler Recruitment Questions

#1
Hi everyone,
I'm in my last year of college (doing A-levels) and I think I might be interested in an army career. I'm planning on taking a gap year to decide if this is definitely the right choice, but in the meantime, I can't find much on the British Army website about a career as a dog handler aside from a brief overview of training.
What does the initial 14 weeks training involve? I know a lot about RAF basic training, is it very similar or more intense?
What is Phase 2 like?
And after training, what happens? I don't know if new recruits go straight into any kind of specialist training or straight into a job, or if they wait until there's a position open. What happens in the meantime?
A step-by-step breakdown of everything I need to know and do to get from now to being a dog handler in the army would be greatly appreciated :)
Thank you!
 
#2
Hi everyone,
I'm in my last year of college (doing A-levels) and I think I might be interested in an army career. I'm planning on taking a gap year to decide if this is definitely the right choice, but in the meantime, I can't find much on the British Army website about a career as a dog handler aside from a brief overview of training.
What does the initial 14 weeks training involve? I know a lot about RAF basic training, is it very similar or more intense?
What is Phase 2 like?
And after training, what happens? I don't know if new recruits go straight into any kind of specialist training or straight into a job, or if they wait until there's a position open. What happens in the meantime?
A step-by-step breakdown of everything I need to know and do to get from now to being a dog handler in the army would be greatly appreciated :)
Thank you!
I believe the British Army website has the phase 1 training weeks broken down into quick overviews. Generally phase 1 is about learning basic soldiering skills like map reading, weapons handling, living in the field and P.T.

Phase 1 for the Army is different to the RAF in many ways and is more intense in a variety of ways. The lessons of attention to detail, time management etc will no doubt be just as testing for both sets of recruits.

I believe potential Dog Handlers have to attend extra trade selection to be allowed to continue with that as their trade choice. I don't personally know what that entails nor what phase 2 for that corps is like.
 
#3
Why dog handling?

I'm not belittling people who work with dogs. Many of them have shown a lot of bravery over the years and some have lost their lives doing their work.

There is the obvious attraction of working with dogs but there are other careers in the Army where you would be tackling a much broader spectrum of work than just doing pretty much the one thing.

I was infantry, albeit many years ago in the seventies. When I was posted to my battalion in Germany, they were already doing a tour in Belfast. I spent a couple of months kicking my heels on rear party waiting for my 18th birthday so I could join them on tour.

During that interlude, someone posted a notice asking for volunteers to work with dogs. I wanted to not hang around any more and I put my name down. I was interviewed and basically told that why I might enjoy working with dogs, the Army hadn't spent all that time and effort training me to be an infantryman just so I could bugger off to dog school or whatever it was called.

I joined my battalion after my 18th birthday for the last six weeks of the tour and from then on frankly had a ball. There were more operational tours, a lot of traveling around parts of the world and a variety of different soldiering roles in hot places, jungly places and of course, the UK and Europe.

I don't think I would have done anywhere near as much if I had succeeded in getting myself into a dog handling role.

Have a good look at other roles and think what kind of variety could they offer you in a future career.
 
#4
Why dog handling?

I'm not belittling people who work with dogs. Many of them have shown a lot of bravery over the years and some have lost their lives doing their work.

There is the obvious attraction of working with dogs but there are other careers in the Army where you would be tackling a much broader spectrum of work than just doing pretty much the one thing.

I was infantry, albeit many years ago in the seventies. When I was posted to my battalion in Germany, they were already doing a tour in Belfast. I spent a couple of months kicking my heels on rear party waiting for my 18th birthday so I could join them on tour.

During that interlude, someone posted a notice asking for volunteers to work with dogs. I wanted to not hang around any more and I put my name down. I was interviewed and basically told that why I might enjoy working with dogs, the Army hadn't spent all that time and effort training me to be an infantryman just so I could bugger off to dog school or whatever it was called.

I joined my battalion after my 18th birthday for the last six weeks of the tour and from then on frankly had a ball. There were more operational tours, a lot of traveling around parts of the world and a variety of different soldiering roles in hot places, jungly places and of course, the UK and Europe.

I don't think I would have done anywhere near as much if I had succeeded in getting myself into a dog handling role.

Have a good look at other roles and think what kind of variety could they offer you in a future career.


Well, we've had dogs since I was 8 and had a litter in when I was 13. I helped with raising them and helped my mum with training one into a working gundog. Training them and learning about behavioural aspects of dogs has honestly been one of the most interesting and rewarding things I've done so far.
I guess I'm at the 'I-don't-know-what-to-do-with-my-life' stage. I have offers from university but I'm not completely convinced it's the right thing.
Thank you for your help though. I haven't looked into every possible army career that I could go into- I'll be sure to research everything properly before I apply.
 
#5
Go to university.

The Army will still be there (possibly) when you have a degree and have had three years to mull it over.

From my limited understanding military dog handling is not actually something that would be suitable for a dog lover. Admittedly that was gleaned from the BiL who was a Met dog handler but it is also backed up by reading stuff (at least the Met retire the dog with you).

Edit: As an aside, and FWIW, I wouldn’t bother with the gap year. Unless you are doing something really positive (like 12 months building hospitals or drilling wells) employers really do not like to see a years worth of whoring, drinking and getting stoned on a CV. Save the money to help you through university.
 
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#6
Well, we've had dogs since I was 8 and had a litter in when I was 13. I helped with raising them and helped my mum with training one into a working gundog. Training them and learning about behavioural aspects of dogs has honestly been one of the most interesting and rewarding things I've done so far.
I guess I'm at the 'I-don't-know-what-to-do-with-my-life' stage. I have offers from university but I'm not completely convinced it's the right thing.
Thank you for your help though. I haven't looked into every possible army career that I could go into- I'll be sure to research everything properly before I apply.
If you're tied between the Army and University then I believe you can get sponsorship/bursaries from the Army to get you through University, with a career in the Army as an Officer after you graduate. It would be a good idea if you do like the idea of higher education as you would have a degree if you ever needed a job outside the military.
 
#7
If you're tied between the Army and University then I believe you can get sponsorship/bursaries from the Army to get you through University, with a career in the Army as an Officer after you graduate. It would be a good idea if you do like the idea of higher education as you would have a degree if you ever needed a job outside the military.
I did think about it, but my degree is Zoology with a foundation year... I'm not sure if that fits any army bursaries?
 
#8
Go to university.

The Army will still be there (possibly) when you have a degree and have had three years to mull it over.

From my limited understanding military dog handling is not actually something that would be suitable for a dog lover. Admittedly that was gleaned from the BiL who was a Met dog handler but it is also backed up by reading stuff (at least the Met retire the dog with you).

Edit: As an aside, and FWIW, I wouldn’t bother with the gap year. Unless you are doing something really positive (like 12 months building hospitals or drilling wells) employers really do not like to see a years worth of whoring, drinking and getting stoned on a CV. Save the money to help you through university.
I'll have a look at other dog handling careers. My gap year is just for me to work and save up a good amount for university, I'm not going anywhere exotic for whoring and drinking (sadly ;) )
 
#9
I'll have a look at other dog handling careers. My gap year is just for me to work and save up a good amount for university, I'm not going anywhere exotic for whoring and drinking (sadly ;) )
Consider joining the reserv s as a bit of a taster
 
#10
I did think about it, but my degree is Zoology with a foundation year... I'm not sure if that fits any army bursaries?
Why not.

It’s a rigorous science degree and a damn sight more attractive to any employer than some social/media/pop psychology studies bog paper degree.

A B.Sc Zoology would go in the possible/probable pile rather than the reject bin.

My kid SiL did zoology at Reading and is now on an M.Sc as a halfway house to a veterinary degree. She had to go straight up the sheer face of Mount Improbable rather than walk around the back and stroll up the gently sloping side.

Hopefully, as a zoologist the reference is not lost on you.

Don’t close doors.
 

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#12
I'm I'm not going anywhere exotic for whoring and drinking (sadly ;) )
Then whilst potential employers would appreciate that, the army will see that as a lack of initiative.
 

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