Handler & Instructor Training

Since its inception in 1953, Karenswood (International) Ltd has been in the vanguard of the development of the dog as an instrument of search and the company can rightfully claim to have originated much of what is today common practice in dog work.

Dog Handler & Instructor Training Courses offered by Karenswood (International) Ltd embrace every conceivable aspect of dog work and they are designed to ensure that the student is trained to internationally renowned standards of operational capability. All of the Karenswood courses can be tailored to suit the individual client’s requirements and can be conducted on location overseas or at the Karenswood (International) Ltd Training Centre in the United Kingdom.

Selecting the Handler

The importance attached to the selection of personnel to train in the role of dog handler cannot be over emphasised and it calls for persons with a natural sense of responsibility. In the domestic situation and also in the wider field of dog work the handler must:

  • Have the ability to exercise sound practical judgement and be able to carry out the requirements of the task with confidence;
  • Be possessed of a natural ability to physically interact with the dog in a way that leaves the dog in no doubt that whilst the handler is the fountain of joy, s/he is also the one whose authority must be respected - always.
  • Be capable of displaying those characteristics of human behaviour that are best suited to the fluctuating levels of canine self confidence.


The acquisition of knowledge is not the same as the application of a learned skill.

The training of dogs for Police, Customs and Military purposes is a potentially dangerous task and it places certain demands upon those who seek to handle dogs of this type. The ideal candidate would be a dog handler with a proven record of ability. The handler should be self motivated and dedicated to the task  -  capable of working in stressful, perhaps even hostile conditions. The handler must be able to carry out their duties confidently and with a determination to perform the exercise skilfully without supervision.

The role of instructor is somewhat different to that of the dog handler, in so far that the Instructor, having himself / herself satisfied all of the attributes of a dog handler, must be possessed of all that it takes to impart his / her knowledge to students and to demonstrate in practical terms the validity of the verbal or written instruction given.