Police K9 Instructor / Trainer Course

Police K9 Instructor / Trainer Course

Police K9 Trainer School

Our most inclusive working dog program, the Police K9 Trainer / Instructor Program combines all aspects of both our Protection and Detection Trainer programs, and emphasizes tasks Police K9s and their partners are called to do. Our training facilities provide realistic scenarios for working K9s, trainers and handlers, so dogs and handlers graduate ready to get to work. This program is ideal for current and former Law Enforcement Personnel, K9 unit supervisors and handlers, military, as well as for civilians who are interested in training and handling K9s for this fascinating line of work.

police-k9-handler-training-schoolOur Police K9 Trainer School teaches students what they need to know to be effective handlers or Police K9 trainers for working dogs of all types. Graduates of our program are confident in their skills, and most importantly, confident in their K9 partner. They learn to trust their police K9 implicitly because they are part of the entire learning process, and know the training methods taught at Highland Canine are proven to be successful in the field.

Students who attend our 12-week program receive a solid foundation in dog behavior, learning theory, training tools, and behavior modification techniques. This foundation allows our Police K9 trainers to communicate effectively with their partners, build a solid relationship with their dog, and accurately troubleshoot any training or behavioral problems the dog may develop throughout its working career.

Shorter programs are designed for those who already possess a solid understanding of canine behavior and have a strong background in professional Police K9 training or handling who are looking to polish their skills.

6 Week Program


Payments as Low as $93.06 per month

8 Week Program


Payments as Low as $123.41 per month

12 Week Program


Payments as Low as $158.35 per month

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Price includes deposit and materials. Optional student housing is additional. Apply for our Police K9 Trainer School today!

Below is a brief outline for the Police K9 Trainer / Instructor Program. This outline does not cover all of the material, lectures, discussions and hands-on application that is covered during the program and is provided to give a general idea of the material covered during the program. Practical application evaluations and written examinations occur following each week’s instruction.

police-k9-training instructor

Week One – Police K9 Trainer School

Introduction and Ethology
– Evolution of the Canine
– Canine Ethology, & taxonomy
– Comparison of the Domestic Dog and other Canids
– Pedigree Research
Language of Dogs
– Reading and Understanding Canine Body Language and Stress Signals in Dogs
Applied Dog Behavior
– Understanding applied dog behavior
Clicker training as a method of Positive Reinforcement
Baiting and Luring dogs, using food as a reinforcement
Selection of Police Canine Prospects
– Selecting and Testing Puppies
– Selecting and Testing Adult Dogs

Drive Development for Police Work:
Puppy development
Understanding and Assessing Prey Drive
Hunting Ability
Defense Drive
Record Keeping and Report Writing
Canine Case Law
Detection Cases and the 4th Amendment
Apprehension Cases that Affect the Police K9 Team

Week Two – Police K9 Trainer School

Practical Application of Baiting and Luring Dogs
How Dogs Learn
– Learning Theory and Principles

– Application of Reinforcement Schedules
– Behavior Shaping and Fundamentals of Training
EXCEL-erated Learning
Police Canine Training Equipment:
– Leashes and Collars
– Tracking Lines
– Tracking Harnesses
– Bite Sleeves
– Bite Suits
– Remote Collar

Week Three – Police K9 Trainer School

Proper Application of Training Tools
Practical Socialization
Testing Dogs
Purely Positive Training
Training Narcotics Detection Dogs
– Imprinting
– Simple Direct Association
– Deferred Response
– Other Detection Training Methods
– Search Methods
– Teaching the Alert
– Proofing

Training Explosives Detection Dogs:
– Recognition of Explosives and Explosive Devices
– Imprinting
– Search Methods
– Teaching the Alert
– Proofing
– Problem Solving

Week Four – Police K9 Trainer School

A Dogs’ Mind
Behavior Problems
– Effective Behavior Analysis
– Dominance and Aggression
– Phobias and Fear Aggression
– Possessive Aggression
– Territorial Aggression
– Maternal Aggression
– Idiopathic Aggression
– Neurotic Behaviors
Successfully Resolving Problem Behaviors
Behavior Analysis Assignment
Training the Trailing Dog
– Scent Theory
– Proper Handling Techniques
– Variable Surface Trailing
– Scent Discrimination Trailing
– Training the Bark Alert
– Problem Solving
– Containment Techniques for Patrol Officers

Week Five – Police K9 Trainer School

Marketing Your Dog Training Business
Advertising Strategies for Dog Trainers
Website Planning and Design
– Site Structure
– Form vs. Function
– Blogs and other Web Marketing Ideas
Working with Clients
Practical Business Management Assignments
Behavior Analysis Practical Examination
Criminal Apprehension and Bitework
– Proper Handling Techniques
– Working the grip
– Civil Agitation
– Target Biting
– Channeling Drives

– Proper Decoy Techniques

Week Six – Police K9 Trainer School

Explore Dog Specialties
– Agility
– Treibball
– K9 Nosework
– Protection
– Search and Rescue
Attend a Private Lesson
Pet First Aid and CPR
Veterinary and Canine Medical Issues
– Understanding What is Normal
– Preventive Medicine
– Treatments for Illness
Agility Training for Police Dogs
– Agility Course Layout
– Confidence Development
– Teaching Practical Agility

Week Seven – Police K9 Trainer School

Police K9 Handler Instruction
– Teaching Police K9 Handlers
– Creating Effective Lesson Plans
– Aspects of Remedial Training

Conducting Effective K9 Demonstrations
Tactical Tracking
– Nighttime Trailing Operations
– Working with Arrest Teams
– Safety Considerations
– Teaching and Indication

Week Eight – Police K9 Trainer School

Advanced Detection and Interdiction Methods
– Effectively Searching Passenger Vehicles
– Commercial Vehicle Searches
– Criminal Interdiction Methods


Week Nine – Police K9 Trainer School

Tactical Building Searches
– Building Search Methods
– Building Search Strategies
– Apprehension vs. Bark and Hold

Open Area Searches
Muzzle Fighting and Ground Fighting

Week Ten – Police K9 Trainer School

Evidence Searches
– Teaching the Article of Evidence Search
– Indication vs. Retrieval
– Teaching the Indication
– Teaching Irretrievable Objects
Teaching Criminal Apprehension with Gunfire
Teaching the Passive Bite

Week Eleven – Police K9 Trainer School

Swat K9 Concepts and Integration
– Perimeter Training
– Vehicle Extractions
– Building Extractions
– Clearing Structures with a Police K9 and Entry Team
– Working with SWAT or SRT Teams
– Problem Solving
Apprehension Training with the Hidden Sleeve / Suit

Week Twelve – Police K9 Trainer School

K9 Unit Supervision and Management
Certification Issues and Requirements
The Role of Scenario Based Certifications


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