Police K9 Trainer School Program Details

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.

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.

Highland Canine Training, LLC is a global leader in Police and Military Working dog sales and training.  Our Police K9 Trainer / Instructor Course teaches students what they need to know to be leaders in the Police & Military K9 industry.  Our program will teach you how to effectively work with dogs of all types. Graduates of our program are confident in their skills, and most importantly, confident in training K9 teams. 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.

Police K9 Trainer Course Calendar

Our 6, 8 and 12-week Police K9 Courses are offered four times per year.  These programs typically begin on the first Monday of January, April, July and October. (excluding holidays)

Our 6-week Advanced Police K9 Trainer Course begins in the middle of our 12-week programs and targets the information geared toward individuals with more experience.

You can view our most recent calendars for our School for Dog Trainers by clicking on the buttons to the right.  Each calendar is a downloadable .pdf

Police K9 Trainer Course Pricing

police k9 trainer course

Police K9 Trainer Course Subjects

Our Police K9 Trainer courses teach graduates various methods of training detection dogs and effectively training handlers to create successful K9 teams.  Through years of experience and research, we have been able to develop some of the best detection dogs in the industry and as a student in our program, you will have the opportunity to understand and apply these proven techniques. At Highland Canine Training, LLC we continuously engage in research and development programs pertaining to military and working dogs and this knowledge and information allows us to develop cutting edge training programs.  As a student of our programs, you will have the opportunity to be involved in any ongoing projects as well as being able to benefit from our previous research.

We also focus on teaching fundamental police patrol dog techniques to obtain reliable behaviors for the life of the police dog.  Our program teaches you how to utilize operant conditioning and successive approximations to build behaviors such as the “out” and “recall” as well as solid obedience with police patrol dogs. Our Police K9 Trainer Courses also emphasize the importance of scenario-based training and certification in creating effective police K9 teams.  Our courses teach students how to develop effective police K9 training programs that mimic real-world field activities that challenge police dogs and their handler and create successful Police K9 teams.

Our Police K9 Trainer Course also gives the student an in-depth look into the effective supervision and management of police K9 teams.  From record keeping and report writing to K9 courtroom survival training and exercises, this course gives you all the information and hands-on experience to be an effective police K9 supervisor.

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.


Frequent Questions

Is this Program VA Approved?

This course is not eligible for VA benefits at our Southeast Campus.

Do You offer Financing?

We offer simple and affordable financing options and can finance tuition for up to 48 months with low monthly payments.

Are there Prerequisites?

Only our 6-week Advanced Police K9 Trainer Course requires considerable working experience in the field.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Our Next Police K9 Trainer Course Starts in:


Why Our Police K9 Trainer Course is Popular

Our Police K9 Trainer Course is popular among graduates because it gives them the knowledge they want that is taught by expert instructors with relevant operational experience.

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Police K9 Trainer Course Topics

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.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Open Area Searches
Muzzle Fighting and Ground Fighting

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

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

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