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Military Working Dog Handler

Legal and Law Enforcement
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Military Working Dog Handler - 31K

  • Active/Reserve:Active Duty
  • Officer/Enlisted:Enlisted
  • Restrictions:None


Military Working Dog (MWD) handlers are responsible for the care and training of his or her service dog, which contributes to combat operations abroad and installation security at home by providing target odor detection (explosive/drug). Service dogs, generally seen as a non-lethal option for neutralizing a threat, also serve as a psychological deterrent during law enforcement operations.

Job Duties

  • Patrol Drug Detector Dog (PDDD) handler
  • Patrol Explosive Detector Dog (PEDD) handler
  • Health and Welfare searches
  • Law and Order operations
  • Installation Force Protection and Law and Order support
  • VIP support
  • Customs support
  • Requirements

  • Candidates must first take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), which is a series of tests that helps the Army understand your strengths and identify which Army job(s) fit your talents.
  • Training

    Job training for Military Working Dog handlers requires 17 weeks of Advanced Individual Training (AIT) on how to care for, handle and train a Military Working Dog (MWD). The training is in two phases. The first seven-week phase covers on-the-job instruction and teaches police methods and techniques for dog handling. The second phase of instruction is an 11-week course that provides basic instructions on the application of Military Working Dog utilization and employment capabilities. Phase II instructs in basic obedience, controlled aggression, first aid, principles of conditioning, building searches, scouting, detection, and daily care and grooming of assigned MWD.Handlers will also learn other basic skills, including:

  • Basic use of firearms
  • Military/civil laws and jurisdiction 
  • Arrest and restraint of suspects
  • Other specialized dog handling techniques
  • Helpful Skills

  • Ability to understand conditioning behaviors in training dogs
  • Ability to make quick decisions
  • Patience
  • Ability to interact with people

    The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is an examination that is administered by the United States Military Entrance Processing Command. It is used to determine qualification and helps predict future academic and occupational success in the military.

  • Skilled Technical (ST) : 91
  • Compensation

  • Total compensation includes housing, medical, food, special pay, and vacation time.

  • See the whole list of Army Occupational Specialties here

    To learn more about the Army's rank structure, see our complete list of Army ranks.
    To see a list of military medals and decorations that can be earned by servicemembers in the Army and other branches of the military, see our list of military decorations and medals.