Career Pathing International

K9 (Canine) Dog Handler Training Career

  • How to become a K9 (Canine) substance narcotics or explosives detection Dog Handler.
  • How to become a Patrol or General Security Dog Handler.

Training and development of personnel is such that career planning and international accreditation of qualifications is a reality. All qualifications are bench-marked against international standards and accreditation, and our quality management is in line with international standards.

Training is outcomes based, which implies that the final analysis is based on an ability by the learner to demonstrate applied competence regarding a given task and/or skill.

The training programme is designed to cater for students with little or no experience in dog handling to be trained in phases to achieve competency and certification. Students who have previous experience in dog handling but need to be brought in line with the most recent set of qualifications and certifications can follow the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) route.

RPL refers to the process of the verification of skills, knowledge and abilities obtained through training, education, and work experience; with a view to, through assessment, give credit for learning, knowledge and skills which have already been acquired in different ways.

A candidate seeking credits for previously acquired skills and knowledge must still comply with all the requirements stated in the normal standards or qualifications.

Policy and Philosophy of Training

Training programmes are implemented and maintained to entrench the concepts and philosophies that drives training in a professional and successful training environment.

The result of training personnel for dog handling skills is done to ensures longevity of the end product in the learner.

Employers benefit from a workforce competent in the skills and attitudes required in the competitive global environment.

SASSETA Training Courses

SASSETA = Safety And Security Sector Education And Training Authority

POSLEC = Police, Private Security Legal, Correctional Services and Justice SETA

DIDTETA = Diplomatic, Intelligence, Defence, and Trade Education And Training Authority

POSLEC SETA and DIDTETA amalgamated into SASSETA, which is now responsible for promoting and expanding skills development in this sector.

Braveheart is a SASSETA accredited Training Provider, offering training against Unit Standards – a registered statement of desired education and training outcomes and their associated assessment criteria, together with administrative and other in formation as specified by SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) regulations –  registered with SAQA, which allows a learner to accumulate credits towards a national qualification.

Training against the following Unit Standards is currently presented by Braveheart:

1. 243188

Care for a service dog.

2. 243190 Handle a trained service dog to deter crime
3. 120463 Handle a patrol dog to assist in searching for and the apprehension of a suspect.
4. 243196 Supervise kennel practices
5. 120461 Handle a trained sniffer dog to assist in the detection of substances


The following is the PSIRA & SASSETA alignment:

DH1 – Caring for a Service Dog.

This is the entry level course required by all personnel working with service dogs.

Personnel accredited with this course will be able to:

  • Ensure that the basic needs of the service dog is catered for.
  • Ensure the welfare of the dog, and deal with related problems.
  • Conduct safety precautions with the service dog in order to prevent accidents.
  • Inspect the condition of the service dog.
  • Transport service dogs in a safe and secure manner.

DH2 – Handle a trained Service Dog to Deter Crime.

This course, combined with the course “Care for a service dog” are the courses required for any personnel working with service dogs.

Personnel accredited with this combined course will be able to:

  • Prepare a trained Service Dog for guarding duties.
  • Utilize the trained Service Dog for guarding duties.
  • Conduct post-guarding responsibilities with regards to the trained Service Dog.

In terms of the PSIRA/SASSETA alignment, the above two courses equal DH2.

DH3 – Handle a Patrol Dog to assist in searching for and the Apprehension of a suspect

Personnel accredited with this course will be able to:

  • Evaluate a crime scene.
  • Prepare the Service Dog to search for and apprehend a suspect for the purpose of lawful arrest.
  • Utilize the Service Dog to assist in apprehending and arresting the identified suspect.
  • Ensure that appropriate procedures are followed after the arrest.

DH4 – Supervise Kennel Practices

Personnel accredited with this course will be able to:

  • Ensure that daily routine maintenance is executed.
  • Complete records with regards to the maintenance of Service Dogs.
  • Ensure proper maintenance of a Service Dog.

In terms of the PSIRA/SASSETA alignment, the above four courses equal DH4.

DH5 – Handle a Trained Sniffer Dog to assist in the Detection of Substances.

This course is for learners and handlers who utilize a trained sniffer dog to assist in the detection of substances.

In terms of the PSIRA/SASSETA alignment, this course together with DH2 equal DH5.


Personnel accredited with this course will be able to:

  • Apply applicable legislation pertaining to Substance Detection discipline.
  • Conduct a search for substances with the aid of a trained Sniffer Dog.
  • Identify and handle substances indicated by the Sniffer Dog in a structures scenario.

Note: The term “handle” includes referrals, securing, collecting, and disposing according to specific organizational standard operating procedures.

Our training is outcomes based – based on the achievement of end results – and is centred on the Learner. Firstly, a Learner needs to demonstrate that the outcomes have been attained; and secondly, the focus is on the instructive and learning process that will guide the learner to the end results. The outcomes are used as the focal point when instructional decisions are taken.

A practical example is that of learner pilots who are required to demonstrate their skills to fly an aircraft, and not merely sit passively through the required instruction. Just as a pilot has to demonstrate his/her ability to fly an aeroplane at certain levels of proficiency before a pilot’s license is issued, learners will be required to demonstrate  the outcomes of their learning in order to advance.

For more information on SASSETA Training Courses, Contact us today


Legal Requirements

PSIRA/SASSETA alignment of competencies


Leaders through Research


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