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How Can Online Training Help A Time-Pressed K9 Unit?

Around the globe, K9 units are a very important asset to law enforcement departments. These incredible teams help to keep their communities safer and assist in keeping crime to a minimum.  

Whether they specialize in detection, trailing or apprehension, it is imperative for these K9s to be trained and ready for a variety of scenarios. It is also just as vital that both handlers and supervisors receive in-depth training in order to get the most out of the unit. Even experienced K9 handlers can benefit from refresher courses to keep up-to-date with the latest training methodologies.

However, as departments try to cope with budget constraints and stretched workforces, allocating the time to send K9 handlers away for a training program can prove tough. Finding a way to provide handlers with the necessary information to ensure they are effective without taking time away from operational duties can be a difficult balancing act.

A potential solution to this problem is online K9 training programs. This option has numerous benefits for K9 units as it can provide important information in a format that doesn’t require the handler or supervisor to spend time away from their place of work. In this article, we’ll run through just a few of the ways that online training can benefit your unit if you are pressed for time.

Online training can be worked on at any time

Perhaps the biggest advantage of online training is the flexibility it offers. The training does not have set times or dates, as the course provider will provide all of the course materials through recordings and other digital formats. This means that the training can be easily worked into any unit’s schedule. 

For example, as opposed to being away from a number of weeks at a time, handlers and supervisors can build in smaller chunks of time for training whilst still keeping shifts covered. If the material is being watched on-shift, course material can be paused and resumed if required. This allows for shifts to operate smoothly and reduces disruption for fellow members of the team, yet still enables the handler or supervisor to receive valuable training in a variety of areas.

k9 handler with german shepherd in training

Eliminating travel creates more time for training

When handlers have to travel for on-site training programs, this actually cuts into the time that can be spent learning. Online training offers the opportunity to learn more about the science behind dog training such as reading behaviors, in addition to law enforcement specific tutorials on report writing and many other topics. 

Depending on the location of a department, it may also be difficult to find local K9 training which is effective and comprehensive. Online training can ensure that your team gains useful knowledge from experienced professionals who have an extensive background in law enforcement – regardless of where you are located. By gaining this information from a trusted source, it will benefit your unit – and consequently, benefit the community you serve.

Courses can be completed at your own pace

We all learn with different styles and at different speeds. An online program allows you to learn at your own pace, with the ability to rewatch as much of the training as you require to gain a complete understanding. Some topics may be easier to grasp than others, and the benefit of online training is that you can stop and start the training at your leisure.

Additionally, if handlers and supervisors have busy schedules, online training can be arranged in smaller sessions. Rather than needing a few hours of free time in the schedule, some elements of online training programs can be completed in as little as 15-20 minutes at a time. It is definitely easier and reduces the burden on colleagues to schedule shorter bursts of training than it is for handlers or supervisors to be away for weeks at a time.

Education builds a stronger team

One thing is for certain – there is always more to learn about the K9 world. Even as experienced K9 handlers and trainers, our team is constantly learning and evolving our training processes to improve efficiency and capability. Through the constant evolution of our training, we can provide K9 handlers with new information and methods which can improve operational efficiency, and ultimately provide more value to communities.

Staying up-to-date on the latest training methods is vital for the success of your K9 unit. As the science of dog training improves and more case law is created, the ‘best’ way to do things is constantly changing. Learning how to work an operational K9 or run an effective K9 unit is something that should be prepared for, rather than figuring out through trial and error in the real world.

Online courses are typically less expensive

There is no doubt that hands-on seminars and training are incredibly beneficial for K9 training. In an ideal world, time and money would not be at a premium for law enforcement departments. However, the reality is that time and money are often in limited supply – so if your department is already stretched and would struggle to cover shifts, or has a smaller budget allocation for K9 training, online courses could be an effective way to cut down on costs while still receiving valuable information.

In conclusion

Consistent training is incredibly important for all areas of law enforcement – but particularly for K9 units. Ensuring handlers and supervisors have the latest information available is the key to operational success. A comprehensive range of online training programs can allow them to get this vital information at a pace that works for both their learning style and the operational requirements of the team as a whole.

If your department has budget or time constraints, online K9 training may be an option worth exploring. At Highland Canine Training, we have developed a platform of online training programs which have proven to be popular with law enforcement teams across the country! For more information, visit the online training section of our site.