Exercise as a dog handler within Customs

Categories: Blog

The dog handler teams work on the search for prohibited products such as narcotics, weapons and explosives, in order to fight against trafficking. They are deployed by the customs administration to fight against fraud and their mission is to intervene depending on service requirements.

The dog handler is responsible for determine the dog’s access and progress in the control areas, analyze the goods, premises, baggage, means of transport and interpret dog markings. It also ensures the safety of controlled persons, third parties and the protection of property.

The dog handler is involved in surveillance work, but also in commercial operations. It can also intervene at the request of other State services. He has one 5-year service obligation in the control specialty, because of the nature of the audit that it performs.


Applicants must first pass a competition for customs controller or verification agent customs and are recruited on file after favorable opinion of a selection committee.

For the recruitment of dog-friendly customs officers, one chooses among the Category B or C officers, from the supervisory branch. Applicants should possess qualities such as availablity, the dynamism, a affection for dogs, a calm and balanced demeanor, the meaning of responsibilities and initiative.

Customs officers wishing to exercise the function of dog handler must register for an internal investigation and be selected to follow a specialist training at the National Customs School of La Rochelle.

The dog handler training takes place in two parts over a period of approximately one year. It includes animal training exercises and research techniques. The dog is entrusted by the administration to the future dog handler who is responsible for raising and educating it in accordance with school guidelines.

It includes animal training exercises and research techniques through play.

This video offers us a presentation of the profession of dog handler within customs with the meeting of Rudy and Monk, a pair that is both very accomplice and incredibly effective. We see how they live together outside of work, the dog does not react like other dogs, he plays more easily with his master than with his congeners, since training is synonymous with play for him. They live together 24 hours a day, a choice made by customs to allow the two partners to forge very strong bonds. This complicity is very important, allowing the dog to follow his master in all circumstances, even in the most difficult to access places. We also see how the preparation takes place for more efficiency and speed, the dog is trained by the game with rewards. The video also shows us a field part with a search in a semi-trailer.