Courses - Proactive Drug Detection Dog Handler Course (Level 3)

This course provides the student with a complete range of skills, understanding and knowledge to carry out drug detection dog searches in an operational environment.  Includes search of buildings, venues, vehicles and more.

Course Dates

  • Saturday 26 January, 19 - Friday 1 February, 19 - Module 1
  • Saturday 9 February, 19 - Friday 15 February, 19 - Module 2
  • Wednesday 1 May, 19 - Tuesday 7 May, 19 - Module 1
  • Wednesday 15 May, 19 - Tuesday 21 May, 19 - Module 2
  • Wednesday 24 July, 19 - Tuesday 30 July, 19 - Module 1
  • Wednesday 7 August, 19 - Tuesday 13 August, 19 - Module 2


To book a place on this course call 01745 561166 or email courses@wagtailuk.com

The Proactive Drug Detection Handler course runs the first and last weeks of the Dual Purpose Drug Detection Dog Handler Course.  The duration of the course is 14 days.


The Level 3 Wagtail Award in Proactive Drug Detection Dog Handler is a delivery only learning programme written and owned by Wagtail and endorsed by Highfield Awarding Body of Compliance (HABC). The course takes place our North Wales Training Centre which is accredited by HABC. 

Service and ex-service personnel, eligible for the MOD's Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC) Scheme, can use their Credits towards funding this course.


This programme is aimed at learners who want to work with proactive drug detection dogs and gives them the specialised knowledge that is expected from a professional search dog team. It will enable those learners to work as a proactive drug detection dog handler either independently or as part of an organisation. 

This course covers:

  • Animal welfare (including the 'five needs') and husbandry 
  • Canine health
  • First aid
  • Bonding
  • Knowledge of the drug trade
  • Legislation
  • Training responsibilities
  • Principals of search
  • Control of a drugs dog
  • Stages of training
  • Scent discrimination
  • Search plan
  • Maintaining professional standards


This programme is approved for delivery to learners aged 18+. 

Our program is developed to accommodate learners with no experience or prior experience.  There are no prerequisites for this qualification however it is advised that learners have a level 1 in English (speaking and listening).  


Wagtail UK employ full time instructors from military, police and civil backgrounds who work within the industry. 

Our multi-disciplined instructors have a depth of knowledge and experience to encompass all training requirements, aspirations and expectations. 

All Wagtail courses take place at our fully approved training centre in North Wales which is endorsed by Highfield Awarding Body for Certification. 


The course will be assessed by qualified internal assessors who have many years of search dog experience with military, police and civil sector backgrounds. 


The cost of this course is £1400.  

A 20% non-refundable deposit is required at the time of booking.

All courses can be paid for in installments, with full payment due 28 days before the course start date.

This is an ELC approved course for which service personnel (both serving and former) may be eligible for funding.  Please visit the ELCAS website to check your eligibility. 


Discounted rates are available for accommodation at our recently renovated Wagtail House.  Please click here for further details.  Call 01745 561166 to make a booking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit our FAQ's page which lists a number of questions that we are frequently asked at Wagtail in reference to our courses.


This course can also be delivered as a NASDU Level 3 Certificate for Proactive Drug Dog Detection Handler.