Police dog handling requires more ongoing mindfulness than any other law enforcement discipline.

With the exception of horses, all other police tools are inanimate objects. As the only law enforcement tool that continually interacts with the environment, police dogs’ behavior changes over time.  As a result, the dog’s training is never “done.” Since a canine handler and the police dog spend most of their waking hours together, the canine handler is the person solely responsible for that dog’s performance.  That is not just a matter of policy, it is a pure behavioral fact. Even in units large enough to have dedicated trainers, their span of control and administrative load mean they cannot begin to approach the degree of influence over the dog the individual handler has.