Interested in becoming a Conservation Canines handler?
It's tough work. We do it because we adore it!
Working as a CK9 handler is anything but 9-5 job. If you’re looking for regular hours and a comfy office, this line of work is probably not for you.
The work is rigorous, both physically and mentally. The handlers work and live aside their canine companions in extreme, rugged conditions, away from family and the comforts of home. The work schedule is inconsistent – a job can last three days or three months.
The work is not steady nor guaranteed. Sometimes we hear about potential projects and we train and prepare for it only for the funding to fall through, or for political unrest to make travel not possible. We have projects that are three days or three months. Sometimes we have a large crew and sometimes we work solo. There is no routine and the only thing that is constant is the perpetual changes that occur.
You have to be fit, optimistic, flexible, self-motivated and comfortable with being uncomfortable.
And of course you have to be more than just a dog lover. We are also dog lovers but this job is not just about loving dogs. It’s about understanding and communicating with dogs. You will learn how to work a dog into an odor, how to read the terrain and research your target species, learn to read the subtle signs that the dog you are working dog may be tired, discern amongst a variety of animal scats and much much more.
Still interested? Send us an inquiry using the form!
A program of the University of Washington's Center For Conservation Biology
Content © 2018 by Conservation Canines
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