The Met’s Dog Support Unit is a team of specialist officers who provide 24 hours a day, seven days a week support, to colleagues across the Met where they may need dogs to undertake searches.
Our specialist dogs are trained to find items like drugs, explosives, money and human remains.
In the Met we have a number of specialist dogs available to assist us, such as:
General Purpose Dogs
Cash, Firearms and Drugs Detection Dogs
Passive Drugs Detection Dogs
Forensic Evidence Detection Dogs
Explosive (EXPO) Detection Dogs
Trojan Support Dogs
Digital Detection Dogs
The police officers who work with dogs are known as dog handlers. The dogs and handlers receive training and are licensed at the Met’s Dog Training Establishment (DTE) in Keston, which is also responsible for training and licensing to other dogs and handlers from other police forces. The kennel facilities comprise of over 100 purpose-built kennels, and is where staff provide veterinary support and care to all Met dogs. The DTE also manages an in-house breeding programme to ensure the Met has access to a high-quality service of dogs for generations to come.
New dog handlers in the DSU are allocated a puppy for the first time, which will either be an eight-week-old German Shepherd or a Malinois.
Officers will then undertake regular training at Keston while also training their dog in their own time over a period of approximately 12 months.
The dogs live with, and are cared for, by dog handlers in their own homes, which helps to build trust. This can result in changes needing to be made to officers’ homes, vehicles and family life, so being a dog handler is a big, long-term commitment.
Following successful completion of the training which takes approximately 12 to 14 months, dog handlers and their dogs can then be deployed operationally.