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K9 Handler First Aid Basics - Self Directed

This program was designed to cover the essential content needed by every K9 Handler, whether you work in Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue or other Detection Dog roles.  It is engaging, interactive, and provides you with access to all the content for 12 months.  

Plus, if you’d like direct instructor involvement and skills sign offs, you can add on an Instructor-Lead portion as well.

Read on for more details and ff you have any questions or concerns about the program, please just Contact Us!

Course Overview


All Working K9 Handlers
This course covers the essentials every new handler needs to know and also serves as an important update/upgrade for experienced K9 Handlers. We've taught this course to 1000s of Working K9 Handlers and received positive feedback (currently trending at 4.64/5.00 Stars) from every level of Handler.

Time Requirements

All Students:
Approx 8-10 Hrs of Learning
Instructor-Lead: Additional 5-8 hrs of
+ Discussions/Exercises

Technical Requirements

All Students:
✅ PC or Mac Computer for optimal results (phone or tablet results may vary)
✅ Speakers / Headphones

✅ Phone/Skype for Round Table

Learning Formats

All Students:
Individual students each login whenever is convenient for them to complete all of the video-based interactive modules in the course at their own pace over time. The benefit of this format is the ease of scheduling and the ability to complete the course in any location including self-isolation during COVID. Instructor-Lead:
Students will meet with Instructors for Live Virtual Discussions and Skills Sign-offs. Students will also be expected to complete and submit home-work assignments.


All students who complete the required modules will receive a K9 MEDIC® Handler First Aid Basics™ Certificate Your Certificate will indicated whether it was Self-Directed or Instructor-Lead with Skills Sign Off.

Ongoing Resources

All Students: As a K9 MEDIC Online Academy™ Student, you will have 12 months access to our student resource library with reference articles and downloadable forms and interactive online discussion forums. Instructor Lead:
✅ Join in (or listen to recordings of) regularly scheduled K9 MEDIC Live Round Table Discussions throughout the year.



Just enough to give you a good sense of what's underneath your hands when you are doing assessments. It's short and easy… we promise!

Handling and Restraints

How to NOT make things worse for you or your K9. We'll cover some good (and bad ways) to approach an injured K9, the principles of medical restraint, and the importance of Muzzle Safe? Muzzle Check.™

Assessments ("Dog Eyes/Dog Speak™")

How to read your dog as well physiologically as you can already do from a scent and behavior perspective. We'll make these tools Field Relevant & Fido Friendly™, so they actually serve you in the field. By the end of this unit you will understand what your dog's eXertion Curve™ look like, and how to help keep them in the safe zone.

Airway Hazards

When rewards become perilous: We'll cover #PlayItSSSSafe, the 4 SSSSides of Safety to prevent airway hazards and also teach you a cool technique XXT™ eXternal eXtraction Technique™, to remove the most perilous hazard of all…. A ball.


You've probably heard of Bloat/GDV, in this section you'll see an example, discuss what causes it, what might be done to prevent it, along with how to respond. And we'll make sure to unravel some of the many myths associated with this topic along the way.

Beating the Heat:

Performance,  Prevention, and Saving Lives: Since this is the leading cause of preventable death in Working K9s, we will be do a deep dive into understanding what happens, how to develop strategies to support the performance of your partner while protecting them from potential injuries.

Massive Bleeding Basics

Why CAT Tourniquets don't work on dogs, and what to use instead! We'll discuss wound packing with hemostatic agents and pressure dressings.


Aka "More About Puke than you ever cared to know!" This module will help you to recognize potential toxins so that you can avoid them, and also cover what to do if your dog does get into something they shouldn't. Toxins are one of the most common causes of veterinary emergencies, so make sure are aware and prepared!

Boo-Boo Bandaging

It's really important to differentiate between Massive Bleeding and "Boo-boo" (i.e. non-life-threatening) Bandaging. In this module we will cover basic principles of bandaging and also go into details for the parts of your dog that are often the most common - and the hardest! - to bandage: paws, ears and tails!

Snakes and Spiders and Ticks... oh my!

Sometimes it's not your dog doing the biting, it's your dog that gets bit... or stung! In this module we will cover how to prevent, recognize and respond to a variety of critters including snakes, spiders, scorpions, ticks and the infamous FLB... (Funny Looking Bite from who knows what!)