Prison Architect Wiki

Dog Handlers are security staff personnel uniquely trained to handle and use Guard Dogs in the maintenance of prison security. Dog Handlers co-exist with guard dogs. Neither entity can be hired separately; they are hired together. More about guard dogs can be read here.

If a dog handler is knocked unconscious, jail keys and dog leash will drop to the ground, collectable by inmates.


Separately, dog handlers are responsible for the following:

  • Transporting their companion around the prison facility with a leash.
  • Conducting searchers & frisks in response to their guard dog detection of contraband.
  • Conducting patrols.

Guard dogs will automatically and instantly sniff any prisoners that walk past them in close proximity. This is highlighted by a small brown dog icon that will pop up on the prisoner entity.


Dog Handlers mostly rely on the vicious bite of their dogs in altercations and conflicts, especially since their dogs usually arrive at the scene of a confrontation several moments before the dog handler does. However, in cases where dog handlers are directly situated in conflict, they will resort to the use of their fists in a likewise manner to Armed Guards.

Dog Handlers do not and cannot use any official form of weaponry. This includes tasers and batons. However, It has been noticed that dog handlers use their dog leashes to subdue prisoners.

In riot situations, dog handlers are unable to enter captured riot zones. The same applies for their dogs.


Dog Handlers are rarely seen without their canine counterparts. One of the more common times you will see a Dog Handler in such a position is when their dog is resting in a kennel. During this time, dog handlers will merely idle around the kennel and wait until their dog has fully recovered before resuming duty.

Handlers will not participate in day-to-day standard guard activities, e.g. searches, escorts, opening doors, monitoring CCTV monitors, etc. However, they do actively participate in riot, escape and conflict situations.

Dog Handlers are loyal to their dogs. This means that if a guard dog dies, dog handlers will walk out and leave the prison. They will not simply get a new dog.


  • Dogs move faster than prisoners and can be useful in running down attempted escapees.
  • Dogs can be positioned at choke points to help catch contraband that Metal Detectors cannot, though it is generally good practice to use both, to limit the amount of contraband that can get into your prison as much as possible.
  • Dog handlers cannot equip tasers or batons but can equip body armor if it's unlocked.