The police puppies which sniff out Cheshire’s drugs, cash and weapons
THAT are the police pups that officers bring home to live with while they train to sniff out drugs, cash, and guns.
PC Richie Land is a full time dog trainer with the Cheshire Police and the North Wales Police Alliance Armed Policing Unit.
He takes care of two of the dogs himself to prepare them for police work at a young age.
The group trains the six-month-old Labrador brothers Bandit and Jura to be sniffer dogs.
Dexter – a nine month old Sprocker – goes the same way and is now successfully licensed and will go to his new dealer in September.
Richie currently only brings Dexter and Jura to live with him, while Bandit lives with another teacher.
And these pups are being trained to be of vital help to officers with searches across Cheshire.
“You are very valuable, you think how long it would take to search a team of officials,” he said. “You can be there for half a day or most of the day, depending on what you’re actually looking for.
“Usually a semi-detached house with three bedrooms, a garden with a garage and a car, you look up for up to an hour and a half, you could be there.
“We are qualified trainers, we know what to do with the dogs and what to do.
“Because we are not always operationally engaged, but only deliver the entire training, it is easier for us to develop the dogs from eight weeks to the right course with a dog handler.”
During the puppy program, dogs are judged on characteristics that are ideal for a sniffer dog.
“At first we just let the dog play and find out what his favorite reward is, and you can see that for Dexter and Bandit, the ball is their world. Jura would rather have a treat.
Richie continued, “We don’t throw them in at the deep end in large, noisy environments. We build it up over a period of time and get used to different situations.
“There is quite a shortage of older adult dogs in the UK so we decided to buy eight week old dogs from reputable breeders that we have used in the past who have given us dogs.
“It will then be easier for us to design it the way we want it in the future. What we put in, we get out again so that it is a good result in the end.
“Not every puppy we take in makes it because they all have an individual personality and the dog sometimes shows that it may not have the desired traits for operational work.”
Labradors and Sprockers are the most commonly chosen breeds.
Richie added, “We rely on this type of dog because they breed dogs with the instinct to hunt and prey in order to seek and find something.
“If we take them in at the age of eight weeks, we can bring the dog to all the environments in which he is supposed to work in old age, so that we don’t have any problems that the dog is afraid of the future in old age.
“It takes time. It starts from the moment we get the dogs to the moment they are licensed.”
Richie is delighted with her progress so far, and especially with Dexter’s. He and Richie are put under test conditions in good time to see if he can find all the drugs the troop has, as well as money and firearms.
He continued, “The two six month olds are doing really well for their age. Dexter with nine months, as he is at the moment, we can license him with nine months, but we will not send him into use until about 12 months. ”
In their search house, they brought substances into the building and into the car, from half a gram to 10 grams of amphetamine and cocaine, in several covered places.
“I think you were pretty impressed with how quickly you found the substances that had been outside for about an hour,” he said.
“The dogs are a valuable asset because they shorten the time we spend, their noses are so good.”