1. ITV Report

Paws-itive future for police dog litters

Four new litters of puppies have been born at the South Yorkshire Police dog training school in the last few weeks. Seven Labradors and 24 German Shepherd puppies are all fighting fit and healthy, with seven of the German Shepherd pups only just opening their little eyes at ten days old to take a look at the wide world they have been welcomed into.

The puppies are part of South Yorkshire Police’s Puppy Breeding Programme, which was established in 2008 and has seen more than 73 dogs make the grade as police dogs, some travelling as far afield as Gibraltar to commence work, as Harry Morton, Manager of the school explains: “The dog training school here at Niagara an Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) approved dog training schools.”

“We train all our dogs as well as our dog handlers, plus handlers from other forces, agencies and private security services. Over the last six years we have supplied trained dogs to a number of UK police forces, as well as HM Prison Service, Ministry of Defence, Fire and Rescue Service and Royal Gibraltar Police."

Commenting on the new litters, Harry said: “I am delighted with the arrival of these pups and the promising futures that lay ahead of them, even though we have given one of them the nickname ‘Elvis’. One o’clock, two o’ clock, three o’clock…. he is awake on the hour every hour and makes sure we know about it!”All the pups will go to live with their volunteer puppy walkers when they reach 12-weeks old, and will undergo various training and assessments at the dog training school over the course of 12 months.

The German Shepherd pups will complete training to become general purpose dogs (GPDs) whereas the Labrador pups will be trained as specialist search dogs, for either drugs, firearms, cash, explosives, victim recovery, blood or flare detection.