THE LATEST recruits have arrived in Cumbria police – and they’re straining at the lead to get started.
The three German Shepherd puppies, which are eight weeks old, are arriving from the Isle of Man to start their training as police dogs. The puppies were donated from the dog breeding programme at the Isle Of Man Constabulary and will join the existing 12 general purpose police dogs and 14 drugs dogs and explosives dogs. The canine recruits will spend 12 months bonding with their handlers and socialise with a range of people in different locations to give them lots of new experiences.
The pups, two female and one male, are replacing three dogs which are retiring. PCs Glen Myerscough, Barrie Cox and Stuart Woodward will each receive one of the pups and will start their training as soon as they arrive.
Sergeant Mark Yielder, from the Cumbria Constabulary Dog Unit, said: “The next 12 months is all about familiarising the dogs with as many new people, places and experiences as possible, so that they are able to deal with any situation they’re faced with when they start work.
“We spend a lot more time playing with the dogs than you would a family pet, but rather than fluffy animals and balls, these dogs have sets of keys and tools as toys, so that they get used to the kinds of materials and objects they will be expected to search for at crime scenes in the future.”
Sgt Yielder said the dogs would also be exposed to loud noise – with recording of thunder and lightning, as well as fireworks – to get them “used to the unexpected”. It will be at least a year before the pups begin their proper training, which takes around three months. “Once trained, the dogs will be used during public order incidents, to locate missing people, search crime scenes and to hunt for offenders,” a force spokesman said.