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Police on look out for canine cadets!


Rookies Rizo and Smoke, pictured with their handlers John Ward and Kevin Taylor

New recruits are being sought by Warwickshire Police to join 3 month old brothers Rizo and Smoke and 6 month old Jed. We have all heard people say that 'policemen are getting younger every day', but fortunately these recruits are canine!

Police Dog Trainer, John Ward explained "We have a dog training course starting in the autumn that the 3 month old puppies will be too young to go on. We are therefore seeking slightly older German Shepherd dogs aged between 9 -18 months to join us now. We're looking for dogs that are full of energy with a strong retrieving instinct that are perhaps too boisterous for their owners. Or perhaps, due to a change in personal circumstances - work, marital or a new baby on the scene - the dog has suddenly become too much to cope with.

"The dogs are trained using praise and reward techniques in which the dogs respond to tasks and receive praise for a job well done creating a strong bond between the dog and police dog handler."

John, who has been handling and training dogs for 20 years, said "The slightly older dog Jed is currently with Dog Handler Chris Harvey and will join the Autumn course in six months’ time.

"The new puppies Rizo and Smoke will be brought on slowly over the next 12 months ready to start their formal training in the Spring. They are litter brothers who came to us from a breeder in Nottingham with a proven pedigree and are now living with their handlers in a family home environment.

Smoke's Handler Kevin Taylor added "Weighing 20kg and 30 cm in height, the puppies are initially trained socially walking around the town and experiencing different environments similar to a guide dog and are gently taught the different aspects of police work.’.

Kevin continued "Because of this basic training, puppies usually take around eight weeks to train and will go on to new handlers around Christmas time. Whereas it usually takes 13 weeks to train the slightly older 'gift' dogs.

John explained "Police dogs have an active working life of between six and eight years. Once the dog has retired we carry out a thorough vetting process to find a suitable home’.

If you have a dog you think may be suitable, please contact Phil Reddall or John Ward on 01926 415203 or 01926 415000, or by email to phil.reddall@warwickshire.police.uk to find out more.