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Police force has international dog divison

MERSEYSIDE POLICE can boast that it has a truly international make-up... thanks to its European canine division. Among them is three-year-old Logan who is Britain’s first French breed Beauceron police dog.

Logan recently ‘passed out’ from his training alongside 15-month-old Rehendi and Rudi, two German- born German Shepherds, who were also imported from across the Channel.
The dogs were all brought to the UK due to a lack of available police dogs in this country.
They were joined in training by three pups, Paulo, Jag and Olli born through the force’s own breeding programme, which aims to ease the shortage.

The dogs of all different nationalities showed off their agility skills as part of a small ceremony at Merseyside Police’s Dog Training Centre on Mather Avenue in Allerton last week to mark the completion of their 12-week training and handling course.

Inspector Neil Davies, head of Merseyside Police dog service, said: “All the dogs have completed basic training from scent work, obedience and agility, to going out to different venues and getting used to crowds at a football stadium, a helicopter and driving in a police car with the siren going.”
Logan, Rehendi and Rudi may be among the last dogs from abroad to be recruited to Merseyside after the force expanded its breeding programme last year. Inspector Davies said the success of the scheme means a sufficient supply of puppies are being bred in the region.

The force are at pains to make it clear that not just any dog can join the police and the selection process is strict, which perhaps goes someway to explaining the rarity of suitable pups. All recruits have to come from a recognised bloodline with an accountable history to ensure their ability and temperament.

After recruitment, the dogs undergo intensive training at the centre alongside their dedicated handler before beginning their service, which could last up to eight years. The handlers then take on responsibility for their dogs both during and after work to provide them with a proper home life.

If for any reason the animals switch handlers, then they return to the training centre to re-take their courses. Inspector Davies added: “All the dogs are unique and have their own skills and abilities. They’ve successfully completed 12 weeks of a six to eight-year course of work. But that’s just the beginning, they will never stop learning.”

The new crew are now proficient in tracking cash, sniffing out drugs and attending crime scenes, but over time, some of them will develop their own expertise and may specialise in different areas. All the dogs have now been given a licence to work and will join 43 other police dogs in active service.