DORSET Police’s dog section has welcomed a new member to their team – ten-week-old Gus.
The German shepherd came to the force from a specialist breeder in Rutland and is being cared for by instructor PC David Henrys.
Gus will become one of Dorset Police’s general purpose dogs that are called to attend a range of incidents around the county, from helping to search for offenders and missing people to dealing with public order incidents.
PC Henrys said: “It is always an exciting time when a new dog arrives in force, especially a puppy. Gus is very cute and playful now but in a year’s time he will be a member of the police family ready to catch crooks.
“At the moment training with Gus is all about bonding and play.
“Over the coming months I will be building and observing his play drive, which is the main thing we initially look for in a potential police dog.
“I will take him to bus and train stations to get him used to the sights and sounds of busy areas. I will take him on as many surfaces as possible and he will be taken into dark places and walked up stairs and metal fire escapes to expose him to all the things he will have to deal with as a police dog.”
Gus’ main tracking training will begin when he is 12 weeks old. After 12 months, Gus will meet his new handler and the pair will be sent on a three-month course.
The dog section is based at Ferndown and Weymouth and there is one inspector, one sergeant and 12 constables responsible for 20 dogs. The force currently has 12 German shepherds mainly trained for general policing duties and eight dogs trained in sniffing out drugs, cash or explosives.
Dorset was among the first in Britain to set up a specialist dog section in 1953.
Inspector Neil Leat, of the Dog Section, said: “Our dogs thrive on the work they do and we know the people of Dorset love to see them.”
Follow the progress of the new dogs on Twitter @dorsetpolice and www.facebook.com/dorsetpolice