Police Dog Section
The Police Dog......
Northumbria Police has a highly skilled and trained dog section, made up of six sergeants and 49 PCs.
All have General Purpose (GP) dogs, these are mainly German Shepherds but there are also a few Belgian Malinois and Dutch Herders.
Eight of these dogs have been trained to work with firearms teams.
There are also seven licensed to detect drugs, weapons and cash and 12 who detect explosives.
Their duties include:
Football Match Duties
Panda - (scanning people for narcotics)
Police dogs are trained to be obedient. This is very important as the dogs must be under control at all times. Commands are given verbally or with a hand signal. Due to the physical demands on police dogs they must be in good physical condition, they are trained to scale a six foot fence, clear a foot long jump and complete a hurdle and agility course.
The dogs are trained to bite and will do so under the following conditions; On command, to protect themselves or their handler.
All dogs are tested and must have the correct physical and mental attitude and courage to support his handler in violent situations. The dog will chase and detain criminals who run away, keeping hold of them until told to release by the handler. Police dogs can be used in any violent situation and their presence can be enough to quieten even the most violent of people.
The dogs are used to search for people that are hiding and for property that’s been hidden or discarded. The dog uses its strong sense of smell to detect the individual scent of people and property.
Humans are not able to detect these smells, but the dog makes it look easy. The dog will hold the item in its mouth and take it back to the handler. When searching for people the same method is used - the dog will detect a smell which he is attracted to. On finding the person, he will bark to tell the handler where they are located.
Tracking is another common job a police dog will do. This is when the dog is used to track across ground for an offender. Again the dog uses its sense of smell, sniffing the ground disturbed by the offender. The best ground to do this on is grass. Hard surfaces such as roads and paths are far more difficult.
Weather is another factor. Wind, rain, snow, ice, frost, warm temperatures and time are all factors which will affect tracking.
The force manages a kennel complex at its headquarters and is always on the look out for suitable dogs to join the unit. There are sometimes Dogs available for Re-homing. For more information go to The Kennels web page.