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Date Responded 13 February 2020

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

  1. What breed of dogs do you use in the police?
  2. Have you had any police dog fatalities or injuries in the last 3 years - 2017- 2019?
  3. At what age do your police dogs generally ‘retire’?
  4. What type of training do your police dogs go through before or during their service?

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Operations Department of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.     

1. General Purpose Dogs : Firearms Dogs, German Shepherds, Dutch Herders and Malinois

Specialist Dogs : Cocker Spaniels, Springer Spaniels and Labradors

2. Yes

3. 10 years.

4. Training starts immediately as a puppy (12 weeks old), and is continued throughout the animals service.  As a puppy the dog is exposed to all types of environments, socialised with people/animals, whilst developing the dogs prey and defence drive with the use of toys and other stimulants.  Depending on the dogs specialist skills i.e. General purpose, drugs, explosive or forensic detection, the training will become more advanced and adapt to their specialisms (Introduction to bite work or substances).  On the dog becoming licenced in their specialist field, the dogs training will be maintained and monitored through regular training, but fundamentally the training will continue to develop the dogs prey and defence drive, whilst maintaining safety and efficiently.

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