Our police dogs perform one of three main roles, with certain breeds better suited to certain roles. From explosives to drugs, find out more about what they do.
General purpose dog
After dog and handler have completed their initial assessment, they undertake a 13-week course under the direction of an approved instructor. This course consists of tracking, searching, property recovery, obedience, agility and detection of suspects.
When they 'graduate' from the course, the dog and handler will assist divisions by locating suspects, stolen property and missing persons, as well as searching for evidence.
The breeds of dog generally used for explosive detection are Springer Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers or Springerdors, a Springer Labrador mix.
It is vitally important that dogs selected for explosive search work are of sound temperament, well-socialised, and able to search in a variety of venues and conditions.
Once selected, dog and handler undertake an eight-week training course in the methods of explosive detection. The dog team, on completion of the course, will assist in any Royal or VIP visits within the North Yorkshire region and at divisions in the event of a bomb threat.
On completion of assessment, the dog and handler undertake a six-week training course in the methods of drugs detection.
All dogs are trained to search open ground, commercial buildings, vehicles and private houses for various illegal drugs.
Dogs can be skilled in the method of 'body scanning'. This involves the dog and handler searching large groups of people within queues, premises or vehicles. When the dog detects the scent of drugs, he indicates to the handler by sitting quietly beside the person concerned.
Images courtesy of Matt Clark Photography