One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
Woof Justice with new Cheshire Police Dogs
Two new puppies go into training
The eight and nine week old puppies are going to be trained as general purpose police dogs being trained to; searching for people, including criminals and missing people, providing a reassuring presence at public events, such as football matches, tracking people using scents from the scenes of crime and chasing fleeing criminals.
Head of the Police Dog Training Unit, Sergeant Louise Deung, revealed that both puppies were selected for a life of Cheshire crime fighting only after first completing a number of specific puppy tests: "These are done for a number of reasons; to see if the puppies are afraid of loud noises, if they can learn to fetch and retrieve items quickly or if they are comfortable at heights and so on.
"We can then very quickly see which puppies are best suited to becoming police dogs."
Spike and Willis' selection did not come as a surprise however, as dog instructor PC Mike Jones acknowledged.
PC Jones said: "Willis' Dad is a police dog with Humberside Police, whilst Spike's currently serves with Greater Manchester."
Both puppies will live with qualified instructors for the next 12-14 months, before being given to a police dog handler where they will undergo a 13-week initial, play-based,training course to equip them with the skills they will need in order to serve as police dogs. This is regularly refreshed with training exercises that replicate real-life situations.
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Greater Manchester goes to the polls on May 4 to choose its first elected Mayor
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