Greater Manchester Police’s Tactical Dog Unit has welcomed a litter of nine fluffy German Shepherd pups into its fold.
The four male and five females were born recently to Sally, the unit’s brood bitch, and Mati, a working police dog. Three of the pups will train to become official police dogs. Since reaching eight weeks of age, the puppies will have their booster injections and start their journey to PD status.
Inspector Jason Knight, 47, said: ‘The puppies were born on Friday the 13th, which is unlucky for some, but not for us! He said, ‘They don’t have names yet, but once they are homed, their new handlers will give them a name and start to train them. He added, ‘At the moment, they are all very cheeky and similar to each other – they do like to chew on trouser legs and shoe laces and are great with visitors.’
The pups are scheduled to be taken to places like airports to get them used to public surroundings and are hoped to become general purpose dogs within the force. They will be participating in activities like playing tug of war with a rag which will help them start to track criminals in the future.
Knight added: ‘It’s important to start socializing the dogs straight away so they won’t become fazed by any experiences while in public. As a general purpose dog, the litter will deal with large scale disorder and crowd control and events such as football matches, and will also be able to track offenders down.
Adult male German Shepherds weigh 30 to 40 kilos and have a top speed of 30mph which means they can run faster than officers and criminals. ‘We want to train them to become bold, confident and socially acceptable dogs to carry out a very important job.’
After their training is complete, and they become qualified PDs, the will work till they are eight years of age and then they will retire from duty.