South Yorkshire Police’s dog training centre has been inundated with new recruits after 24 German Shepherds and seven Labradors were born within a matter of weeks.
The puppies are only just opening their little eyes at ten days old to take a look at the wide world they have been welcomed into.
The puppies are part of South Yorkshire Police’s Puppy Breeding Programme, which was established in 2008 and has seen more than 73 dogs make the grade as police dogs, some travelling as far afield as Gibraltar to commence work.
Harry Morton, manager of the school said: “The dog training school here at Niagara an Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) approved dog training schools.”
“We train all our dogs as well as our dog handlers, plus handlers from other forces, agencies and private security services.
“Over the last six years we have supplied trained dogs to a number of UK police forces, as well as HM Prison Service, Ministry of Defence, Fire and Rescue Service and Royal Gibraltar Police.”
The Labrador pups were the first to arrive, six boys and one girl were born on Sunday, 19 April. The first litter of German Shepherds, and also the largest, arrived on May 2 with six girls and six boys.
The second litter of German Shepherds, three girls and two boys were born on May 20 and the final seven pups, four boys and three girls, arrived six days later.
Mr Morton added: “I am delighted with the arrival of these pups and the promising futures that lay ahead of them, even though we have given one of them the nickname ‘Elvis’. One o’clock, two o’ clock, three o’clock…. he is awake on the hour every hour and makes sure we know about it!”
All the pups will go to live with their volunteer puppy walkers when they reach 12-weeks old, and will undergo various training and assessments at the dog training school over the course of 12 months.
The German Shepherd pups will complete training to become general purpose dogs (GPDs) whereas the Labrador pups will be trained as specialist search dogs, for either drugs, firearms, cash, explosives, victim recovery, blood or flare detection.
The puppies are all yet to be named and the public will be asked for their help when the puppies are a little older to name one of the litters.