Gallery: New cuddly recruits arrive at Essex Police’s dog unit


- Credit: Archant

Essex Police’s dog unit has welcomed the arrival of seven cuddly new recruits.

The German Shepherd puppies, three boys and four girls, arrived on Monday, May 6 and are all doing well.

Mum Steffi gave birth to boys Razor, Rosco and Ronnie and girls Rizzo, Rhianna, Ruby and Roxy at the unit in Sandon near Chelmsford after being bred with a German Shepherd belonging to Greater Manchester Police earlier this year.

Steffi was singled out as being the ideal mum to police puppies because of her strong genes. The new litter is Steffi’s second and the fourth to be born since Essex Police introduced its own puppy breeding programme in July 2010. It was introduced with the aim of producing strong police dogs to serve the county without having to rely on gift dogs or the sourcing of pups from other forces countrywide.

Having good genes doesn’t automatically make a puppy a future police dog so Steffi’s litter will put to the test at around seven weeks old with a series of tasks designed to assess their confidence, drive and stability.

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Those who make the grade will begin training to become general purpose police dogs at about 14 months old. They will be paired with police officer dog handlers before embarking on a course during which they’ll learn how to search, track and detain suspects.

New homes will be found with families in Essex for any pups that don’t quite have the qualities needed to train as police dogs.

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