Police dogs play a vital role in police work, doing much more than just tracking offenders and locating people who are lost or injured.
The dogs search for property that has been discarded from the scene of a crime and provide a strong deterrent and calming influence at scenes of public disorder. They are also actively involved in school liaison work and a variety of public relations activities.
Dogs help the police in their primary role: preventing and detecting crime and maintaining the peace.
German shepherds, Rottweillers and Malinois dogs make up the majority of our operational dogs and these are known as General Patrol Dogs. We also have Springer Spaniels, Labradors and German Shorthaired Pointers that under take specialist search work.
Our more specialist dogs are used to search for and detect explosives, to find drugs or locate firearms. Our dogs can identify traces of currency and our passive drugs dogs are able to find drugs being carried on a person. We also have victim recovery and crime scene investigation dogs.
We accept suitable dogs from members of the public, dog breeders and dealers but we also have an established puppy-breeding scheme. Our puppy-breeding scheme relies on a team of dedicated volunteers who foster pups from when they are 6-8 weeks old until they are 12-18 months old and old enough to return to our dog training centre to begin their police training. Volunteers, who include police officers, staff and members of the public, play a fundamental role in the development of our dogs and without them, the breeding scheme could not function.
To be a puppy foster carer you do not have to be an experienced dog handler, just like dogs and have a basic understanding of their behaviour. South Yorkshire Police provide all equipment, food and veterinary care for all our puppy foster carers. We are always looking for volunteers to foster new pups, if you would like to find out more about becoming a puppy foster carer give us a call on our non-emergency number, 101, and ask for dog training.
Our kennels and training school are located on Niagara Road, Sheffield and were originally designed in 1968 to accommodate dog breeding but were never used in this way- until recently.
When we receive a prospective police dog they are assessed over a four-week period to see if they have the right nature for police work. If they are unsuitable they are returned to their owners.
When the dogs reach the age of seven or eight, depending on their state of health, they retire and then live out their lives as the handler’s family pet. No South Yorkshire dogs are re-homed on retirement or put down, other than on medical advice.