The tail of a police dog trainer

JoshwithdogPC Joshua Smith is a dog trainer in the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Dog Unit.

He’s currently half way through training a number of dogs on a six-week proactive course in Kempston. Once trained the dogs, who are a mainly spaniels and labradors, will be capable of searching for five different types of drugs, cash including sterling and euros, and firearms.

I’ve always loved dogs and I wanted to be a police officer from a young age, so it’s brilliant being able to combine the two – sometimes it doesn’t really feel like I’m at work.

I’ve been with the training department for more than a year and have been part of the dogs unit for 10 years.

PC Smith at work

Usually we train around five or six dogs at a time, teaching them how to search, track, and carry out other types of criminal work depending on what course it is. There are strict standards that the dogs have to meet before they can qualify for their licence, so they won’t all make it through.

Josh at work training

CashOn a proactive course, such as the one we are currently running at the moment, we will start by teaching them how to trace narcotics, including heroin, cocaine, and amphetamine. If they manage that we’ll move on to money, then finally ammunition and firearms.

The most challenging part is when there are issues with the dogs. It can be tough to get some of them up to the right level; we have to try a number of different methods, what works with one dog won’t necessarily work with the other.

But the best part of my job is definitely getting to work with animals every day.

Trainee police dog Charlie


One thought on “The tail of a police dog trainer

  1. Johanna 11 June, 2015 / 10:07 pm

    You have a great job!


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