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How to adopt a failed or retired police dog in the UK as applications open

The Northumbria Police Dog Section has been rehoming its failed or retired police dogs to families across the UK, and has applications open for those interested in welcoming a well-trained dog into their home.

Not all training police dogs make it to the force

They are raised to fight crime alongside the UK police force, but not all of them make it onto the streets.

Police dogs embark on a strict training program as puppies and learn to use their natural instincts in instruction.

Breeds commonly used by the UK police include German Shepherds, Cocker Spaniels, Labradors, Springer Spaniels, Malinois and Dutch Shepherds.

But not all dogs that enter the program as puppies will go through The Dog Section, an exam that determines if they have what it takes to work on the front lines.

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The pups must sit in The Dog Section before they can join the force.



Those who fail in the dog section, either because they are ‘too friendly’ or ‘not brave enough’, are usually placed with families who simply wish to welcome a dog into their home.

The Northumbria Police Dog Section has been inviting people to express an interest in rehoming one of their retired or failed police dogs, saying that suitable owners will be contacted as soon as a dog becomes available.

A statement reads: “The Northumbria Police Dog Section has dogs from time to time looking for a new home.

“Most of the dogs we relocate have not been police trained, although we do occasionally have a retired police dog available. Most are less than a year old and have not met the standards required by The Dog Section.

“We match our dogs with potential owners. If you are interested in owning a police dog, please fill out an application form and you will be added to our database.

You can register your interest in a failed or retired police dog with the Northumbria Police Dog Section



“If we have a dog that might be a match for you, only then will we contact you. Northumbria Police only rehouse our dogs as pets and not for use as guard dogs or for breeding purposes.”

Although registering an interest in a police dog does not guarantee an adoption, people can specify which breed and gender they would prefer and how much they would be willing to pay for the dog, between £100 and £700.

Those interested will be asked where the dog will be kept, if they have any other pets in their home, and how many hours a day they will be left alone.

The statement adds: “Unfortunately, we will not be able to respond to all requests. The relocation database is not a waiting list; we like to match each dog with the most appropriate home.”

“If we have a dog that we think you match, we will contact you by phone to arrange a suitable time for you to meet the dog and for a ‘home check’ at your address.

“During the relocation process, a police officer from The Dog Section will check police records to assess your suitability as a potential owner.

“All dogs under the relocation scheme are microchipped and it is a legal requirement for the new owner to update the microchip details to reflect the change in ownership.”

If you are interested in re-homing a dog from the Northumbria Police Dog Section, please complete their application form.

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