Meet the adorable new four-legged addition to the police force

Oakley, an eight-week-old Cocker Spaniel, will be trained to be a police dog <i>(Image: Facebook/Lancs Police Dog Unit)</i>
Oakley, an eight-week-old Cocker Spaniel, will be trained to be a police dog (Image: Facebook/Lancs Police Dog Unit)

An adorable puppy has joined Lancashire’s police force and is set to become a trainee police dog.

Oakley is an eight-week-old Cocker Spaniel and joined the police team on Sunday, October 1.

He will live with a police dog handler until he his old enough to start his police dog training.

A police spokesperson said: “Introducing trainee police dog Oakley.

“Oakley is an eight-week-old Cocker Spaniel and joined the department on Sunday, October 1.

“He will live with one of our police dog handlers until he is old enough to start his training to become a full-time police dog.

“Oakley was donated to the police by Grace and Henry Hunter from Tarleton, and we would like to thank them for their generosity.”

According to the police force, police dogs are trained in a number of roles and disciplines, including general purpose and search and learning to sniff out explosives, drugs, money, blood, and dead bodies.

The force has a mixture of Belgian and German Shepherds, Malinois and Dutch Herders as general purpose dogs, with breeds such as Labradors and Springer Spaniels being used for specialist searching.

All our dogs are allocated to a handler who they will stay with throughout their working life. They live at home with their handler and at the end of their working life most dogs retire and remain with their handler as a pet.

If a police officer decides to become a dog handler they have got to complete an assessment process at the police dog training unit before they are considered suitable to be a dog handler.

A police spokesperson said: “The officer will then go on to complete a 13-week general purpose dog training course, and because of the close working relationships between our officers and dogs, we always try to find a dog that is suitable for the handler.

“On starting the course, the handler will be introduced to their dog for the first time, but they quickly build up a bond. The course is really intense, both physically and mentally challenging, but at the end of the 13 weeks the dog and the handler know each other pretty well and that original bond is even stronger.

“You need to be a quick learner to be a dog handler and you've got to learn how the dog thinks and what drives his behaviour fairly fast.

“Once the initial training has been completed both the dog and the handler are assessed again and then given the go-ahead to become fully operational. That's not the end though; they continue to train and are assessed every year.”