Video: Wiltshire Police Dogs Training
On Thursday 20th June, the College welcomed Police Dog teams from Wiltshire Police Dog Section, for training of specialist search dogs and their handlers.
This is in response to an appeal from the police for ‘live’ environments in which the dogs can be put through their paces, developing skills of searching for contraband including firearms, explosives, drugs and currency, and also for missing people or human remains.
Following restructuring away from a tri-county force, the canine search teams are now based firmly back in Wiltshire and operate out of Devizes, our local police centre. We invited the police dog trainers to visit us at Marlborough in April, where they met with Lady Cayley (Deputy Head – Boarding) and Bill Nicholas (Second Master).
The College environment, with all the distractions of smells, noises, human movement, different surfaces and varied room use etc makes it a wonderful training opportunity. Trainers ‘hide’ material to be searched for, then observe and assess a team of two dog handlers and their dog at work in a systematic search for what has been hidden.
Wiltshire Police commented: “Marlborough College is a great location for the dogs to train, as it is a ‘live’ working environment; very busy, with lots of comings and goings, a variety of buildings and outside areas to search and a host of different smells and surfaces. All this helps to make our dogs environmentally experienced and in turn develops both the dog and handler.
“It is great for the dogs to experience different environments as this will help to prepare them for every eventuality. It is difficult to secure training venues that are ‘live’ where there are people going about their usual business; this is why training at Marlborough College will be extremely beneficial to the dog teams, and will allow the training to be more akin with reality.
“Police dogs have been operational in Wiltshire since the 1960s. They live and work with their handlers throughout their working lives and more often than not stay with their handlers to enjoy their retirement. We have a mixture of breeds within Wiltshire Dog Section. The Specialist Search Dogs are predominantly Spaniels, but we have used Staffordshire Terriers, Collies and Labradors.”
You can find out more and follow the work of Wiltshire Police Dogs on Twitter via @wiltspolicedogs