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Police and services dogs compete for national honours

Paws, pride and professionalism are on the line next week when 23 Police and Services dog teams compete against each other for national titles.

Police, NZ Customs, Corrections, Aviation Security and NZ Defence Force dogs and handlers, selected from local trials, are taking part in the premier event which is spread across three categories.

Twelve Police patrol dogs and handlers from Whangarei to Invercargill will be put through a series of challenging obedience disciplines, heelwork, tracking, criminal work and building searches.

Six narcotic detector dog teams – two from Police (both from Tamaki Makaurau), two from the Department of Corrections (Central and Auckland) and two from NZ Customs (Auckland and Wellington face similar tests in their category.

Five explosives detector dog teams – one from Police (Wellington), two from the Aviation Security Service (Auckland and Wellington) and two from the New Zealand Defence Force compete in the third category.

Inspector Todd Southall, National Coordinator: Police Dogs, says the national championships are a highlight of the year and designed to bring out the best of handlers and their dogs.

“All the tasks and test activities are based on the real-life skills decisions that handlers and their dogs must make when they are responding day and night to a variety of incidents and situations.

“It will be three intense days of competition for dogs and their handlers, but it’s also a time when all the agencies learn from one another.

“Dog teams do a fantastic job in helping keep our communities safe. They provide a critical frontline response, detection and prevention capability whether it’s on the street, at our borders, prisons, airports or in military roles.”

Those competing are:

Patrol Dog Handlers/Dogs:

Constable Elyse Lewis and Mist (Northland); Senior Constable Owen Davies and Quid (Tamaki Makaurau); Senior Constable Tony Harris and Fagan (Tamaki Makaurau); Constable Kieran Goodhew and Vadar (Waikato); Senior Constable Ben Turner and Rush (Waikato); Constable Cam Gunn and Ezro (Eastern); Senior Constable Grant Cooper and Nua (Central); Constable Andrew Douglas and Tomeke (Wellington); Constable Dan Turner and Kong (Wellington); Senior Constable Mick Moorhouse and Tala (Tasman); Constable Tom Byrne and Lex (Canterbury); Constable Lachy MacDonald and Gee (Southern).
Narcotic Detector:
Senior Constable Chris Harris and Floyd (Tamaki Makaurau); Senior Constable Ross Clarke and Kadee (Tamaki Makaurau); Corrections Officer Moses Toeke and Maia (Northern Region); Corrections Officer Clinton Ebersohn and Oscar (Lower North Region); Customs Officer Jodie Rye and Anika (Auckland) and Senior Customs Officer Debbie Baldock and Ash (Wellington).

Explosives Detector:

Senior Constable Hamish Todd and Ezak (Wellington), Aviation Security Officer Dave Chait and Bella (Auckland); Aviation Security Officer Dean Owen and Maddie (Wellington); Sapper Sean O’Keefe and Iris (NZDF) and Lance Corporal Jeremy O’Shannessy and Max (NZDF).
The championships, run from Monday 23 September to Wednesday 25 September, takes place at the New Zealand Police Dog Training Centre in Trentham and at undisclosed locations in the Upper Hutt and southern Wairarapa areas.


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