Counter terrier-ism! Police take on crooks with Britain’s first Staffordshire bull terrier sniffer dog

October 22, 2012 | by | 4 Comments

Police yesterday unveiled their latest fearsome weapon in the fight against crime – Britain’s first Staffordshire bull terrier sniffer dog.

Former rescue dog Kos, a black and white Staffie, is the first of his breed to be trained to detect drugs, currency and firearms.

He was transformed by Avon and Somerset Police dog handler PC Lee Webb after being donated to the force by an RSPCA rescue centre 18 months ago.

Dog handler PC Lee Webb with Kos the Staffie, the first Staffordshire Bull Terrier to work for a police force

Dog handler PC Lee Webb with Kos the Staffie, the first Staffordshire Bull Terrier to work for a police force

And his new career got off to a flying start when he found a lump of heroin in a car which was pulled over in Bristol on his first day.

PC Webb said: “Like many breeds, Staffies can be tarnished with a bad reputation, which is unfair.

“But Kos is the gentlest and kindest of dogs. He’s always been very playful and he absolutely loves the game of searching.”

Police usually train Springer Spaniels or Weimaraners as their temperament is more suited to learning the extreme levels of control necessary to become a sniffer dog.

PC Webb said: “It didn’t take any longer to train him than the Spaniels we have, and some of those are also rescue dogs.

“We start them on toys and then train them on the scents, which they come to associate with play.

“Kos was very excitable on his first day on the job – he absolutely loves it.”

The two-and-a-half year old dog was being cared for at the RSPCA’s West Hatch Animal Rescue Centre near Taunton, Somerset, before he was taken on by police.

He now lives at home with PC Webb and his three other dogs – two of which are Spaniels training to become drugs dogs.

Experienced dog handler PC Webb, who has been working with animals for ten years, added: “What is nice for ourselves and the RSPCA is Staffordshire Terriers get such a bad name but this dog is so lovely with people and other dogs.

“There are other dogs out there that have potential we could use and it is a shame that people do not give them a chance sometimes.”

Staffordshire Bull Terriers have a bad reputation as being ‘devil dogs’ after a string of horrific attacks on children and other dogs.

Category: News

Comments (4)

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  1. D Thompson says:

    “Staffordshire Bull Terriers have a bad reputation as being ‘devil dogs’ after a string of horrific attacks on children and other dogs.”

    This is just perpetuating the ‘bad reputation’ you have described. What a hugely disappointing way to end an otherwise positive and unbiased article.

    And do your research before making statements like this. It is widely recognised by parties with any understanding of dogs, behaviour and breeding that staffies are generally extremely reliable, highly intelligent and affectionate, especially with children (UK Kennel Club description).

    • fi says:

      couldnt have said it better myself, there known as nanny dogs for a reason. its not the breeds fault that they attract drug dealers and gangsters as owners, blame the man not the dog

  2. wozza says:

    MY “rescue” sbt has been perfect since day one (3years ago) she is now 7yrs old and the best dog I could of hoped for! she didn’t have many social skills and was a nightmare on a lead, but with a loving home and lots of cuddles n treats she is a shining example of her breed (which the press slag off at every chance they get) I’ve never met a savage staffie! A DOG (ANY BREED) IS ONLY A REFLECTION OF IT’S OWNER! end BSL x

  3. Chrissie Turner says:

    What a clever dog. It’s not the breed it’s down to individual dogs and the way the owners treat them whether they turn out good or bad. Don’t blame the breed blame the human for making them aggressive.

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