He may be small but police puppy Uzi will be taking part in some pretty big challenges as part of his role as new recruit at the Bundaberg Police Station.
As a member of U Litter, the eight-week-old German shepherd will spend the next 12 to 14 months with Constable Luke Giese as he embarks on a training course to ultimately land him the role of General Purpose Police Dog.
It was the playful pup's first day at the local station today, with Constable Giese stating the pair would become fast friends as part of their training program together.
“I will spend 24 hours a day with him for the next year,” he said.
“My career goal is to get into the Queensland Police Dog Squad. I thought it would be a good learning process to take part in the program and help develop the skills of a foster puppy.”
Constable Luke said Uzi was the first pup in five years to come out of Brisbane to be fostered and would have to attend rigorous monthly training sessions at the Oxley State Dog Squad Academy as part of his role.
“Once fully grown and if he successfully passes the course, Uzi will become a General Purpose Police Dog,” he said.
“When he matures and gains all the right qualities he will be paired up with a handler where he will go on the road and help the police to track offenders, locate missing persons and more.”
Uzi joins forces with police dog Stinger
Developing those skills takes a lot of patience and plenty of chewed shoes according to Acting Sergeant for Bundaberg Dog Squad's Matt McKinnar, who knows all too well the process of owning a police dog.
Acting Sergeant McKinnar has been paired up with Police Dog Stinger for the past two years and said he had also fostered plenty of puppies during his time with the squad.
“I have had about seven pups in my lead up to becoming a dog handler, it's all part of the program- to show you can care for a dog 24/7,” he said.
“Stinger will be four years old in May and will work right through until he is about eight or nine and then spend his retirement relaxing on the couch while I am out working with another dog.”
Acting Sergeant McKinnar said he and Stinger worked hard on the front-line to not only track offenders but also to help with missing persons cases and get involved in the community.
“Skinner has a pretty good temperament, he can keep his calm when we find someone,” he said.
“He is my best mate… it is one of the most rewarding jobs for me.”
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