AFP dogs to compete in police international games – Brisbane Times – Brisbane Times

“We’re really keen to take it to the Kiwis and show them Australia does it best,” Mr Rice said on Tuesday.

“Every time we attend these games we get to learn from the best of each state and territory, so it’s a fantastic network and a fantastic forum for us.”

“And it’s good fun too, the dogs love it, the handlers love the opportunity to compete at a level that’s different from their day to day norm.”

Team leader of training in the canine unit Mark Rice puts Onyx through her paces.

Team leader of training in the canine unit Mark Rice puts Onyx through her paces.

Photo: Karleen Minney

Mr Rice said New Zealand police would enjoy a home ground advantage as the courses favoured the methodology used by Kiwi police dog units.

Superintendent Cath Grassick said the AFP’s four-legged officers did their training at Canberra’s Majura Park complex before being stationed across Australia.

“Canines are absolutely critical in the policing space,” Ms Grassick said.

“They’re very much a fellow member to us. They are very important in general purpose-type policing where they can track offenders, track scents, operate in a tactical capacity.

“We work on a play reward methodology with the dogs. Not all dogs work out to be good detection dogs. It’s all very temperament based and if their hunt drive is very good then we look at ways to encourage that.”

Ms Grassick said dogs competing in the trials could gain more skills and it was important for them to work in new environments.

AFP canine Ace was rewarded a medal for five years of service on Tuesday, despite being long in the tooth he still loves apprehending.

AFP canine Ace was rewarded a medal for five years of service on Tuesday, despite being long in the tooth he still loves apprehending.

Photo: Karleen Minney

Police dog handler Sergeant Craig Parks said New Zealand had a very good program.

His German Shepherd, Ace, was rewarded a medal on Tuesday for five years’ service.

While Ace was getting on in age, Mr Parks said he still had a strong nose and apprehension ability.

Ace was crying when awarded his medal and didn’t stop until he was allowed to attack a fellow AFP officer in a protective suit as part of a demonstration.

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