Avon and Somerset police dog Aden wins regional championships
Avon and Somerset Police played host to the Regional Police Dog Championships over the weekend and it was wagging tails all round as one of the Constabulary's own dogs, Aden, took the trophy.
The award-winning three-year-old German Shepherd and his handler PC Nick Dalrymple, based in Almondsbury, wowed judges and won first place for the South West Region.
Ten dogs competed from five police forces – MOD, South Wales, Gwent, Devon and Cornwall and the home force.
After a welcome speech from Acting Chief Constable Rob Beckley, the two and four-legged competitors were tested across a range of police duties including a tracking, agility, criminal work and searching during the gruelling three day assessment.
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As part of the trial, the dogs were required undertake multiple searches and their courage was tested during a staged attack on the handlers.
The process was then concluded with a series of obedience, agility and crowd control exercises, vital to being a safe and effective police dog and to test the dog's ability to listen and obey commands and deal with the physically challenging environments that police work can involve.
Inspector Andy Roebuck who oversees the Constabulary's Dog Unit said: "We were delighted to welcome colleagues from our regional forces to this event. The competition was of a very high standard. All competitors displayed excellent skill and determination. The trials were a credit to all that took place and were enjoyed by all who came to watch despite the weather."
Despite some very inclement weather, the PC Dalrymple and PD Aden earned 944 points out of the 1000 available throughout the competition. Second place was taken by PC Kevin Hughs with 890 and third place by PC Ian Henburrow with 843 both from South Wales Police. Aden and Nick impressed judges by consistently performing to the highest of standards throughout assessment.
This latest trophy is not the only silverware Aden has won over the last 12 months. He came second in the National Championships in 2012, won the South Yorkshire Obedience Trophy and overall Winners Shield and he also won the Search Trophy in the Regional Trials in 2012.
Aden was one of the first puppies from Avon and Somerset's own breeding scheme. The 'A' litter were born on the 21st January 2010 as part of the Constabulary's new breeding programme, which was set up at the unit's base at Bower Ashton to breed and train dogs in-house.
Three pups – Aden, Axel and Albie, demonstrated they had the right characteristics to become police dogs and started their training on the 18th April that year.
Just four weeks later they were tested and licensed as operational police dogs demonstrating the benefit and success of the breeding programme as usually an initial course for police dogs is 13 weeks.
Inspector Roebuck added: "I was extremely proud of the Avon and Somerset competitors and in particular PC Dalrymple and PD Aden for their achievement. This team has worked relentlessly over a sustained period of time to perfect and provide an incredible high standard of police dog work. They have spent a considerable amount of their own time training hard for both operational work and trials such as this, which has now paid dividends. Well done to all."
PC Dalrymple added: "A really proud day for me indeed. Aden performed to a great standard. All three Avon and Somerset dogs are a credit to their handlers and to the section as a whole. It really was a day to remember!"
Along with colleagues PC Lee Fairman and PD Ronnie and PC Justin Andrews and PD Loki, Aden and PC Dalrymple will now go on to compete in the National Police Dog Championships in April. Last year they came second, but this year PD Aden has definitely got his eyes on the prize.