Friday 28 April 2017

Hydrotherapy aids police puppy Fred

Six-month-old German shepherd Fred is to start training as a police dog after hydrotherapy sessions (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA)
Six-month-old German shepherd Fred is to start training as a police dog after hydrotherapy sessions (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA)

A puppy which had trouble walking because of a joint problem is to start training as a police dog after undergoing intensive hydrotherapy sessions.

Six-month-old German shepherd Fred was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at an early age which meant he had a lack of mobility in his back legs.

But following a course of swimming sessions he has passed his assessment to begin training with Devon and Cornwall Police in January.

Sergeant Paul Glennon said: "Fred's police dog career looked like it was over before it had begun but, following his hard work in the pool, he is now one of eight puppies about to begin their training as police dogs.

"Fred was literally thrown in at the deep end and has worked hard to ease his stiff joints and build up the muscles in his legs.

"There is now no reason why he won't go on to become a successful police dog, able to assist tracking missing people, locate stolen property, chase and detain suspects, and keep order in crowd control situations."

Fred initially joined the force through the Devon and Cornwall Police puppy scheme, which sees volunteers look after the puppies until they reach 12 months old, at which point they embark on an intensive 13-week training course.

The scheme has been so successful there is now an increase in demand for willing puppy walkers.

Walkers are given training and "socialisation advice" from the Dog Training School and can attend weekly puppy classes. The police pay for any food and veterinary bills.

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