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 Wednesday, 7 August, 2002, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Police dog too soft on criminals
Jake
Jake has retired for being too friendly
A North Wales police dog has been forced to retire after failing to tackle any criminals during his short career.

Jake, a cross-bred German shepherd, has been with the Dog Handlers Unit in Wrexham since he was six-months-old but he has been let go because he is too nice.

Dog handler, Graham Fradsham
Graham Fradsham handled Jake for three years

Handler PC Graham Fradsham feared Jake's gentle nature could have put him and his colleagues at risk from attackers.

"As he matured he decided he liked people and he was too nice for his own good.

"One of the dog's main roles is to defend its handler, if they've lost the will to bite they won't defend us."

The three-and-a-half year old has now been pensioned off to a family home in Southsea, near Wrexham.

He failed the course a month ago because he didn't want to bite anything

PC Graham Fradsham

PC Fradsham added: "It was hard to say goodbye but I have spoken to his new family and he's happy now as a family pet."

Jake was one of 12 dogs who worked in the dog unit throughout north Wales.

During the working day, they are housed at their local police stations but at the end of their shift they go home with their handlers.

The animals, who arrive with the force between 12 and 24-months-old, are put through a rigorous 13-week training process.

Thereafter, they are re-assessed every year to ensure they still make the grade.

Jake and dog handler
Jake failed a recent exam

Jake passed the initial course but Graham said he noticed he was not improving.

"He failed the course a month ago because he didn't want to bite anything.

"When we first put him through the course he was fine but as he matured he decided everyone was his friend.

"I had an inkling that he was going soft on me so I wasn't surprised that he failed."

The police dogs have been trained to help officers track criminals, search open areas for hidden suspects, bite, defend their handler and basic obedience and agility.

Jake is the second dog to retire from North Wales Police in recent months and Graham, who trains the dogs is desperately searching for replacements.

"We don't want a vicious dog but one we can channel aggression into.

"I would like a puppy to bring on - maybe a German shepherd or rottweiler - anything that looks the part really."


More from north east Wales
See also:

08 Apr 02 | England
05 Apr 02 | England
22 Jan 02 | England
10 Oct 01 | England
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