Dog Section

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North Wales Police has a highly skilled and trained dog section full of unsung heroes. They provide the Force with specialist canine support to detect and prevent crime and save life.

There are currently 19 dogs within the Dog Section.

All General Purpose (GP) dogs are trained to track for persons/offenders, search open areas and buildings, to search for and find recently discarded items of property and also to detain suspects.

We also have Specialist search dogs trained to detect firearms and ammunition, cash and drugs.

All our dogs are allocated to their handler and remain with that handler for the duration of their working life, they live at home with their handler and at the end of their working life most of the dogs retire and remain with their handler as a pet.

The Dog Section also have three dedicated Dangerous Dog Legislation Officers who are trained to identify dogs that may be classed as a dangerous breed.


There are many benefits of using police dogs:

  • They save valuable time
  • They have a superior sense of smell
  • Even the quickest criminal would struggle to outrun a police dog
  • They provide visible reassurance to law-abiding people


Police dogs are trained to be obedient. This is very important as the dogs must be under control at all times. Commands are given verbally or with a hand signal. Due to the physical demands on police dogs they must be in good condition, they are trained to scale a six foot fence, clear a foot long jump and complete a hurdle and agility course.

All dogs are tested and must have the correct physical and mental attitude and courage to support their handler in violent situations. The dog will chase and detain criminals who run away, keeping hold of them until told to release by the handler. Police dogs can be used in any violent situation and their presence can be enough to quieten even the most violent of people.

The dogs are used to search for people that are hiding and for property that’s been hidden or discarded. The dog uses its strong sense of smell to detect the individual scent of people and property.

The police dog is rewarded and praised for its hard work and given good food, care, exercise and protection.


General-purpose dogs are usually retired at around seven or eight years old. Specialist dogs are retired at about ten years.

The handler is allowed to keep their dog. Many choose to do this. If this is not possible, however, the dog will be housed with a suitable owner for the rest of its life.

North Wales Police Retired Police Dogs Benevolent Fund

The Dog Section have recently set-up a Benevolent Fund and are aiming to raise funds to help towards the re-homing of some of their retired canine colleagues.

Read more about the Fund here

If you would like to make a donation to the Benevolent Fund please contact the team via their Facebook page  or via their 'JustGiving' page