Tyne & Wear

Northumbria Police dog 'scared of children'

A police dog that is scared of children and too timid to bite has been retired from Northumbria Police's dog training section.

Northumbria Police stopped trying to train Vegas when it became clear she was too "hesitant and tentative".

Police dogs are expected to track criminals and missing people, ignore loud noise and bark or bite on command.

Vegas is frightened of noise and does not get on well with other dogs, the force said.

She comes from good police dog stock - her father is a police dog and her mother is kept by the police for breeding.

'Laid-back dog'

Sgt John Sim, who works at the force's headquarters in Ponteland, Northumberland, where Vegas was trained, said: "I think hesitant is probably the best way to describe it, she was a bit hesitant and tentative.

"She didn't particularly take to biting and, unfortunately, although it's not the be all and end all of a police dog, it's one of the things that they do have to do.

"She wasn't showing any sort of inclination that she was wanting to bite, or biting particularly well."

Although they have a list of people willing to take on former force dogs, Northumbria Police's dog training section now has another problem.

The unit needs to find a very specific new owner who has lots of time, no other dogs and no children.

Mr Sim said: "We're having a few little issues with Vegas at the moment.

"I think it's perhaps because of her more timid nature she doesn't particularly like noisy environments with lots of children and she's got a thing about other dogs."

She is also very energetic and needs to spend a lot of time running around and chasing things, he said.

Sergeant Sim said: "She's not a scaredy cat. She's actually a lovely, lovely laid-back dog. For the right people in the right environment, she would make a lovely pet."

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