23 November 2005

The Police Dog that Wasn't

Here's one especially for Ms. Bear. Since she's a former owner of a dog that flunked out of Police Dog School, I just know she's going to love the story of Buster, a two year-old German Shepherd who got fired from his job. After six months on the beat, Buster has been relocated as a pet to a family in Sheffield because, frankly, he was pretty rubbish at being a police dog.

Buster the German Shepherd could have had a great career as a British police dog had it not been for one flaw: his complete lack of interest in fighting crime.

The canine cop took early retirement after bosses at South Yorkshire Police noted his poor motivation and a fondness for making friends with rowdy drunkards, his former handler said Monday. ...

"He has a lack of drive and motivation when asked to do operational work," Stephenson told The Associated Press. "He's just a lovely pet."

Two-year-old Buster performed well at the start of his 14-week training program, but his work gradually deteriorated and the problem worsened once he started patrolling the streets, he said.

On one occasion, Buster walked straight past a suspected criminal hiding in the garden of a house late at night and went off to cock his leg.

"I searched the garden myself and found the bloke. The dog had walked past the spot where I found him," Stephenson said. "You would have expected him to use his nose to locate him."

During a separate tracking operation, also in the early hours of the morning, Buster gave up while in mid-chase across a golf course . "He just downed tools," Stephenson said. "He just lay down and there was nothing we could do. He has got a very low drive for finding people."

Nice one. He sounds like a nice dog. I think he must be a lover, not a fighter. Read the rest of Buster's story at ABC News here.

[Hat-tip to Brainstab]