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Our dogs getting trained by the best

01.10pm 02 May 2024 | Social Media

Last month, members of the Customs Detector Dog Unit attended a series of dog training workshops hosted by New Zealand Police and the Defence Force in Trentham.

The workshops were conducted by trainer Dick Staal, covering detection, puppy development, and tracking.

Dick Staal is an internationally recognised police dog trainer and has been training dogs since 1977. He specialises in developing and raising pups from a very young age into fully-grown working dogs, but he also trains older dogs. He is one of those rare trainers who can make hard surface tracking look easy and is more than willing to share his knowledge, guidelines and training techniques.

“This type of professional development has not been available in New Zealand so we were really excited and interested in what Dick had to offer”, says CCO Detector Dog Unit Danielle.

The workshops were beneficial and the team are looking forward to trialling some of the techniques they learnt.  The puppy development workshop was particularly great as the team have not had training in this area and it has provided them with some good foundational knowledge.

A lot of interest was shown by a number of working dog agencies/organisations with a total of 15 agencies/organisations in attendance.  This is the first time that we have had all the agencies/organisations that have working dogs gather together.

This was an amazing opportunity for Customs to be able to share and have discussions about our dog training programmes, as well as network, make new connections and build relationships.

These workshops have been invaluable in respect to professional development in dog training, and also to whanaungatanga between organisation/agencies.