Here one of our dog handlers, PC Gareth Gummerson answers a few Q&As about his police dog Dixon and shares with us his proudest moment and some of his favourite pictures.
Where did Dixon come from and how did you choose his name?
He came from Wales and was already called Dixon when we got him so we just decided to keep it.
When did Dixon join North Yorkshire Police and when did you first get them?
He joined the police at approx. 15 weeks old and then came to me when he was 11 months old.
How old is he now and what breed is he?
Dixon will be four on the 9 December and he’s a German Shepherd
Who does Dixon live with and where?
He lives with his sister Isla who is also a police dog, myself and our family in the Selby District.
How long did it take to train him up?
Like all police dogs he undergoes continual training but we spent 15 weeks on his initial course.
What does Dixon specialise in and what does that mean?
Dixon is a general purpose dog and therefore is used to track and locate offender, search for missing people, locate property and search buildings for suspects.
How would you describe Dixon’s character in three words and what is hi best trait?
He’s loyal, trusting and faithful and his best trait is his distance work.
What would you say your proudest moment of Dixon is?
One time Dixon was deployed to track suspects who were running from a stolen motor vehicle. We were tracking over varying surfaces and obstacles for approximately an hour and a half, covering a distance of about six miles. Dixon managed to locate one of the suspects who was hidden in woodland where he was then arrested.
And what would you say is the strangest job you’ve ever worked on together?
The time Dixon managed to locate a drink driver in a slurry pit.
Has there ever been a situation where you were really grateful to have Dixon with you?
Yes, there was on time during a public order incident where we were seriously outnumbered but Dixon was able to disperse the crowd.
Has Dixon ever won an award and if so what?
He hasn’t received one personally but we once located a distressed man who was threatening suicide and because of the way in which the incident was dealt with, I received a Chief Constables Commendation which I accepted on behalf of both of us.
What is Dixon’s favourite thing to do inside of work?
He loves to play.
And what is his favourite thing to do outside with work?
He loves to play even more.
What is his favourite treat / toy?
His kong and ball
What will happen when the day comes for them to retire?
I will hopefully keep him through his retirement.
Tell us one thing a lot of people don’t realise about police dogs and their handler?
We are more than just a public order team; we search for vulnerable, missing people and cover a multitude of various disciplines and exercises.
Lastly, what is the thing you love most about him?
His loving temperament.