A new batch of 30 dogs, all specially trained Labrador retrievers, were inducted into the Delhi Police on Monday, over five years after the last such draft before the Commonwealth Games in 2010.
“Of the 30 Labrador retrievers inducted, 20 are trained sniffers and the remaining 10 are trained in tracking. The average age of the dogs is 1.5 years,” a senior police official said.
Last week, the 30 dogs cleared qualifying test at Indian Army’s Remount and Veterinary Corps centre in Meerut.
Initially, the plan was to induct a mix of Labrador retrievers and German shepherds, but when the trainers were consulted, they preferred the former for ease in handling -- both during training and operations, the official said.
It was before the Commonwealth Games in 2010 when dogs were inducted into the force for the last time, taking the canine squad’s strength to a peak of 108.
Since then, as many as 78 dogs fell sick, following which they had to retire from services, though there is no retirement age as such for canines serving in the force. Some of the dogs even fell terribly ill and died, the official said.
Each dog in the latest induction cost the department around Rs 1.60 lakh. The induction will take the strength of the squad to 60 -- including breeds like Labrador retrievers, German shepherds and cocker spaniels.