Decent environment 'helps puppies become top dogs'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 March, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 March, 1999, 12:00am

A programme aims to provide puppies with an ideal living environment that will help turn them into effective police dogs.

Chief Inspector of the Police Dog Unit (PDU) which organises the Puppy Walk Programme, Charles Kong Cheuk-chau, said the puppies should grow up in a loving, decent environment, with the host families also providing obedience training.

Mr Kong said: 'It has been well recognised that a puppy which grows up in an atmosphere of loving care and learning has a much better chance to become a good working dog for police.' Under the programme launched about 20 years ago, puppies are normally introduced to their owners at the age of about 14 weeks. They will be given food and other daily necessities for raising a puppy.

PDU staff will also provide information on the animals' general care, food and hygiene requirements and basic obedience training.

They will visit the families regularly to ensure the puppies remain healthy and to provide veterinary care if required.

When the puppies are about a year old, they are returned to the PDU to begin their training.

Dog lovers interested in joining the programme can contact the PDU on 2659-0482 or 2659- 0494.

Police dogs are deployed to the emergency units of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon West, New Territories North and New Territories South Regions.

A team of 'sniffer' dogs is used at Chek Lap Kok airport to search for explosives and firearms.

They are much more effective and time-saving than detector machines, and an effective deterrent against terrorism, Mr Kong said.