Former runaway is a hit at police dog trial

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 01 November, 2010, 12:00am

While other dogs fixed their eyes on their trainers, three-year-old Antje looked away into the grandstand when her handler gave hand commands, drawing laughter from the audience. But despite her poor showing in the obedience tests, the Belgian shepherd stole the show yesterday at the Police Dog Trial.

Antje's escape and 10 days on the run from Cheung Sha Wan Police Station in February before being found by a villager made her a media star. She was a star again yesterday, with the audience impressed by her agility in leaping over obstacles.

Antje was one of 13 police dogs showing off their athletic prowess in the 2010 Police Dog Trial, held at Sham Shui Po Sports Ground.

Held annually since 1996, this year's contest was open to the public for the first time.

Gabby, a six-year-old bitch from the Hong Kong Island Emergency Unit, beat seven opponents to win the obedience section, with four-year-old male Major from Cheung Sha Wan Police Station being crowned the top attack dog.

Antje's handler, Sergeant Happy Yuen Chung-fai from Cheung Sha Wan Police Station, said her propensity to be distracted by noise was due to her high alertness. 'She helps me a lot in my work as she can detect people hiding in dark alleys or hidden corners with her acute senses,' he said.