Students help with sniffer dog training

February 2018

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

A group of students from our Higher Education and Further Education Animal courses have helped Essex Police with their dog training while gaining a fascinating insight into animal behaviour.

Police dog trainer Pc Andy Gaw asked Writtle University College to help with the sniffer dog training.

Pc Mark Rickwood’s dog – an 18-month-old rescue dog called Boots – is in his fourth week of the police training scheme. Pc Andy Gaw is training Boots to work at Stansted Airport, where he will search for cash, weapons and drugs.

The BSc (Hons) Animal Management and Animal Science degree students and Further Education Animal students helped out with mimicking scenarios as part of his training. Boots searched around the students and found planted cash in their bags, while they used their phones in order to replicate normal life, or tried to distract him by fussing over him.

Pc Andy Gaw’s dog Finn, who is a fully-trained explosives dog, and Buddy, who is being assessed to determine whether he can go through police dog training, were also involved.

Dr Jonathan Amory, Principal Lecturer in Animal Behaviour and Welfare, said: “We are proud of our 12-year ongoing relationship with the Essex Police Dog Training Units and we were more than happy to help out once again when they approached us to help with their training.

“This gives students an excellent insight into the behaviour of search dogs and the practical application of theory learned in the lecture theatre, as well as experience of an industry they may wish to go into after successful graduation.”

Find out more about studying Animal courses at Writtle University College at