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By Leah Fox


A police dog unit has welcomed its nine newest and cutest members – a litter of paws-itively perfect german shepherd pups.

Greater Manchester Police’s Tactical Dog Unit saw the patter of puppy feet on Friday September 13, when four male and five females were born.

Parents Sally, the unit’s brood bitch, and Mati, a working police dog, had the huge litter and all but three of the pups will train to become official police dogs.

Reaching eight weeks old today [THURS], the fluffy puppies will have their booster injections and start their journey to PD status.

Inspector Jason Knight, 47, said: “The puppies were born on Friday the 13th, which is unlucky for some, but not for us!

“They don’t have names yet, but once they are homed, their new handlers will give them a name and start to train them.

“At the moment, they are all very cheeky and similar to each other – they do like to chew on trouser legs and shoe laces and are great with visitors.”

Straight after their jabs, the sable-coloured pups will begin their play-based training with their new handlers.

This involves activities such as playing tug of war with a rag which leads them on to start to track criminals further down the line.

The pups will also be taken on trips to places like airports to get them used to public surroundings.

It is hoped the animals will go on to become general purpose dogs within the force.

Inspector Knight added: “It’s important to start socialising the dogs straight away so they won’t become fazed by any experiences while in public.

“As a general purpose dog, the litter will deal with large scale disorder and crowd control and events such as football matches, and will also be able to track offenders down.

“An adult male german shepherd weighs 30 to 40 kilos and has a top speed of 30mph – meaning they can run faster than officers and criminals.

“We want to train them to become bold, confident and socially acceptable dogs to carry out a very important job.”

After completing their training to become qualified PDs, the pups will work until they are around eight years old, when they will retire from duty.