A litter of puppies born late last year to New Zealand Defence Force Explosives Detector Dog Iris have been named.
CAPTION: Poppy, one of six puppies born late last year to New Zealand Defence Force Explosives Detector Dog Iris, seems to be a New Zealand Army rugby fan. NZDF photo.
The six puppies are the “P” litter, which means all their names begin with the letter P – Paris, Poppy, Pluto, Pacer, Pulse and Poi.
Iris is the first NZDF and New Zealand Police’s combined detector dog breeding programme bitch to deliver pups, on 15 November last year.
EDD Iris is part of a new capability being introduced into service with 2 Field Squadron, 2nd Engineer Regiment, Corps of Royal New Zealand Engineers, as part of the Counter Explosive Hazards Project.
These dogs are trained to detect a range of explosives, which could be a threat to NZDF personnel or civilians at home and overseas.
It is hoped Iris’s puppies will become service dogs too. If they meet training criteria they will begin their detector-dog training later this year.
New Zealand Army Military Working Dog lead Alan Inkpen said the arrival of the puppies was the start of what was hoped to be a productive partnership with New Zealand Police in developing a detector dog breeding programme.
“Explosive detector dogs are a valuable capability for the NZDF and we need more puppies coming through as we increase our expertise in this area and also retire a few of our long-serving dogs,” Mr Inkpen said.
The puppies have spent the past eight weeks at the Police Dog Unit in Trentham with Iris and will be given to foster families in January 2019.
Each puppy will be fostered for about nine months, during which a number of assessments will take place to look at each pup’s suitability for explosive detection training.
If selected, they will start training before next Christmas.
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