Dog Support Unit (DSU)




Dog Support Unit-

The Durham Constabulary Dog Support Unit provides invaluable policing support to the force.
Our Canine colleagues & handlers are a specialist team that work around the clock to assist officers with a variety of issues they are always keen to help with a wag of the tail.
The unit consists of 1 Sergeant, 12 Constables, and 25 dogs.  There are also 7 members of police support staff who look after the dogs and kennelling facilities and also provide us with much needed administrative assistance. 

Our central base is in Spennymoor and this also incorporates our dog training site.
All of our dogs live at home with their handlers when they are off duty.  When it is time for them to have a holiday break they visit our modern, heated kennel block where they are walked, fed, and given creature comforts by the kennel staff. Our kennels are subject to regular inspections from Dogs Trust staff to ensure that our extremely high standards of care are maintained.



Dogs and Handlers need to work very closely as a team and they develop a very special bond.   The team will successfully complete intensive training programmes that are both physically and mentally challenging.  The handlers need to be able to identify how their dog thinks and what drives his/her behaviour in order to succeed. Durham have a team of fully qualified dog trainers who work with the dog/handler teams to support, guide and advise them on all aspects of working a police dog.  Durham have an NPCC approved dog training facility which means we can train individuals from other forces and organisations to become dog trainers, we also regularly train dogs/handlers from forces all over the country.

We also have specialist officers trained to deal with dangerous dogs as outlined in legislation; they are a point of contact and referral for the force in all matters relating to this important issue.  They have recently developed robust procedures to ensure public safety is maintained as well as introducing awareness and educational programmes to support and monitor dog owners.

Durham Dogs-

The four legged officers are a range of breeds; they are extremely talented and perform a range of roles to assist us with tackling crime, protecting neighbourhoods and problem solving.  
Our German Shepherds, Malinois and Dutch Herders, 
Search for and locate missing persons, offenders and articles using their excellent sense of smell.

Deal with public disorder, they can confront, chase and detain offenders if required.
Work with police firearms teams wearing specialist camera equipment. 

Our Spaniels, Labradors and Heinz 57 mongrels are specialist search dogs and are used to detect a range of things utilising their highly developed sense of smell including but not limited to;
Drugs, Cash, Firearms and Explosives
Our Body Scanning Drugs Dogs are trained to work in public places including licensed premises for people in possession of narcotics. 

All of our dogs, regardless of breed, regularly assist officers to work closely and engage with members of the community, Dog support unit are involved in many initiatives; 
To find out more, click on a paw!
The dogs (and handlers) love to show off their skills at displays, events and demonstrations across the county, the dogs normallymanage to steal the show!
To find out more, click on a paw!


We work closely with other dog related organisations such as;

Paws Up-

When it is time for our dogs to retire they may remain with their handlers as pet dogs or if this is not possible be rehomed by kind members of the public.  
Paws Up - Durham retired police dog benevolent fund, this is a charitable fund set up to provide financial assistance to those who help rehome these brave, selfless animals that have dedicated their working life to protecting and serving others.  

You can see photographs of all of our current serving dogs on the Paws Up website - to see more, click on the paw!


You can follow us on twitter @DurhamPoliceK9


To see our latest tweets & news about the Dog Support Unit visit our news page: Our Dogs Tales

click on the paw!