Saturday, January 12, 2008

British Police are forced to talk German

British police dog handlers are being forced to learn to bark orders in German because it's the only language the animals understand. Due to a shortage of suitable British dogs Derbyshire Police have drafted in a team of Alsatians from Berlin - but they have been trained to follow German orders. A quarter of all of the dogs used by the East Midlands force are now German and handlers have to back commands including sitz - sit, platz - down, aus - let go, holen - fetch, and, of course, bissen - for bite. The dogs cost about £2,000 each but senior officers insist they are good value as have already been trained in obedience and to bite criminals. Dog trainer PC David Heaps, of Derbyshire Constabulary, said he had learned some basic German words to control his dogs - and said the German dogs are often a better bet than English ones. Other forces who have requested or have already received dogs from Germany including Cheshire, the City of London, Gloucestershire, Nottinghamshire, Essex and Cornwall.

Disabled chihuahuas get rolling

Three Chihuahua puppies, born without front legs due to a genetic defect, now have what the North Shore Animal League calls "front-wheel drive." The trio, Venus, Carmen and Pablo, rescued by the League from a Virginia shelter, were equipped with two-wheeled carts that give them mobility.

"The three have been practicing getting about and eating using their new, custom-built, aluminum carts," the shelter said. The carts are fastened to the dogs with "Velcro-held polar fleece padding for comfortable body support and lightweight foam wheels." Normal in every other way, the pups seem unaware of their disability and have accepted the challenge of their new carts much as they did the challenge to learn to balance themselves on their back legs, the League said.