Aussies take title – by a nose

Aussies take title – by a nose

Photos by Senior Constable Ross Martin and Constable Jane Dunn, Wellington Foren

It was close but it wasn’t to be...

The Australasian Police Dog Championship ended yesterday, with our ‘Paw Blacks’ dog teams seeing the individual and team patrol dog titles they held for two years heading over the Tasman, to South Australia and Victoria respectively.

However, there was no Aussie whitewash as Senior Constable Chris Harris and Floyd, from Auckland, added the Australasian narcotic detector dog title to the New Zealand Police title they won in September.

Fifteen handlers and dogs from New Zealand, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Australian Federal Police competed in the championships, held at the Dog Training Centre (DTC) Trentham for the first time in 20 years.

Inspector Todd Southall, National Coordinator Police Dogs, says the standard of competition was extremely high – and the results were extremely close across the board.

“This is really encouraging for the development of dog sections in New Zealand and Australia,” he says. “I congratulate the winning teams and all the competitors and officials who have supported the event. It’s been a fantastic week.

“There’s a lot of pride at stake whenever the championship is held. It’s a great way to benchmark ourselves against one another, to see how each of our jurisdictions operates, build partnerships and have some keen rivalry at the same time.”

He says all competitors could hold their heads high, having proved themselves to be the best of the best in their own jurisdictions to even qualify for the competition.

shaun

Explosives champs Senior Constable
Shaun Hardwick and Nero.

Individual patrol dog honours went to South Australia Senior Constable Craig Charles and Ruger, who delivered a polished performance over four days of intense competition.

Senior Constable Mark Chapman (Bay of Plenty) and Constable Elyse Lewis (Northland) - with their M-litter siblings Mario and Mist - finished third and fourth respectively in the individual championship.

The combined points of Leading Senior Constables Heath Drew, with Ike, and Michelle Dench, with Archer, won the patrol team trophy for Victoria, a narrow 15 points clear of Mark and Elyse.

Senior Constable Shaun Hardwick and Nero (AFP) won the explosives detector title, with Senior Constable Hamish Todd and E-Zak (Wellington) as runners-up.

The competition featured a series of scenarios which tested the teams on the skills and decision-making required in their operational roles.

“It was a fantastic event to be part of,” says narcotics champion Chris. “Floyd’s a great little dog – I’m very lucky to have him.”

He says their success is down to the work and support of the DTC, particularly Sergeant Al Campbell, who fostered Floyd as a puppy and ran part of his initial training. “I owe a lot to Al,” says Chris.

Patrol dog champ Craig – a 14-year dog section veteran – says he is lost for words at taking the title.

He congratulated New Zealand Police on running the event and thanked the other competitors – and made special mention of Hutt Valley Constables Dan Waluszewski and Moses Gunn for giving up their time to support the patrol dog teams.

“We’ll be taking back to Australia a lot of learning from how New Zealand Police Dog Section works,” says Craig.

South Australia will host the next Australasian championships in 2020.

  • With thanks to Kaye Calder, Police Public Affairs. Results and photo captions below...
elyse
A pensive moment for Constable Elyse Lewis and Mist.

 


Results

Patrol dog individual

  • Senior Constable Craig Charles and Ruger (SA)

  • Leading Senior Constable Heath Drew and Ike (Victoria)

  • Senior Constable Mark Chapman and Mario (Bay of Plenty)

  • Constable Elyse Lewis and Mist (Northland)

  • Leading Senior Constable Michelle Dench and Archer (Victoria)

  • Senior Constable Michael Humphreys and Magnum (NSW)

Patrol dog team

  • Victoria

  • New Zealand

Narcotics detector dog

  • Senior Constable Chris Harris and Floyd (Auckland)

  • Senior Constable First Class Robert Poole and Kira (SA)

  • Senior Constable David Kotek and Rufus (NSW)

  • Senior Constable Mathew Blow and Leo (AFP)

  • Leading Senior Constable Peter Wilson and Flame (Victoria)

Explosives detector dogs

  • Senior Constable Shaun Hardwick and Nero (AFP)

  • Senior Constable Hamish Todd and E-Zak (Wellington)

  • Leading Senior Constable Justin Mickan and Ink (NSW)

  • Leading Senior Constable Kath Koop and Puma (Victoria)

 

Photo captions

1. Mario is all ears as he and Senior Constable Mark Chapman are put to the test in the obedience exercises.

 2. Senior Constable Chris Harris and Floyd.

3. Senior Constable Mark Chapman and Mario.

4. Constable Elyse Lewis and Mist.

5. Senior Constable Hamish Todd and E-Zak.

6. Patrol dog champs Senior Constable Craig Charles and Ruger.

7 & 8. Team champs Leading Senior Constables Heath Drew, with Ike, and Michelle Dench, with Archer.