Police Dog Trainer/Handler & Inspector O.I.C. North Yorkshire Police Dog Section 1958 to 1986.
My days with the Police Dog Section go back to early 1958. After two years as a probationary Constable with Durham Constabulary I was accepted as a dog handler and sent on a basic training course at Aycliffe with a black German Shepherd Dog “Brutus of Aycliffe” Unlike dog training courses of today every handler stayed until the Officer in Charge, then Inspector Tom SESSFORD was satisfied that the dogs were good enough to be sent out operational. This course lasted nearly 6 months.
My first posting was to Durham City where with P.C. Steve REGAN we were the first two police dog handlers attached to that division. As well as being an operational police dog handler I took a great interest in competition and civilian dog training clubs. I qualified Excellent in the No.” Regional Police Dog Trials with my second dog “LASSIE” OF AYCLIFFE and also qualified and competed in The National Police Dog Trials the same year. I took a keen interest in Civilian Working Trials and competed in all and qualified in all stakes up to P.D. Ex. and T.D. Ex.
I was transferred to Harperley Hall, Nr. CROOK, the No.2 Regional Dog Training School as an Instructor in 1964 being responsible for Initial Training. The same year I applied and was appointed Sergeant to take charge of the newly formed Police Dog Section in North Yorkshire.
The North Yorkshire Police Dog Section which soon expanded from 6 handlers to 12 but was renowned as one of the leading Forces in Police Dog Trials and Competitions. They were placed First in many of the Regional and National Police Dog Trials and Competitions. The finale was at The National’s in 1983 at Catterick when North Yorkshire Police virtually swept the board taking 1st, place with P.C. David CLAYTON and Neypol Bona, 2nd place P.C. John BIRKS with Neypol Ali and 3rd place p.c. Geof. FOSTER with Neypol Brig.
In 1968 a Police Amalgamation took place to form the Yorks & North East Yorkshire Police followed in 1977 with a further amalgamation to form The North Yorkshire Police. In 1972 I was promoted Inspector. I was offered and accepted a secondment to South Australia in 1972 to form the first official Police Dog Squad in the that vast country. South Australia was indeed a challenge, the size of the State, the weather, the geographic conditions which were from suburban to desert areas had all to be overcome. The legacy is that all States throughout Australia have followed and now have operational Police Dog Units.
I retired from the North Yorkshire Police in 1986 forming North East Dog Training Centres the following year. There were five centres based at Harrogate,York, Northallerton, Darlington and Middlesbrough. I had up to180 pet dogs attending training classes each week. Additionally there were Agility Sessions at Northallerton once per week (Sunday morning). It is estimated that well over 20,000 dogs have attended a Pet Dog Training Course since the inception of North East Dog Training Centres.
Additionally a ‘Problem “phone in” Spot’ was broadcast on BBC Radio’s Cleveland and York once per month. Articles written by George on Dog Training regularly appeared in Dog Training Weekly and other specialist publications. From the inception of North East Dog Training Centres The KUMFI RANGE was born with all products that have been designed over the past 20 years.
The Kumfi Safety Muzzle came first followed by the Patented Lead, the Dogalter, the Kombi, Klip on and Action Collar. The Safety Harness and Seat Belt Adapter, the Safety Kit, the Training Kit, the Complete Control Harness, the Stop Pull Harness and the Stop Pull Headcollar. All products either were filed for a Patent or Registered Design in the United Kingdom, Europe and The United States.
I am a Home Office Accredited Police Dog Training Instructor, Past President and Founder member of The British Police & Services Canine Association, N.E. Co-ordinator for The Federation of Dog Trainers and Canine Behaviourists, member of The British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers, The Association of Pet Dog Trainers and Chairman of The Dog Training Industry Association.
South Australia and Inspector George GRAYSON