Two Nottinghamshire Police dogs are taking part in an enhanced training course to enable them to work alongside firearms officers.
Every police dog must complete an arduous training and licensing programme before going out on patrol with their handler.
Only a select few, however, have additional accreditation to work alongside armed officers on live firearms jobs.
During a three-week course conducted at a range of locations, the dogs have gradually been exposed to real firearms and gunfire, as their handlers have also been versed in additional tactics used by firearms officers.
The training focuses mainly on the searching of buildings, cars and open spaces containing armed and dangerous suspects.
It is also used to ensure dogs are comfortable and confident in the presence of weapons and, potentially, gunfire.
PC Jon Burton, a dog trainer with Nottinghamshire Police, said:
“All our police dogs and handlers are already very highly trained, but it goes without saying that there are additional risks when responding with armed officers to potential firearms incidents.
“That’s why we run this additional training course to ensure the dogs and their handlers perform as we expect them to in the most difficult and dangerous situations.
“It certainly isn’t for every dog and not all the animals we put through the training make it to the end, but is absolutely vital for the safety of all our officers that we have absolute confidence on our dogs’ ability to respond should the worst happen.”
The training, held in collaboration with Derbyshire Constabulary, will carry on until the end of the month.