The Force is strong with police puppy Vader

North Wales Police's newest recruit, Vader.

A German Shepherd puppy is the newest recruit to join North Wales Police’s crime fighting canine team.


14-week-old Vader was kindly donated by a local breeder Richard Barnes and Hannah Raby, who own a company called Stadhund Dog Training, which is based in Llandegla, Denbighshire.


Sergeant Howard Watts from North Wales Police’ Dog Section said: “Vader has already been introduced to the rest of the crew and it’s great to be able to say that he’s settling in nicely.


“He will undergo a 20-week training programme when he’s aged 12 to 18 months old. We have already introduced him to various places and experiences where he’s becoming accustomed to different noises, surfaces and people.”


“He also featured in our display at the recent North Wales Police Open Day at Police Headquarters and it’s safe to say that he got a lot of attention.”


Vader will be trained to become a General Purpose Police Dog. Some of the core functions he will be trained to do will be to carry out crime prevention patrols, search buildings and open ground for missing and wanted people, search and recover evidence and carry out high-profile patrols.


Sergeant Watts added: “I would like to thank Richard Barnes and Hannah Raby from Stadhund who kindly donated Vader to the Dog Section. Police dogs are a very important asset to the Police service and we as a Dog Unit are extremely grateful for their kind donation.


“We will be keeping in touch with them to let them know of Vader’s progress and we are looking forward to seeing how he will develop over the coming months.”


Vader is now settling in with his new handler, PC Sonia Stobbart, who also has six-year-old Malinois called Zak.


She said: “Vader is doing really well. It’s hard work looking after a puppy but he’s settled in great and is getting on just fine with Zak who has taken him under his wing.


“I’m looking forward to seeing how Vader will develop over the next few weeks and I can’t wait to get stuck in with his training.”


Richard Barnes from Stadhund Dog Training who kindly donated Vader said: “We breed for purpose here at Stadthund. We import the finest dogs from Europe for working, training and breeding.  Our litters excel at many different working roles. 


“After meeting with Sergeant Watts previously we felt Vadar would be an asset in the future of the force and decided to donate him. We care a lot about the puppies we breed and couldn’t think of a better life for Vadar. With the skills of the team in the force we have no doubt he will make the highest grade and we wish them the best of luck.” 


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