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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Why British Cops Wagged the Dog

From MSNBC.com: Rotherham, England (AP)-- "Buster the German shepherd could have had a great career as a British police dog had it not been for...[h]is complete lack of interest in fighting crime...and [his] fondness for making friends with rowdy drunkards...

"He has a lack of drive and motivation when asked to do operational work," Stephenson [the Police Constable] told The Associated Press. "He's just a lovely pet." Two-year-old Buster performed well at the start of his 14-week training program, but his work gradually deteriorated and the problem worsened once he started patrolling the streets, he said...

On one occasion, Buster walked straight past a suspected criminal hiding in the garden of a house late at night and went off to cock his leg. "I searched the garden myself and found the bloke. The dog had walked past the spot where I found him," Stephenson said. "You would have expected him to use his nose to locate him."

During a separate tracking operation, also in the early hours of the morning, Buster gave up while in mid-chase across a golf course. "He just downed tools," Stephenson said. "He just lay down and there was nothing we could do. He has got a very low drive for finding people."...

When patrolling Rotherham at pub closing times — when the streets are often crowded with drunken revelers — Buster wagged his tail when people came up to him and ate their fries, instead of deterring potential trouble makers, his former handler said." Since being forced into early retirement, Buster has moved in with a family in Northern England. Story... [Mark Godsey]

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