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  • Oliver Hodgson

Sniffer Dog Training For St Bees School Students

It’s not every day that students have the chance to learn what it takes to train a sniffer and search dog, but those at St Bees School were fortunate enough to have that opportunity this week.

Utilising the fact that Sellafield lies just up the road from the independent school, students were given an hour of insight into the life of a real life sniffer dog, whose work is so important keeping the county, and country, safe.

These dogs and their handlers are part of the Cumbria Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) explosive detection team, who search for materials around the Sellafield site which could cause serious damage if left unfound. 

Trained in detecting a variety of explosives, the students witnessed firsthand the intelligence of these talented dogs, watching them find real samples of explosive material, which had been hidden by the officers to demonstrate the dogs’ incredible capabilities.  These samples were only small amounts, but the dogs had no issue sniffing them out.

Year 7 student Eve, commented afterwards “it was really interesting to learn about the different jobs that dogs can do, and how they work to keep us safe. The dogs were really well behaved and they enjoyed being rewarded when they found the explosives – their tails didn’t stop moving!  It was such a fun thing to watch during school.”

Headmaster, Roger Sinnett was delighted with the visit.  Having real life demonstrations, especially within the current climate, is an invaluable part of the very ‘hands on’ education at St Bees.  He noted, “even though ‘sniffer dog training’ is not on the curriculum, it is vital that our students appreciate and understand the concepts of safety, but also other career options for the future.”

“We live on the nuclear coast and Sellafield’s security is a huge aspect of our lives.  Ensuring all of our students are aware of the real world beyond the curriculum is paramount .”

Run within strict COVID-19 protocols and safety measures, the afternoon was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

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