Pubdate: Tue, 17 Oct 2006
Source: Isle of Wight County Press (UK)
Copyright: 2006 Isle of Wight County Press
Author: Suzanne Pert


ALBANY Prison dog handler Bernie Taylor has triumphed  alongside his 
black labrador Archie at the national  prison service dog trials.

Following success in the regional trials, Bernie and  Archie won the 
passive drug dogs section at the  nationals, beating off competition 
from 20 other dogs  from England and Northern Ireland.

They scored 384 out of a possible 420 points and beat  last year's 
champion, who came third.

Archie is two years old and has been with Bernie for  five months.

They were put through their paces in three trials.

First Archie had to search ten lines of people, static  and moving, 
to find four small packs of drugs.

He found all of them but lost some points because he  touched people. 
Passive dogs should just sit and stare  at the person carrying the drugs.

Bernie and Archie came second in the control and  obedience round and 
in the scent recognition round  Archie again found all the drugs 
hidden in clothing.

Deputy director general of the Prison Service Peter  Atherton said: 
"I'm very impressed with Archie's  ability."

Bernie came away with the Phil Wheatley Cup, a sash,  rosettes, a 
certificate of merit and a ceremonial dog  coat, which is too small 
for Archie and is a token of  respect only.

Bernie's wife, Bev, burst into tears when Bernie phoned  to tell her 
the result.

He has received 90 e-mails of congratulations, plus  letters of 
commendation from Albany's governor and  deputy governor.

Bernie said: "It is wonderful the Island has again got  recognition 
of the quality of work the drugs cluster  does and the training and 
preparation dogs and their  handlers commit to.

"The work doesn't stop when we go home.

"The dogs live with us and we work with them in our own  time to 
maintain their high level of skill."
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