Dunedin Police's newest recruit has a nose for catching offenders.

Constable Tim Roy and his 3-year-­old police dog Targa graduated from the New Zealand Police Dog Training Centre on June 14.

Const Roy got Targa about six months ago, after her handler left. His previous dog, South, who featured in The Star in November 2016, along with Const Roy, went to another handler.

Police dog Targa. Photo / Jessica Wilson
Police dog Targa. Photo / Jessica Wilson

Targa had to pass "all sorts of assessments" before graduating, which involved tracking, searching, obedience and control, Const Roy said.

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The control aspect involved teaching her when to bite an offender and when to release them.

She attended on her first job on Monday night and Const Roy was pleased with how it went.

"I was really happy with how she started."

The pair were on call and will go to a range of jobs when they officially clock in.

Const Roy said he loved being a dog handler and could not imagine doing anything else.

"When I joined the police I didn't ever think I would get the opportunity to be a dog handler."

Being a dog handler was a sought­-after role so he felt fortunate to be one.

"I am stoked to be doing it."

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It was rewarding knowing there was a good chance of catching an offender with a police dog, he said.

"It's fantastic."