Earlier this year Dexter’s police career was in tatters. Having flunked his training as an elite sniffer dog for being “too sociable”, the black labrador was expected to leave the force. Now, months later, he has earned a place in Scotland Yard’s history books and even been given an audience with Dame Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police commissioner. Dexter, who lacked focus and was too “gregarious” to make the cut as a search dog, has become the force’s first “well-being dog”.
PC Mike Sheather, his handler, is an experienced frontline officer with specialist mental health and trauma training who takes Dexter to meet officers and staff ranging from counterterrorism and firearms units to neighborhood bobbies. “He was destined to be a drugs dog. Unfortunately for them, and fortunately for us, he didn’t make it,” PC Sheather said.