New Paws for German Police Dog
BERLIN – There’s a new look that will soon be hitting the streets in the western German city of Duesseldorf when police dogs step out in their new shoes.
The entire K-9 unit will soon be equipped with blue plastic fiber shoes to protect their feet when on patrol, a police spokesman said Monday.
“All 20 of our police dogs, German and Belgian shepherds, are currently being trained to walk in these shoes,” said Andre Hartwich, police official. “I’m not sure they like it, but they’ll have to get used to it.”
While the unusual footwear is sure to catch some attention, Hartwich said it’s not for fashion, but out of necessity due to the high rate of paw injuries on duty.
The city’s historical old town, which is famous for its pubs and drunken revelers, often lead to the dogs stepping on broken beer bottles.
“Even the street-cleaning doesn’t manage to remove all the glass pieces from between the streets’ cobble stones,” Hartwich said.
Since the dogs are frequently injured by little pieces that get stuck deep in their paws, they will start wearing the shoes this spring.
But the canines will only don the new shoes during operations that demand special foot protection.
The shoes come in small, medium and large sizes, and were ordered in blue to match the officer’s uniforms. Costing about $22, the shoes were modeled on a design made for sled-pulling Canadian huskies.
“Now we just have to teach the dogs how to tie their shoes,” Hartwich joked.
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