Border collie becomes Britain’s first water-based sniffer dog

by Mark James on June 5, 2013

A border collie from Bolton has begun intense training after being named as Britain’s first ever underwater sniffer dog.

Sniffer dogs have always been depended on as a valuable aid in crime investigations, from detecting drugs to locating stolen items and explosives. These trained dogs are able to protect society in a number of ways and have made a significant difference in people’s lives.

Although there are hundreds of active sniffer dogs in the United Kingdom, three-year-old Sasha is making a name for herself as the first to carry out her work in aquatic conditions.

The young dog has been training alongside a Bolton Mountain Rescue volunteer for a year now and has developed her skills significantly. Training has involved locating and retrieving items from water.

Sasha’s handler, 62-year-old Dave Marsh, was given the collie when she was just seven weeks old by dog expert Neil Powell. Upon discovering her strong sense of smell, Neil felt that she would work well as part of the Rescue team, which is based in Greater Manchester.

Speaking about Sasha, Mr Marsh said:

“Sasha is great to work with. She’s the first of her kind in Britain and if she passes her assessment in August she’ll be a valuable member of the team.”

Although she is not officially part of the team yet, Sasha was able to detect a drowning victim from 100ft away when she recently participated in a staged boating mission. Stillborn pigs are used as bait in each mission, because the scent is comparable to that of a human.

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