Watch police puppies swim for the first time as they prepare for active duty
AÂ litter ofÂ puppiesÂ have been getting their paws wet in their training to become fully-fledged police dogs - by taking a dip in a hydrotherapy pool.
The four 13-week-old pups only joined the force last week but their training to become part of Northumbria Police's Dog Section is well underway.
Officers hope the Cocker Spaniels will go on to be specialist search dogs who can sniff out drugs, money, weapons and even explosives.
But for now they are just trying to keep their heads above water - as Hartley, Herbert, Henry and Hunter took a dip in a hydrotherapy pool at 'Woofs n Scruffs' in Washington after being invited for a session by owner David Potts.
He had spotted a post on the force's Facebook page about the new arrivals and so invited them along as a thank you to all the hard work of the dog section.
Police have said that the workout in the pool will help build their strength as well as helping the K9's get used to water.
Sergeant Julie Neve, of the Force's Dog Section, said these type of sessions were vital to help the young pups grow into a successful police dog.
She said: "This was a great day for the puppies and will really help with their development this early in their training.
"A lot of what they do now is just about getting them used to different environments as you never know what they will come across in their careers.
"Water can be quite intimidating to some dogs and so to be able to use this pool allows us to ease them in to a setting that is still a bit alien to them at the minute.
"Once they get going it will also help build up their strength due to the resistance that they'll face in the pool itself.
"It was very kind of David to invite us in and it really is a great facility for dogs of all ages. Herbert and Hartley certainly enjoyed themselves!"
David, who runs the business alongside co-owner Mark Brown, said: “It was an absolute pleaseure to have the puppies come along and try out the pool.
“We love reading about Northumbria’s Dog Section and all the amazing work they do to keep us safe.
“Being able to give them a free session down here at Woofs n Scruffs is the very least we can do to give them that little something back.
“Hopefully the puppies’ time here can give them the start they need to become fully licenced police dogs in the not too distant future!”Woofs n Scruffs have two centres - one in Washington and one in Seaham - that both contain a hydrotherapy pool and deliver a dog grooming service, dog training and doggy day care.You can find out more about what they do and what services are available by searching on their website here: http://www.woofsnscruffs.com/ To follow the progress of the police pups then follow them on Twitter at @npdogsection or on Facebook at Northumbria Police.