Loki the wolfdog is here to help find missing dogs
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
He looks every inch the wolf, and even shares many of its personality traits – not to mention its howl. But this striking-looking creature has a much softer side than his ferocious wild cousins.
Loki is a Czechoslovakian wolfdog who has been specially trained to help find missing pets.
The 22-month-old belongs to Sam Bryce, a former police officer from Harleston, who runs a horse livery and dog walking business, and wants to start offering the service.
Trained as a sniffer dog, able to follow a scent, he has already helped to find two missing dogs and – in what was perhaps a slower-paced hunt – a tortoise who escaped from his home. The tortoise was eventually found beneath a shed.
Miss Bryce said: 'Loki is trained like a police dog and if you give him a smell he will tune into it. I trained him with a trainer in Thetford.
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'He tracks things and if he loses the smell he backs off and tries to find the track again.'
Miss Bryce, who was a detective constable with Essex Police for 19 years, had heard about the breed – which was bred to have the loyalty of a German shepherd and the size and power of a wolf – being used for search and rescue in Europe and decided to train one.
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The 46-year-old now offers the service for free but has said that people should contact her as soon as possible to enable Loki the best chance of tracking the scent.
She said: 'I decided I didn't want to charge for it as I don't want to make money off of someone's misery and upset.
'People need to contact me within the first week for the best results.'
So what is it like living with a dog that many would mistake for a wolf?
'They aren't easy as they have wolf genes and traits and they're very clever and stubborn. Loki won't do anything without reward or praise, he loves praise.'
She said there were strict controls on how closely the dogs could be bred to wolves. If they are bred too closely, the owner requires a licence to own one.
Miss Bryce added: 'Loki is the God of mischief and it suits him – but he's so professional when he does his job. I've never met a dog like him. I also have a six-year-old wolfdog too and she just loves to sleep.'
Miss Bryce would love to foster wolfdogs and help create a rescue service across the country.
'I would like to have teams all over the place as we have had requests from the North of England and Scotland.
'There are a lot of wolfdog owners across the country but I believe Loki to be the first trained and working wolfdog in the UK.'
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