RAF service guard dogs to the Duke of Cambridge put to sleep.

I was going through the news like I do every day with a cuppa’ tea. There is always a story about dogs, the majority bad, especially recently.

However one story made me look twice and it was one you don’t often hear about in the news so I thought I’d share it with you. To summarise, two RAF service dogs have been put down due to behavioural issues (despite the fact that most articles concentrated on Prince William’s leaving the same RAF base).

Taken from the Telegraph –

Bruce, a Belgian Shepherd, and Blade, a German Shepherd, were reportedly euthanised after the Duke completed his final shift as a search and rescue pilot at RAF Valley on Anglesey.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed the dogs had been put down, but described the timing as “a coincidence”.

A spokesman said: “It is true two dogs have been put down, a couple of days after (the Duke left RAF Valley earlier this month).

“It was entirely coincidental.”

This is PD Kiro in full flight during regional police dog trials in South Yorkshire. He is now 8 and currently living with Duncan Matthews
PD Kiro in full flight during regional police dog trials in South Yorkshire. He is now 8 and currently living with Duncan Matthews

Ignoring the gratuitous shoehorning in of the dogs to justify an article on the Prince, it is a sober reminder that the unique training of dogs in the military and Police often leaves them with behavioural issues upon retiring which make them unsuitable for re-homing.

It was only two days ago I interviewed Duncan Matthews, Honorary Secretary who recently established ‘Fireside K9’ charity to help and assist retired service dogs with the West Yorkshire Police. (Interview here)

From what I understand, they were not his own working dogs, they were just kept in the same facilities as he was kept in during his line of service.



“These dogs had played an invaluable role offering security to our personnel over many years and were much loved by their handlers who had an extremely strong bond with them.

“Sadly these dogs had a record of veterinary and behavioural issues which meant that they could not be reassigned to other duties and they were too aggressive to be kept at home.”

It was quite a coincidence that this came out straight after that interview and, if anything, that story alone really cemented just how important those issues Duncan Matthews mentioned. Sadly it is not in every case the dog can retire to their handlers and we must be aware of that and ensure they are well looked after when the time comes. They could potentially have many years left of retirement and those should be spent in safety, relaxed and in harmony.

So, in light of this news what do you think? Has anybody know or even better rehomed a retired service dog? I would love to hear from you so get in on the conversation!

One thought on “RAF service guard dogs to the Duke of Cambridge put to sleep.

  1. In the 1960s I had a friend who had left the RAF and bought out her dog as I understand it.
    Her husband who later became a prison officer also bought out his dog when he left the RAF .
    Knowing the dogs had been in service and a dog lover I always felt safe in their company
    however I was visiting the wife and one of the dogs mistook the action of my removing my headscarf as a threatening move aimed at the wife.
    The dog jumped up at me and grabbed my arm and held my forearm in his mouth until commanded to stop and back off.No one expected this move from him, his training just came back to him
    Although I completely understand his reason for the move I know that even his owner was worried that he would misconstrue other actions by visitors and feared for his future..
    I would add that they he was always considered trustworthy with his own family.
    The other dog was never felt to be a threat to anyone.
    Every dog has its own personality and only the people who have handled and worked with that dog can begin to make a judgement on whether that dog would be trustworthy in any domestic situation and they must be the people to take responsibility for a dogs future when it leaves service.

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