THIS ADORABLE 10-week-old puppy is the latest recruit to join the fight against crime in Dorset.

Gus the German Shepherd is being trained-up as a general purpose police dog and will be ready to help catch criminals in just over a year’s time.

The playful pooch came from a specialist breeder in Rutland and is being cared for by instructor PC David Henrys.

PC Henrys, who looks after Gus at his family home, said: “It is always an exciting time when a new dog arrives in Force, especially a puppy. Gus is very cute and playful now but in a year’s time he will be a member of the police family ready to catch crooks.

“At the moment training with Gus is all about bonding and play. Over the coming months I will be building and observing his play drive, which is the main thing we initially look for in a potential police dog.”

General purpose police dogs are trained in obedience, teamwork, tracking, how to search for people and objects and hold suspects on the run. They’re used to help find offenders and missing people and assist during public incidents.

Gus’ main tracking training will begin when he is 12-weeks-old and after one year, he will meet his new handler and the pair will be sent on a three-month course.

His arrival comes just one week after his four-legged colleagues Ajax, an 11-month-old Springer Spaniel, and Acer, a 15-month-old German Shepherd, are set to work after passing their final assessments.

Dog handler PC Dave Campbell, who looks after Ajax, said: “He has endless energy and a really nice temperament. He is going to have a great career with us.”

Acer’s handler PC Andy Wallbridge added: “Acer is a very balanced dog with a fantastic ability to adapt his communication style to his audience – whether that be a passer-by in the street or a crook!”