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Puppy power! Taiwan trains Labradors as sniffer dogs

TAIPEI, July 6 (Reuters) - Police in Taipei have recruited six Labrador puppies into their K-9 unit, getting the department tens of thousands of likes on social media.

The two-month-old golden and black Labs are undergoing rigorous daily training to sniff out blood on cloth, and some will soon advance to detecting drugs and explosives.

"Among the dog breeds we use at the moment, Labradors are comparably easy to train. They are also tamer and not aggressive," said New Taipei City police officer Pan Tian-long.

The department also uses other breeds like German Shepherds.

Competition is fierce: each puppy needs eight to 12 months of training before officially joining the force. Only a quarter of them will eventually make it as police dogs, depending on their performance and how they interact with humans.

But the cute pups are also allowed some fun.

"We need three or four people to play with them to keep it little more interesting. Because during their childhood it is important to let them have fun, so they can develop a trust towards you," police officer Lin Chih-Lun said.

The K-9 unit employs 30 adult police dogs and 25 human police officers. (Reporting by Damon Lin; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor)