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Meet Louis, a talented springer spaniel, who works for the Hampshire Fire service.  There are just 17  working “fire dogs” in the whole of the UK , which makes this a rather special interview.

Louis the springer spaniel looks directly into the camera. He sits on a beach and is wearing a red harness.
At four, Louis is in his prime as a Fire Investigation & Search Dog (Photo credit: Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service)

Louis is a Fire Investigation & Search Dog for the Arson Task Force of Hampshire’s fire service, trained to sniff out the presence of flammable materials at a fire scene with outstanding accuracy in minutes, where humans alone would take days to cover the same ground. 

Louis with Sean White, a veteran firefighter, at a fire scene. The partners have to re-qualify annually to keep working on fire investigations for the together.

It’s a great success story, since Louis was made homeless at less than a year old. He had so much energy and what dog handlers call  “play drive” that his family just couldn’t cope with him. 

He was rescued by veteran firefighter and dog handler Sean White, who saw that Louis needed a stimulating job to channel all that energy.  So Louis  joined the fire service as a trainee, alongside Sean’s other Fire Dogs, Harvey and Ruby. On this month’s Dogs with Jobs, we hear all about the dogs’ training and the big picture too. 

Louis sits proudly in his harness in front of the fire engine with his handler, Sean White.

Sean also debunks a few myths, and explains how they ensure the welfare and safety of the dogs, and where those cute little fire boots come in.

Hoodie the black labrador is lying on a path wearing red and grey fire booties, which are strapped onto his feet. He has a black harness and looks to the side.
Fire dog colleague Hoodie wearing his fire boots. (Photo credit: Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service)

Find out more about the Fire Investigation & Search Dogs that work for Hampshire Fire Service.

L-R Louis the springer spaniel with colleagues black labradors Hoodie and Eric pose by the Fire Service’ distinctive van

Do you work your dog or dogs?

Kate loves to meet any and all working dogs. Please get in touch on team@shineradio.uk if you, or someone you know, would be interested in coming on the show to talk working dog life.