Hoping to cut down on training times, one country claims that they have successfully cloned the “Sherlock Holmes” of police dogs. The puppy – which is the result of the cloning process and a joint project between a biotechnology company and a university – is reportedly three months old, and is currently undergoing training.
With the backing of the Ministry of Public Security in China, Sinogene Biotechnology Company and Yunnan Agricultural University cloned Huahuangma, a 7-year-old Kunming Wolfdog sniffer dog who was recognized by the government in 2016 for her contributions to multiple murder investigations.
The puppy, which was named Kunxun, has already begun police dog training. Tests, after the puppy was born, revealed that Kunxun’s DNA is a 99.9 percent match to Huahuangma.
The goal of the project is to shorten the training time required for police dogs. While, if the cloning approach is effective, the process could also reduce training costs, the financial side of cloning could be a long-term obstacle to the project’s success.
In China, most police dogs receive five years of training, which can cost as much as 500,000 Chinese Yuan – approximately $74,687, according to a report by Fox News. How much the cloning process cost was not disclosed.
Kunxun is expected to officially become a police dog at age 10 months, following extensive training in areas like crowd control, drug detection, and evidence searches.
“Cloning police dogs is at an experimental phase,” said senior researcher at Kunming Police Dog base Wan Jiusheng. “It’s hoped that we can mass produce cloned good-performing police dogs as techniques mature in the next 10 years,”
The Kunming Wolfdog is a cousin of the German Shepherd and was officially recognized as a breed by China’s Ministry of Public Safety in 1988.