Greater Manchester Police believe a strain of canine flu may be responsible for the strange behaviour reported in their drug sniffing dogs.
The dogs, which are kennelled together, began showing symptoms of excessive sniffing, general lethargy, listlessness and banging their heads against the kennel wall, earlier this year.
Police dog handlers say that it doesn't seem to have affected their operational ability and that if anything their dogs appear overly keen to go on drugs operations and once there seem very eager to sniff out any illegal drugs. The only small change they've noticed is that the dogs want to play with the drugs, once they've been found, rather than the soft toy or ball, which is their usual reward.
However two incidents of strange behaviour were recorded by police dog handlers.
In the first incident, the dog handler reported that following a major drugs operation his dog lay on it's back, with its legs in the air, whining and licking it's testicles....and when it was returned to its kennels it began licking the other dogs testicles.
In the second incident the dog handler reported that following a drugs operation his drugs dog had crept up behind a bomb sniffer dog and barked loudly in its ear...and that it had taken the police two hours to coax the bomb dog down off the roof.
Recently kennel staff have been reporting the dogs running away and later being found on street corners begging and offering it doggie fashion.
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said they were looking into it, but believes their drug sniffing dogs were an essential part of the Manchester drugs scene...and that the dogs had a nose for illegal drugs ..and he was sure they were up to speed.