Emmerdale and Heartbeat are all part of a dog’s life for Duke

Ron Stanley from Normanton, and his German Shepherd 'Duke'. 'Ron's dog has appeared on Heartbeat, Emmerdale as well as numerous other films/tv programmes. Also 'top dog' at the British Police and Service Dog Canine Association competition.'w5754a128
Ron Stanley from Normanton, and his German Shepherd 'Duke'. 'Ron's dog has appeared on Heartbeat, Emmerdale as well as numerous other films/tv programmes. Also 'top dog' at the British Police and Service Dog Canine Association competition.'w5754a128
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FROM sniffing out wanted crooks for the police or being put to sleep on national television, the life of one dog has been far from usual.

But after nearly nine years of being a regular extra on our screens, Duke the German shepherd is retiring.

And the Normanton dog, who is most famous for playing Aaron Livesy’s pet in ITV soap Emmerdale, has clinched another top award.

Last week he was crowned reserve champion in a British Police and Service Dog Canine Association competition, with a little help from his owner Ron Stanley.

Mr Stanley, 81, of Manor Croft, Normanton, said: “I am very proud of Duke and he is a very good dog.

“But he has done enough filming now and deserves to be treated like a pet.

“I have always loved dogs and if you train them well they will respect you and be your best friend.”

The former RAF dog handler founded Normanton Dog Training Club more than 50 years ago and currently runs Heath Working Dogs’ Club.

He has been providing well-trained canines for television producers for 20 years.

His first pet to make it big was Zak, also a German shepherd, who starred as a police dog in Yorkshire-based drama Heartbeat for 11 years.

His appearances helped Mr Stanley rub shoulders with the likes of Nick Berry, David Essex and Russ Abbot, who made appearances in the police show set in the 1960s.

Zak and Mr Stanley also starred as a prison officer and guard dog in Vinnie Jones’ blockbuster Mean Machine.

Duke also appeared in Heartbeat, but became a hit in Emmerdale as a pet for the infamous Dingle family, playing Chas Dingle’s son Aaron Livesy’s pet Clyde.

His screen death last year after being attacked by another dog caused a public outcry and even a Twitter page was set up in tribute to the hound.

His CV also includes films such as The Other Child, which is due to be released later this year.

Last week Duke beat 26 other competitors in an obedience, agility and criminal work competition which included dealing with a fictional attacker with a gun.