A POLICE dog who has served for more than six years with North Yorkshire Police has officially retired from his duties.

German shepherd PD Max has been retired from the force after a lifetime apprehending criminals across the county.

Max, who is seven-years-old, came to the force when he was around one-year-old.

From there, he was paired with his handler PC Paul Potter who trained together and were licensed as a team.

Throughout his career, Max was trained to detect and detain suspects, assist with policing protests and sniff suspects for drugs.

More recently, Max successfully found and detained a shoplifter on the riverbank near Northallerton.

The shoplifter had already managed to evade a police helicopter and police officers on the ground before Max found the shoplifter on the banks of the River Swale.

Max also apprehended a suspect in York who allegedly became violent towards officers.

Max was able to access the suspect on a raised walkway due to his size.

The force said that it believed Max had detained between 40 and 50 suspects.

Sergeant Simon Whitby at North Yorkshire Police said: "Max has served us well for the past six years but we could see he was starting to get tired."

According to Pedigree, police dog Max is considered a senior dog and around 50-years-old in human years.

Sgt Whitby said: "Although he was still a very capable police dog, we noticed subtle changes in him such as slowing down and preferring to lay in front of the fire on rest days than be out and about chasing around.

"Max has done his duty and can be extremely proud of what he has done for the people of North Yorkshire, but now it’s time for him to have a rest."

Max along with PC Paul Potter were praised by Cleveland Police for their efforts in keeping Middlesbrough and Sheffield United fans apart during violence at a football match in August 2017.

As Max retired from the force, more than 50 people responded to a social media post to say their goodbye's and gave praise for Max's work.

Max will now go on to live with a former police officer in the Ryedale district near to the North Yorkshire Moors national park.

Max’s retirement comes as North Yorkshire Police used their dogs in a raid at a flat in York on January, 1.