IN THIS BLOG
- RONNIE, NATO AND LENNY GRADUATE WITH THEIR HANDLERS AS OPERATIONAL POLICE DOGS
- THE JANAURY 2018 PUPS PASS THEIR ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS
- BAD BOY OZZIE PROVES TOO MUCH OF A HANDFUL FOR HIS PUPPY WALKERS
- THE D LITTER PREPARE FOR THEIR INITIAL COURSE ASSESSMENTS AND DUKE FINDS IT ALL TOO MUCH
RONNIE, NATO AND LENNY GRADUATE WITH THEIR HANDLERS AS OPERATIONAL POLICE DOGS
They are pictured here on the day of their passing out parade which took place in front of all their friends, relatives and puppy walkers at HQ Middlemoor.
This was the culmination of 13 weeks of intense training under the supervision and Instruction of Hugh Watson. In the final week the teams underwent an independent 2 day assessment by Gloucestershire Police dog Instructor Phil Powell. They had to demonstrate that they had the skills, control and temperament required of an operational Police dog team.
From left to right are Ali & Lenny, Instructor Hugh Watson, Steve & Nato, Assessor Phil Powell, and Mark with Ronnie. Phil is a very fair assessor who understands the pressure the handlers are under and always puts everyone at ease. The assessments were very fair and achievable taking into account that the handlers are always nervous and the dogs pick up on this.
Phil may be fair but he likes a dog to show the necessary mental resilience and toughness required of a Police dog. Here he is at the front of an unruly crowd making sure that Nato showed the level of courage necessary to deal with such a crowd.
In addition to dealing with violent disorderly crowds the dogs have to deal with armed criminals.
Nato may be an easy going guy but you really don’t want to upset him. He is pictured here about to teach the criminal with the stick that this was a bad choice.
Afterwards Steve is debriefed by Phil on their performance.
We know that Nato gets excited with his criminal work because his ears come up.
Here is Lenny detaining a criminal armed with a gun.
Fortunately now that a significant number of operational officers ( Including dog handlers) carry Tazor stun guns we rarely need to use the dogs to deal with a criminal armed with a weapon.
No dog handler ever wants to send a dog to deal with someone brandishing a bladed weapon because the dog has no concept that he/she could impale themselves as they rush in.
The dogs are also trained to chase and detain a fleeing criminal. They are also trained to recall back to the handler even if they are in the middle of chasing a criminal. This is in case the dog is in danger such as the criminal running towards a busy road.
If the criminal stops running and gives up the dog should not bite but keep him/her under surveillance preventing their escape until the arrival of the handler.
Most of the work of the dog team involves tracking or searching for outstanding criminals or vulnerable missing persons.
During assessment the dog teams have to achieve a ½ mile track across country recovering 4 articles dropped by the criminal and to locate a hidden criminal at the end of the track. Here is Ali tracking with Lenny who we know is an outstanding tracking dog
Also on the assessment the teams have to search a large open area or buildings or a combination of both to locate 2 outstanding criminals or missing persons. Here is Ronnie having located a criminal hiding up a tree.
Ronnie is pictured giving a clear indication he has found something in a concrete block.
Mark can’t see what Ronnie is indicating but as always the dog is right
Police dogs need to be extremely fit and agile because they are regularly required to negotiate fences and obstacles. Here is Lenny tackling the 6 foot scale
and Nato tackling the 7 foot long jump
Having successfully completed their assessments the teams prepared for their passing out parade on the final Thursday. The passing out parade gives the chance for friends and family to see the teams pass out but most importantly it gives the puppy walkers the chance to share the day with their dogs and their handlers.
The weather was superb and we had an amazing turnout.
OUR PUPPY WALKERS
Terry and Jill
They are currently puppy walking Tara and have been puppy walking for many years.
|Terry and Jill Hodge with Mark and Ronnie.|
Ronnie was bred by Alfons Schumeister in Germany and he also bred Tammy, Tag and Tara who are on our January 2018 Initial course.
|Susannah Coffin with Steve and Nato. ( Formerly Cato)|
Nato was bred by Drew Rush along with his 3 litter brothers Dexter, Riggs and; Reggie who all graduated in December 2016.
Drew is pictured here with Steve and Nato
Me with Lenny and Ali.
Lenny has lived with me for 18 months and I will miss having him around. But he will be doing what he was bred for with Ali and I know she will make sure he gets plenty of work.
Lenny’s mother Quira has this week whelped 3 pups and we have booked a male pictured here 1 day old.
Quira’s half sister Laila also had pups 9 weeks ago and we have booked 2 females called Feela and Ferra for our breeding program
FAMILIESHusband and wife team Ali and Steve are pictured here with their children Harry and Rosie. Steve and Nato will be based at Exeter. Ali is the dog section supervisor for Exeter and North Devon
The teams completed a short round of control work before putting on individual displays with their dogs. Ali and Lenny did a short heelwork display
All 3 teams concluded with individual criminal work exercises. They didn’t go exactly to plan but they never do because the passing out parade is the first time the dogs have performed in front of a crowd and there is plenty of time in the months ahead to put in the polish.
The crowd enjoyed it anyway. I have included 5 videos of the dogs performing. ( Show Vids 1 to 5)
Good luck to the teams as they start their careers in the real world.
THE JANUARY 2018 INITIAL POLICE DOG PUPS PASS THEIR ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS
Although the pups are quite young I decided to assess the reaction of the pups on all of the various shiny floors and different types of stairs at the old Exmouth college. I also introduced some loud and unusual noises to see how strong their nervous systems were.
Here is 7 month old Tammy completely comfortable on the Gymnasium shiny floor.
Her sister Tara was equally at home.
4 month old Ozzie showed his very strong determination to win
None of the photo’s could be used from the other areas of the building because of the poor lighting. All 6 pups performed extremely well and there were no signs of any nervousness to any of the noises or any sign of phobias with shiny floors which is such a problem with German shepherds.
The problem of an aversion to shiny floors doesn’t usually manifest itself until the pups are over 12 months of age and no one seems to know why it happens although there are lots of theories.
This group of pups are all off to the farm for a visit next Sunday which I am really looking forward to.
BAD BOY OZZIE PROVES TOO MUCH OF A HANDFUL AND IS NOW ON HIS THIRD PUPPY WALKER
I re-homed him with Chris and his 13 year old Labrador Wellington.
All seemed to be going well but the problem of him nipping his partner and young son resurfaced and so I rehomed him with my most experienced puppy walker Lyn Parlour.
I would like to thank Marie for the work she did with Ozzie and also Chris. I will make sure that they are kept fully up to date with Ozzie’s progress. There is nothing wrong with Ozzie other than he is a very strong willed determined puppy who needs an experienced and consistent approach with firm but fair leadership.
It is no reflection at all on Marie and Chris and although both have experience with big dogs both commented that they had never come across dogs like this.
The type of puppy that possesses all the attributes to be an outstanding Police dog usually is a handful in the early months but they do grow out of these biting phases. All the usual advice like distract with a toy or scream out loud or put the pup in his cage rarely works with some of the type of pups we have.
If you look at the 2 pictures of Ozzie when he came back to me you will notice that he does not even attempt to steal Sasha’s toy even though he desperately wants to.
He tried it once and as tough as he is he quickly realised it was not in his interests to do it again. I must emphasize that we would always initially use non forceful methods to achieve a result with all of our pups but occasionally a pup like Ozzie comes along and a stronger approach is needed.
We clearly don’t expect our puppy walkers to employ this approach and with such pups they need to be allocated to a very experienced puppy walker.
I am sure Ozzie is going to be an outstanding future Police dog whichever handler ends up with him is going to be very lucky indeed.
THE D LITTER PREPARE FOR THEIR INITIAL POLICE DOG ASSESSMENTS BUT DUKE IS FINDING LIFE A LITTLE DIFFICULT
From left to right are Rudi, Dizzy, Donna, Devon, Danno and Duke. We practised our tracking, article searching, introduction to person searching, and basic biting work on a bite cushion.
The only absentee was Daisy because puppy walker Eamon is on holiday.
Here are Donna, Devon, Dizzy and Duke all enjoying their training.
With the exception of Duke everyone is progressing very well in all elements of their work and the development of their characters. Duke has no inclination to join in any work whatsoever because he is clearly unhappy working in and around the other dogs and is very clingy to his puppy walker Lyn.
I have taken Duke to stay with me, Rudi and Sasha to see if I can get to the bottom of the issues that are clearly bothering him. He enjoyed looking around the garden and I am sure he remembered his time there as a young puppy having been born and raised at my house
In my early years of assessing dogs I would have instantly retired him but experience has taught me never write them off because sometimes they can just surprise you. Argo from the A litter and Cosmic from the C litter are case in point. Both were nervy and unsure as pups but both are now licensed Police dogs.
Duke has impressed me with his work ethic in the last few days. His tracking, article searching and tug work is extremely good. His tendency to launch at other dogs has all but gone and he is becoming much more confident. Early days but excellent progress so far.
I will let you know how he gets on in the coming weeks.
I hope to invite the owners of the 3 pups we had to sell from the D litter to join the rest of their 6 litter mates for a character assessment within the coming weeks. This would give me an accurate picture of how successful the litter have been and whether to have another litter from Sasha in August this year.
From Duke and me Bye for now.