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Thursday, 22 June 2017

In this weeks blog

  • Rudi and the d litter complete their suitability assessments for the September 2017 general purpose initial police dog course
  • Elsa and Eric meet for their first development session
  • Feela and Ferra ( renamed Eva and Ella ) arrive from Germany

Rudi and the d litter complete their suitability assessments for the September 2017 general purpose initial police dog course

During the last 3 weeks I have been assessing Rudi and the five D litter pups in our puppy program to see if any of them are suitable to join the September 2017 Initial Police dog course.
The D litter pups are pictured above at the Devon County show. Left to right are Donna, Devon, Danno, Daisy and Dizzy
Rudi is pictured with me in our garden
Here is how they all got on.


Rudi is a dog I imported from Teikerhook kennels in Holland when he was 4 months old. He is now 12 months old and he has lived with me since I brought him back. He was outstanding in all areas of the assessment. He is a very powerful, confident dog who is extremely hard on his bite work and has a lovely well balanced temperament.

Here he is showing his determination on a bite pad on his assessments

Because of his speed and power he is best suited to an experienced handler. At the time of writing this report we do not have an experienced handler on the course and so Rudi will be held in reserve.


Devon is a clone of his father Lenny in character and like Rudi sailed through all the elements of his assessment. The assessment looks at a wide range of skills and character traits needed in a potential Police dog.

We look at their nerves, temperament, tracking drive, searching drive, fighting drive, all round determination and their resilience. As a result of passing his assessment Devon has now been allocated to first time handler Sgt Kevin Roberts the Ashburton dog section supervisor.

Between now and the start of the course they will spend the time just bonding and getting to know each other.
Devon has been puppy walked by Lindsay and Anthony Lane-lobb in Plymouth. They  previously puppy walked Buddy from the B litter and Cosmic from the C litter.


Danno is also very similar to his father Lenny and performed consistently well in all areas of the assessment. Like all of the D litter pups he is a very impressive looking dog and was excellent on his tracking work.

Danno  passed his assessment and has been allocated to first time handler Kevin Ridgers in Cornwall They  will also spend the time between now and the course just bonding and getting to know each other .
Danno was puppy walked by Colin, Mitzi and Luke Belsher in Newton Abbott . They have previously puppy walked Beckie from the B litter and Chaos from the C litter.


Dizzy performed exceptionally well on the first 2 days of the 3 day assessment where we look at their play drive, hunting drive, tugging determination, searching for articles and reaction to a noisy crowd. Here she is searching for a criminal hiding in bushes and giving a good strong confident bark indication on finding him.

She didn’t do quite so well on Day 3 when we came to the two boldness tests which assess the resilience of a dog in coping with a sudden and unusual situation.

Dizzy didn’t recover fully on these tests and remained a little jumpy which did surprise me. She has been puppy walked by Mary Downs who lives alone in a quiet cul de sac near Launceston.

Mary has had a number of injuries which have prevented her getting Dizzy out as much as she would have liked and I think this may have contributed to Dizzy’s lack of resilience in these  situations. Mary is 71 years old and despite her injuries has soldered on refusing to give Dizzy up and has done a remarkable job.

Taking into account that Dizzy has been so consistent on her development days, her tracking work is so exceptional and she was one of the top pups on her puppy tests I believe she can still make the grade with further development.

To develop Dizzy further I have asked experienced puppy walkers  Lindsay and Anthony Lane –Lobb if they would take Dizzy for a couple of months. They live in a very busy area of Plymouth and will give her some intense socialisation.

I intend to reassess Dizzy because I believe she could become an outstanding Police dog given time. Mary is very happy with this arrangement because after all the work she has put in she just wants her to succeed.


Donna did extremely well on most of the areas of her assessment and her tracking was very impressive. But she also needed to be a little stronger on her boldness tests.

She is pictured here slowly making her way back to the dummy which flew into the air as she walked past it. It took a while for her to recover but she wouldn’t give up and worked through it very well.

Donna has excellent work potential but she can be sensitive to certain sounds and can be a little mistrustful of certain situations.
I will be assessing Donna further over the coming weeks.

Donna has been puppy walked by Janet and Jerry Burdett in Cullompton .


Daisy is a very confident, enthusiastic, playful dog who did extremely well on the majority of the tests but did lack some tenacity on the tugging games and did struggle to recover on the boldness tests.

My feeling is that she will strengthen on these areas as she matures but at this point in time she is not ready to take on the role of a trainee Police dog. She will make a tremendous companion and general working dog. She could excel at any working task such as herding sheep, agility, working trials.

Daisy has been puppy walked by Eamon and Karen Rogers in North Devon who previously puppy walked Dexter.

We have found a super home for Daisy with farmer Richard Knox and his family in Whiddon Down.

I have visited her twice and she is settling in very well.

So to summarise Rudi, Devon and Danno passed with distinction. Dizzy and Donna will undergo further development and assessment.
Daisy was unsuccessful on the assessments and has been relocated to her new home.

What was most striking on the assessments was the incredibly high standard of tracking by all the dogs which has clearly been inherited from their dad Lenny.

Here is a video of Devon tracking, note the intensity of his tracking.

For those of you who have not read the previous blogs and have no knowledge of the D litter I thought it might be of interest to explain what happened to the other 4 pups in the litter.

The D litter were born at our house on the 24th of May 2016 consisting of 9 pups of which there were 6 girls and 3 boys. The mother is Sasha and the father is Lenny who I imported from Germany and who recently graduated as an operational Police dog.

They are all pictured here at 8 weeks of age about to go to their respective puppy walkers and new owners.

Left to right are Dot (Now Zena) Darcy ( Now Pepper) Dora ( Now Delta), Sasha, Lenny, Daisy, Duke, Donna and rear Dizzy, Danno and Devon.

We only needed to keep 6 pups for our 2017 September Initial Police dog course and so we had to sell 3 of the pups. It was extremely difficult selecting 6 pups because although 3 pups stood out as outstanding on the puppy assessments ie  Devon, Danno and Dizzy the remaining 6 all did well and were very even.

On our previous 3 litters we kept all of the pups and ran them on with puppy walkers. But on this occasion because it was such a large litter we had no choice but to sell 3 pups

We decided to sell Dot


and Dora

Our remaining 6 pups continued in our development program meeting for training every 2 weeks. I also monitored Dora and Darcy on twitter and saw Dot on occasions. It was important for me to see how all 9 pups developed to help me to decide whether to breed from Sasha again.

Unfortunately in May this year I had to release Duke from our program because he was not developing or progressing as the others were.

Duke was puppy walked by Lyn, John and Ian Parlour in Plymouth.

Duke is pictured here 2nd from the right with Lyn on one of our many training days.

It is always emotional looking back at all the photo’s of our sessions together because we had some great times and it affects us all if one of the pups has to be released.

We found a super home for Duke with Plymouth Policeman Kyle Anderson and his family. Kyle tells me that Duke is doing really well.

I have been toying with the idea of having another litter from Sasha using Rudi as the stud dog. To make an informed decision I needed to see how all the pups turned out.

To that end I arranged to see Dora ( Now Delta) and Darcy ( Now Pepper) again at the old Exmouth college.

I assessed them on a lot of the working tests that I use to assess our Police dogs and they both did very well. I think my original assessment that they were more suited to be companion dogs was correct but they were still very impressive considering that they haven’t had the training that the others have.

Their temperaments were superb and they would clearly make good working dogs. They are a credit to their owners.
Dora ( Delta) is pictured here looking very relaxed on shiny slippery floors.

Darcy ( Pepper) shows intense concentration and focus when playing tug..

I also saw Dot ( Now Zena ) who is owned by a friend of mine called Gary who has done an excellent job of training her.

Having seen all of the litter I have decided to have another litter with Sasha. I will use Rudi as the Stud dog. They both live with us and they adore each other which makes it so much easier.  So Lenny Im sorry but Sasha has a new boyfriend.

Elsa and Eric meet for their first development session

Eric and Elsa are pictured here waiting patiently at the vets for their final inoculation before going on to their first training session together.

Eric was so laid back we had to practically wake him up for his examination and inoculation.

Eric lives in Plymouth with Terri and Mark and Elsa lives in Launceston with Steve and Maria. We introduced them to the agility ramps and the tunnel which they enjoyed and we then did some work on the sit, down, leave on command, and recalls.

Here are some pictures and video’s of our session.

They are both very confident strong pups and seem to take everything in their stride. I can see already that both have the potential to make excellent General purpose Police dogs and such is the quality of Elsa I am hoping she will be the future of our breeding program along with our latest German imports Eva and Ella.

Sisters Feela and Ferra arrive from Germany and have been renamed Eva and Ella

On the 1st June I collected 15 week old sisters Feela and Ferra (renamed Eva and Ella) who had arrived from Germany. They took no time at all settling in my garden as you can see.

From the moment that they arrived they were charging around like they owned the place.

It was clear that they would soon need to be split up because the speed at which they were charging around the garden chasing each other was an injury waiting to happen.

Tug of war was definitely their favourite game.

After a few days of settling in I took them down to my old Mentor Graham in Plymouth for assessment. In his words Ella, Eva, Elsa and Eric are probably the best 4 pups he has seen in our program.

Here they are undergoing a series of character and work assessments.  An umbrella opened suddenly no problem for Ella  ( Pic 32) Being restrained against my will no problem.

Tug of war with Eva very determined.

Place me on a rickety table no problem.

Ella will be staying with me and Eva will be staying with temporary puppy walkers Colin and Mitzi for a couple of months while I sort out a permanent walker.

We took them both into Exeter for the 50th Anniversary celebration of Devon and Cornwall Police. They just took it all in their stride which is remarkable because I know they have had very little socialisation.

Ella and Eva will now be in the same development group as Eric and Elsa.  In 6 weeks’ time I will be collecting two more pups from Germany called Gary and Gunnar who are now 8 weeks old.

They were bred by Arndt Muller the same breeder who bred Lenny, Eva and Ella. They will also join the group.

Sasha has just come into season and no doubt Rudi will be soon looking to take their friendship further.

Bye for now.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Our puppy walkers and our pups were a credit to the force at the 3 day devon county show


TAG, TARA & TAMMY now aged 8 months.


OZZIE, OLLIE & OSCAR now aged 5 months. 


DANNO, DEVON, DIZZI, DAISY & DONNA 12 months old on 24/5/17.
This was the fourth consecutive year that the Devon and Cornwall Operational Police dogs and our pups have taken part in the Devon County show and we all really enjoy the experience.

This year I split the pups into a different age groups for each day of the show as shown above. All 3 groups gave a short display which included agility on the ramps and tunnel followed by some focus work and then they met and said hello to the crowd.

After this came the main display by our operational Police dog teams. Taking part were Darryl & Boris, Steve & Blitz and Vikki &
Riggs who are all General purpose operational Police dogs.

They gave a display of their skills involving control work, searching and use of force. Here is Vikki and Riggs dealing with a fleeing criminal.

Also taking part was Steve with his Explosives detection search dog Peppa who gave an excellent display of searching for and indicating explosive substances.
The whole of the display can be seen on our Facebook page.

Instructor Graham Attwood did an excellent job of organising the display and provided a very entertaining commentary which was hugely popular and a great success.

Here is Graham giving a briefing to a member of the public who volunteered to see if she could out run a chasing Police dog. She was convinced she was being chased by a Police dog only to discover when she reached the gate and looked around it was our mascot dog.

The puppy walkers really enjoy the show and it gives me an excellent opportunity to assess how the pups cope with all of the crowds, dogs, animals, funfair, and everything else that goes on during the day. Pictured here are Tara, Tag, Tammy about to set off together for a circuit.

We were also joined by Danno from the D litter who came to the show for all 3 days

I was very proud of the dogs confidently walking through the busy crowds unfazed by anything and not showing aggression towards the many dogs they encountered. This was the case with all of the pups over the  3 days.
This just shows the benefit of the puppy scheme with all the work put in by our puppy walkers to achieve this.

The dogs were very interested in the balloon pool
and Tammy in particular wanted to join in with the action so we moved swiftly on.
All the dogs were bomb proof in the fairground and completely unfazed by the noise and happy to go onto all the aluminium floor surfaces which can be very daunting particularly with the vibrations from the machinery
Again it was Tammy trying to get into the action and I think she would have got onto the ride if she could
They loved the Waltzer and the Dodgems.

On our travels Jill and Tara bumped into Jill’s daughter and grand daughter.

Also on our travels we bumped into Darryl and the very handsome Boris taking in the show in between the two displays.

The weather was fine all day and on our coffee stop it was obvious that all the dogs had enjoyed themselves and would definitely sleep that night.


Friday was the turn of my bad boys Oscar, Ozzie and Ollie.

People tell me these guys look a canine version of Hells angels on the lookout for trouble. I can’t see it myself and if you see them on the video that I took they are little angels.

The weather was a tale of 2 halves it was baking hot in the morning and heavy showers later on. Our first display wasn’t until 12 o’clock and with all the exciting things to see I definitely kept them out longer than I should have done. Here they are in some much needed shade.

We gate crashed the dog show when the whippets were on but clearly we were a distraction and so we made our way to the fairground.

At the fairground the boys were completely oblivious to the loud noise and are clearly very bold dogs. Here they are on the perimeter of the dodgem cars crashing behind them completely bomb proof.

Throughout the day Bad boy Ozzie was very vocal and had plenty to say as he always does but he was on his best behaviour and was very polite to the other dogs he met.

The boys popped into the dog trust,

 and we were grateful to the COOP stand who gave all the boys a drink

Despite a long wait before our first display the boys still put on a great performance considering how hot they were and never having appeared in front of a crowd before.

The boys were a big hit in the Police stand with Ollie and Oscar pictured here engaging with the public.

For such young dogs they were an absolute credit and despite the fact that  I kept them out longer than I should have done I think they still enjoyed their day.


Saturday was the turn of the D litter and although it was the busiest day in terms of the size of the crowds we only had to take part in 1 display whereas there were 2 displays on the Thursday and Friday.

Here is Dizzy and Daisy in the thick of the action.

Despite having 5 dogs in the group they were all very well behaved and it was quite a sight seeing so many adult sized German shepherds moving together through such huge crowds as a group.

Here is Devon and Danno meeting a mascot.
Here we all are stopping for a breather and to regroup.
 The D litter were excellent on their display in the arena and here are Danno and Devon meeting the crowd afterwards.

We all then retired for lunch in the Mole Valley farmers tent taking all of the dogs with us.

We were very grateful to Gemma the daughter of Donna’s puppy walkers Jerry & Janet who works for Mole Valley for looking after us all.

Devon and Dizzy are pictured here having a roll around together.
I would like to give a special mention to puppy walker Mary with Dizzy.

Mary now in her seventies has had several injuries to her leg and back during the time she has been puppy walking Dizzy but she has refused to give Dizzy up and continues to come to all of our training sessions always with her lovely cakes for everyone. 

Meanwhile little 10 week old Elsa our youngest recruit who lives with me thoroughly enjoyed her time at the show. I had to be careful because she is not yet fully inoculated but there is no doubt over the 3 days she was the star of the show.

Here she is with her friend Nellie an 11 week old collie that she met.

Here she is meeting the crowd

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Well for me that rounded off an excellent 3 days at the show. I would like to congratulate all of my puppy walkers for the work they have all put in to prepare for the show and for giving up their time to attend.

They were all a credit to our force and I was extremely proud of all of them. To have eleven dogs in such large crowds without any incidents and so well behaved is testament to our puppy walkers and their pups. Thanks also for your patience in putting up with me continually getting you all to pose for the camera.

Well done to all of you