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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The B litter and Yogi enjoy a great day out at Saunercroft Farm

Sunday the 13th of April 2014 on a glorious sunny afternoon we all made our way to Saundercroft farm near Broadclyst, Exeter for some livestock familiarisation  training. Police dog handler Andi Darby whose mother Jean owns the farm kindly allowed us access to all the animals on the farm for the afternoon.

What a fantastic day out it was for everybody. The dogs loved it and were so sensible and well behaved. I am obviously biased because I bred the B litter but to see 7 young puppies under 6 months of age calmly interacting with sheep, cattle, chickens, the 7 year old farmyard German shepherd Holly, Jack the rescue pony and the huge stable horses made me very proud indeed.

It is very important for all dogs to be well behaved in and around livestock but particularly Police dogs because they are regularly tasked to search for criminals or vulnerable missing persons in Rural locations. If they cannot be trusted to work off lead around cattle, sheep horses or other animals without being distracted then they are inefficient and a liability.



Pictured here are my retired Police dog Spud and my brood bitch Mollie being schooled through a herd of cows which they have done from an early age and are now completely safe and relaxed in and around livestock.

Naturally we do not expect our puppy walkers to be walking through herds of cows with their pups because of the obvious dangers but our dog handlers when they get their new dogs will school them through all types of livestock on a line for the reasons I have outlined.

I well remember my first Police dog Harry searching for a farmer who while drunk had crashed his car into the front room of house before running off across fields towards his farmhouse to escape. My dog ran into a large field in the darkness and he disappeared into a huge herd of cows who were all massed together. I then heard him barking and then realised the farmer was actually hiding in amongst all of his cows. The farmer was somewhat miffed when I arrested him but congratulated my Police dog Harry for being so focused on searching and ignoring his cows.

We started the day introducing the dogs to the sheep and lambs. The highlight of the day for us all was 2 hand reared lambs called Al and Wooly who showed no fear towards the pups and happily interacted with them.
Also pictured enjoying the sheep are Blade, Yogi and Bruno
Pictured here are Boris, Bruno and Buddy looking on at the sheep and lambs.
Next it was on to the cows where Yogi clearly found them extremely interesting.
Bebe also found them of interest and is pictured here licking one on the nose.
Also pictured is Brodie getting a closer look at the rescue pony Jack
We all then took a brief time out to compare notes.
Then it was off to meet the very large horses in the stables.
Pictured here is Boris meeting Ozzy who was very large and imposing but fortunately very relaxed
Next it was Buddy’s turn to meet Ozzy. The normally mischievous Buddy is clearly admiring Ozzy’s considerable size as he decides on his options.
Finally it was on to meet the chickens.
Pictured here is Yogi walking around the corner to be met by a large group of chickens and can hardly believe his luck.
Next Bebe and Bruno get into the act
At the end of a fantastic day we all get together for a group picture and  memento of the visit.


Pictured from left to right Jean (owner of the farm) with Holly, Chris and Donna with Bebe, Jill and Yogi, Paul with Bruno, Ken with Boris, My wife Diane and baby Lamb Al, Mike with Brodie, Kevin a Police officer from Cornwall hoping to be a dog handler and was camera man for the day, Lindsay with Buddy, Pony Jack with Baby lamb Wooly sat on his back with Dog handler Andi and finally Emma with Blade.

My next blog will let you all know how the A litter get on with their final assessments so until then bye for now.

Paul

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