We had intended to use Bebe as a future brood bitch but decided against that because her litter brother Brodie was born with very bad hips. Bebe herself has excellent hips. Bebe was puppy walked by Chris and Donna Highton and their boys Tom and Jake. Tom recently celebrated graduating as a Police officer in Avon and Somerset and so we are hoping that Bebe can make it a Police double.
As mentioned above should Harry pass the course he will be allocated to his new handler Chris Curnow who is unable to attend the course because of other commitments and they will complete a short re-handling course before being posted to Ashburton.
So there you have it all the runners and riders and as the course progresses I will keep you up to date as to how they are all getting on. I went out with the course on Wednesday last week 3 days into the course and they all looked to be doing very well.
For those of you new to the blog or who do not know about police dogs the course that the dogs will be undergoing is a 13 week course and is called a General Purpose Police Dog course. The teams will be trained to track and search for criminals who have made off from the scene of a crime, track and search for missing vunerable persons, deal with violent criminals and disorderly crowds, develop their obedience, control and agility, search for outstanding items of property and perform high visibility reassurance foot patrols.
Here are a few pictures I took on my day with the course.
Our experience with German Shepherds and Malinois cross bred dogs
With our puppy program we are able to obtain and provide enough German Shepherd dogs for all of our general purpose police dog handlers. We have tried other breeds in particular the Malinois who is a very athletic hardy determined breed but we have concluded that the German Shepherd is the best breed for us.
Having said that a lot of forces use the Malinois because of their very robust and athletic build. They do not tend to have the same health issues as the German shepherd. In Devon and Cornwall because most of our work is tracking after offenders and because we have found the German Shepherd to be the better operational dog for that kind of work we have stuck with the German Shepherd.
However several forces have had success with crossing the German shepherd with the Malinois and when I heard about a litter of German Shepherd cross Malinois pups in Gloucestershire I decided to go and take a look.
|Shark and Dragon I ask you, do I live in the sea and can he breath fire?|
I assessed the litter of 10 pups and selected 2 males which I brought back to our house last Thursday where they were collected by their new puppy walkers Eamon Rogers and his daughter Jessica and Chris Highton and his wife Donna and son Tom.
We had some time enjoying them in the garden.
|Hi, I'm Riggs and it wasn't me ok?|
|Hi, I'm Dexter. I didn't honest!|
|Phew, think we got away with that.|
|Being cute is exhausting|
I was so impressed with the 2 pups that I rang Drew to enquire about the availability of 2 more pups from the litter. Having told him which 2 I would like I met him after our puppy class on Sunday and collected 2 more boys.
It was back to our house again to meet their new puppy walkers Angie and Graham Collins and Susannah Coffin.
|Cold, wet, thought the weather down here was supposed to be better!|
Sunday 13 September 2015, Memphis, Flynn, Rika, Billy and Lenny all venture down to Saundercroft farmOne of my favourite visits with the pups is our day out at Saundercroft farm to meet and socialise with all of the animals. We all met at HQ Middlemoor at 11am where we got all of our 5 pups out on the sports field to get them all to relax and be comfortable with each other and to iron out any spats or arguments before going off to the farm.
As always on seeing the sheep one or two were not too sure barking and showing hackles but after being rewarded for sitting with titbits the pups became bored and got used to the sheep. It also helps when one of the sheep has been hand reared and thinks he is a person and is not afraid of the dogs. That sheep is called ‘AL’
Al is the all white sheep next to Andi in the above picture.
Next it was time to meet Jack the pony and all the dogs enjoyed meeting him particularly Lenny.
Video: We have cows!
Next we met some of the horses.
Finally everyones favourite the chickens which Billy seemed more excited than anyone to meet.
|Chickens, uhmmm. Chicken pie or chicken burger?|
|Ohh, they've still got their feathers on!|
|No... they're funny things really, walking on two legs and their heads jerking to and fro|
My thanks to Andi and Simon for allowing us to come to the farm and for helping us to introduce the dogs to the animals.
Socialising and being at ease in and around the animals is very important not just because it makes the dogs better and more well behaved members of society but it also means when working as Police dogs they are not distracted when tracking and searching across fields where there are livestock.
So there you have it an action packed couple of weeks. I am now off for a week’s holiday after instructing on the police dog refresher course all this week.
From Qwendi, Lenny and me see you next time. Paul.