From left to right are Jacque, Lenny, Memphis, Rika, Flynn and Billy on one of our many training days.
The dogs in Picture 1 are all German shepherds and the dogs in picture 2 are German shepherd/Belgian shepherd ( Malinois ) cross bred dogs.
I acquired the German shepherd/Malinois cross bred dogs as an experiment to see if mixing the 2 breeds gave us the qualities we were looking for and the early indications would suggest that they have.
Rika has already been fast tracked in her training having successfully completing an individual Initial Police dog course during the summer with her new handler Tim Goodwin and is now stationed in Camborne.
The remaining September 2016 dogs
I am grateful to dog section supervisor PS Ali Cruwys who has been taking Billy out for additional development sessions which has really brought him on.
Flynn pictured above with his puppy walking family. Sadly I have had to release Flynn from the program. This was because of a lack of suspicion and natural aggression.
The final dog in the group is Lenny who at this point in time is my own dog. He is the father of our D litter pups. I have had him since I collected him from Germany aged 4 months and he is an exceptional dog.
I will be finishing his training during the Initial course and he will be available for allocation should a sudden unforeseen emergency arise. I would love to keep him but with his natural ability he was born to work and in my view is destined for great things.
I will be completing an ongoing blog on how the September 2016 Initial course progresses.
The Pups Acquired For The 2017 January Initial Course Dogs
To say we have been bedevilled with bad luck for this course is an understatement. Ronnie is the sole remaining dog from these 4 pups that I imported from Germany bred by my friend Alfons Schumeister last year.
We had to release Rocky, Roz and Roxy because their hips were not suitable for Police work.
Our breeder Alfons a GSD breeder for 30 years was devastated having never had hip problems before. He has promised to replace all 3 pups and as I write this article his brood bitch Polly has just had a litter of 14 pups.
Obviously it is good that he has offered to replace them but it will be too late to help with the shortfall for their allocated course and it doesn’t make up for the disappointment for our walkers.
Our policy when a pup has to be released is to always offer the puppy walker 1st option to keep their pup at no cost. On this occasion Susanne elected to keep Roxy
|Susanne and Roxy|
and Mike elected to keep Roz.
Lyn didn’t elect to keep Rocky as she wishes to continue to puppy walk and so Rocky went to Kirsty Millar a serving Devon and Cornwall Police officer and they are getting on very well together.
Unfortunately we have also had to release Bob from the program because he has a phobia going onto different types of floor surfaces.
Paul has elected to keep Bob pictured here with his family at the Devon county show.
After all these years of looking after the puppy program it doesn’t get any easier releasing a pup from the program. I don’t think many Police dog handlers realise just how much work our puppy walkers have to put in to raising their dogs.
Since we have been doing the fortnightly development sessions the puppy walkers meet regularly and are like a family. This is without doubt the most we have had to release in such a short period of time and it has hit me hard.
It has certainly caused me to question on more than one occasion whether I could carry on having to see the upset it causes my puppy walkers when a pup doesn’t make it.
But it is important to carry on because the scheme has served the force well now for over 25 years and seeing the pups develop and succeed makes it all worthwhile.
Last week I visited all of our D litter pups at their homes and seeing how well they are doing really did give me a nice boost. Here are some pictures of all the pups.
|"Hi, I'm Donna, have you come to play?"|
|"Are you sure?"|
|"Hi I'm Dizzy, which I am clearly so not"|
|"Hi me again, what do you want to watch?"|
|"Hi I'm Daisy and I think this thing just ate my treat!|
|"It's alright they gave me another one"|
|"Have you got a treat for me too?"|
|"Hi I'm Danno and yer he's not bad to walk"|
|"Hi just me in this picture he gets a bit camera shy you know!"|
|"Hi I'm Devon and this is my friend Lauren we have been really good, honest"|
|"Do you think it's treat time now?"|
|Hi, I'm Duke, just waiting for Bevan|
|This is Bevan, he's only little bit older than me|
|Me an Bevan are best friends and we are never naughty|
With all the bad press dogs seem to get lately the pictures of Lauren and Devon sum up for me the special bond that exists between dogs and children.
I particularly loved the ones of Bevan and Duke which just oozes naughty little boys always looking for mischief.
I would like to conclude with a special thanks to Angie and Graham for all their hard work nursing a very energetic Reggie through his major shoulder operation with all of the chaotic other things going on in their lives. Well done.
I would also like to give special thanks to Chris Highton who puppy walked Riggs until his wife Donna became too ill for them continue.
Sadly those who follow my blog will know that Donna passed away but Chris has continued to help out looking after pups at weekends to give other walkers a short break.
Chris is pictured here with Riggs on one of our early training days and he is accompanied by his son Jake helping with a young Cato.
Well I think that brings everyone up to date.
From Lenny, Sasha and me bye for now.