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Devon and Cornwall, England devon-cornwall.police.uk

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

THE FORCE WELCOMES HENRY OUR FIRST EVER DUTCH HERDER AND AN UPDATE ON THE REST OF OUR PUPS


Henry with puppy walkers Terry and Jill

Approximately 4 weeks ago I acquired a 15 week old German Shepherd called Merlin



who had been bred by Ian Morgan of Lorockmor working dogs. I was so impressed by Merlin that I visited Ian’s kennels to see his dogs and his set up.

He is an experienced breeder of German Shepherds, Belgian shepherds ( Malinois ) and Dutch shepherds ( Herders ). He showed me his latest litter of very impressive Dutch herder pups who were 6 weeks old.

I returned the following week and assessed the litter and selected Henry for our puppy program.



Before anyone starts to panic I am not abandoning the German shepherd as I still believe that the German shepherd is the best breed for our needs particularly with regard to operational tracking.

But having said that the German shepherd has numerous inherited health issues and in the last 2 years we have experienced quite a significant number of our pups having to be retired prematurely with many of these issues.

The Dutch herder is a very athletic, robust dog with excellent working attributes and does not seem to suffer with any health issues. This is Ian’s working female.


In force we have 4 operational German shepherd/ Malinois crossbred dogs who were acquired from breeder Drew Rush. They are all doing very well operationally and so I intend to experiment with further cross breed combinations to try and reduce the health problems we have been having with the German shepherd.

Henry is being puppy walked by Terry and Jill Hodge who have puppy walked over 12 pups for us over the last 20 years. Here are some photos and a couple of videos of Henry in the first couple days with Terry and Jill.










Henry is earmarked for our January 2019 Initial Police dog course and I am hopeful that Ian will provide several more German shepherd pups and a Herder/ Malinois cross to join Henry on that course.

OUR SEPTEMBER 2018 INITIAL POLICE COURSE PUPS

Last weekend I held a training session at HQ Middlemoor which was attended by Eric, Gunner, Eva and Elsa.

We concentrated on tracking, article searching, ensuring the pups release their toy or possession when requested,  prevention of the pup jumping up, and person searching in a building.

ERIC


Eric is now 9 months old and is developing into a very nice dog. He has a lovely easy going biddable nature and just loves life. He has settled in really well with Eamon, Karen and the family. Eamon is pictured here getting ready to throw Eric’s toy into rough terrain.

Eric searches and easily locates his toy.


ELSA


Elsa is Eric’s sister and she has a very strong work ethic. She is a very driven powerful dog but very relaxed and easy to live with at home.

Her puppy walker Steve was away for this weekend and so Mary who is looking after her kindly brought her to the class. She is a bit too powerful for Mary to work and so retired dog Sergeant Alan Knight who came with his daughter Maddie handled her for me.

You can see the incredible focus and desire she has for her toy but the lovely clear head she has as she waits patiently for permission to replay.



Here is Steve working the agility ramps on our previous session.



Here are Eric and Elsa pictured with their puppy walkers at the same session.

 

GUNNER 

 

Gunner  is now aged 8 months and is pictured here with puppy walker Mark demonstrating how to get Gunner to give up his toy when requested. It is very important that a puppy always releases whatever he/she is holding on request.



As I reported in my last blog Gunners brother has had to retire with hip dysplacia. We have had Gunner x rayed as a precaution and thankfully his hips are very good.

 

EVA


Eva is pictured here tracking with puppy walker Billy and it’s no exaggeration to say that Eva has natural tracking ability and is outstanding in this area of work.

Eva’s training and development has been progressing really well but recently Eva began losing weight dropping from 26 to 21 kilo’s.

She has been diagnosed with Pancreatic Enzyme deficiency which will require her to be on medication for the rest of her life. Lisa has been nursing her back to health and we are quietly optimistic that she will make a full recovery.

Her Police career still hangs in the balance but such is her exceptional tracking ability that we all have our fingers crossed she can still make it.

This Sunday I held a training session in Plymouth for Quini and Merlin before going on to Exeter for a training session with Quest ( Quini’s brother ) and Peppe. Little 9 week old Henry also made a short appearance.

We concentrated on the same exercises and disciplines we had covered the previous week.

 

MERLIN


Merlin is now 4 months old and like so many of the pups in this group is a very determined larger than life character. He is pictured here with puppy walker Lyn.



He was very possessive about his toys when Lyn started with him and there was no way that Lyn could use the hoover or hose without full on attacks from Merlin.

With time he is learning the house rules. By directing his drives he is learning it is in his interests to release his toy and control himself to regain the toy again.



His tracking is coming along very nicely.

 

Quini


Quini is now 5 months old and is being puppy walked on a temporary basis by Terri Boswell and her family until the New Year when she will be returning to me. That is subject to me first having found a good home for Danno.

Here she is Quini with the family Terri, Mark and Tristen.


Quini is a real handful and does everything at 100 mph. She is very determined and therefore control exercises have been introduced early.

Terri is pictured here working on stopping Quini jumping up for her toy after she has released it. She is giving up her toy nicely but Terri stands on the line so that if Quini does jump up she will correct herself.


QUEST


Quest pictured here with puppy walkers Mitzi and Colin is a slightly larger version of his sister Quini but he is no less driven and determined.

Quest and Quini were purchased in Belgium and I am really pleased with their progress and very exciting potential. Quest is pictured here doing a very fast recall to Mitzi.


Quest is pictured here already showing a nice solid down stay for puppy walker Colin.

PEPPE


After a tentative and cautious start Peppe is now becoming much more confident and outgoing. Here he is pictured with puppy walkers Chris and Lyndsey.


I have been very impressed with Chris’s handling style and the obvious pride he has in Peppe.
In such a short time Peppe has developed an obvious trust in Chris which is why he is making such progress.

Chris and Peppe are pictured here playing search games and just working on releasing his toy.


Peppe is pictured here recalling to Lyndsey.



Peppe looks to be improving with his travel sickness.

On our last session Peppe wasn’t so confident on the ramps and tunnel and so Chris built his own little agility course at home.


It was really impressive to see the difference on the agility course on Sunday as a result of Chris’s work.



HENRY


Henry may be only 9 weeks but he seemed quite at home with all the hustle and bustle of our training day. Here he is practising a sit with Jill.



Next he had a go in the tunnel.



Finally a short introduction to tracking.



Although Henry has only had the first of his two inoculations we believe providing we are sensible the benefits of this early socialisation outweighs the risks.

OUR JANUARY 2018 INITIAL COURSE PUPS


TAG


Well the day I had been dreading finally arrived when Tag had to go to his new handler for the January Initial Police dog course.

We all knew that Marina was going to be upset  but Gideon tells me that it hit Mum Jo more than anyone.


Tag is pictured here with puppy walker Gideon being handed to his new handler Steve Newton from Dorset dog section.

Steve had already looked after Tag on a couple of occasions when the family had been on short breaks and Steve used to work with Gideon in Dorset Police.  Steve will be making sure regular contact is maintained.

 

OSCAR AND OLLIE


Oscar (centre) and Ollie ( right ) are pictured here on a visit to the 2017 September Initial Police dog course to see their brother Ozzie.


Ozzie should have been on the January 2018 course with his brothers but because we were a dog short for the September 2017 course Ozzie was fast tracked onto that course.

At the time of writing this blog Ozzie has successfully been assessed and licensed with Rudy and Devon as operational Police dogs.

Oscar


and Ollie


will continue with regular training while they wait for handlers to be identified to join Steve and Tag on the January 2018 course.

 

DANNO


Danno completed 5 weeks on the September 2017 Initial Police dog course but was released due to a lack of determination on some of the exercises. He spent some time with me until I found what appeared to be a suitable home for him in Maidstone, Kent.



Unfortunately that didn’t work out and so he is back with me and Ella. He loves Ella and there is no doubt having her around has rebuilt his confidence which was definitely very low when he came back to me.

There is no doubt lots of play with Ella has made a huge difference to him. Here they are together in the bushes.


He may be 18 months now but there is no doubt 9 month old Ella is the governor.



Danno is a very sweet natured dog in and around people he knows but can be defensive if strangers get to close to him. I intend to work on this issue now that I have his confidence and trust.

I am hopeful that I will find him a home in the New Year.

Well thats an update on all of the pups and next week I will do a final blog of 2017 of the Initial course final assessments and passing out parade.

Bye for now from me, Ella and Danno.

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