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Thursday, 15 November 2018

New Pups Ginny, Arnie, Rogue, Jay And Rebel Enjoy Ther First Training Session


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IN BLOG 21/2018
Jay Has Big Boots To Fill
5 Month Old Nico, Nero And Nicki  Enjoy Their Visit To Saundercroft Farm And Are Also Making Excellent Progress In Their Training


A Wet And Windy Day For Their First Training Session But That Didn’t Worry Ginny, Arnie, Rogue, Jay And Rebel.


Pictured from left to right are Ginny, Arnie, Rogue, Jay and Rebel on their first training session at HQ. Ginny, Rogue and Rebel are 13 weeks old siblings from Lorockmor working dogs and Arnie and Jay are 11 week old brothers from Kazzardsway German shepherds.
The first job was introducing the pups and puppy walkers to each other. 

This group of pups will be on the January 2020 Initial Police dog course.
Rebel was a little unsure of a couple of the pups to start with but that soon changed as the session progressed.
We started the pups on the ramps and tunnel to see how adventurous and confident they were.



They are a very confident group of pups and took it all in their stride.

We don’t do any agility jumping until they are around 12 months because of their developing joints. However they enjoy the ramps and tunnel which are great for resilience and confidence building provided the pups are taken up and down in a controlled manner. ( Show Vid 3 )
With hindsight we shouldn’t have used the ramps as they were slightly wet and a couple of the pups did slip but it didn’t seem to worry the pups at all.
I then instructed the puppy walkers on obtaining a fast recall.

We then did some sits, downs and the early stages of heelwork.


The excitement started to take its toll and so there was time for one last play together before everyone made their way home.  


Ginny has settled into her new home with first time puppy walkers Marian and Keith. They have been getting her out and about visiting Killerton and Exeter city centre where they bumped into Police dog handler Darryl and Boris.




I look forward to seeing them all again in 2 weeks’ time.

Jay Has Big Boots To Fill

Jay’s puppy walkers Alison and Stuart Fleming met whilst serving in the Royal Signals over 40 years ago. They married and after a variety  of deployments and Stewart serving a spell in the Police they  eventually moved to Crediton over 20 years ago.


They had two sons Rory now 30 who lives and works in Crediton and younger brother Jamie who just like his parents served in the Royal Signals. Here is Jamie on a tour of Afganistan.

Alison and Stewart have previously had German shepherds and their last German shepherd called Bomber died in 2013.
Tragically the following year in 2014 their son Jamie was killed aged just 21 whilst travelling home to Crediton on leave in a collision with a lorry on his motorbike.
Needless to say their world was turned upside down and it is something that the family will never fully recover from.
Stewart now retired didn’t feel the time was right to take on a new dog long term but liked the idea of raising a Police puppy and making a contribution to the Police and the community.  Welcome Jay.

Stewart asked if he could name his pup ‘Jay’ as a tribute to his son Jamie. Naturally the force would consider it an honour. Stewart fully understands that there is no guarantee that his pup will become a Police dog.
They are already joined at the hip and I have no doubt that regardless of whether Jay eventually graduates as a Police dog or not their time together will be special.

What I can say is that Jay is a very strong character with the temperament and working attributes needed to be a Police pup.
 Here he is on remembrance Sunday with Alison, Stewart and Jamie’s friend Tom Bell who served with him in Afganistan paying their respects . Jamie’s brother Rory was on the parade in his role as a retained fireman.

Jay was not in the slightest bit bothered by the noise of the band or the loud bangs going off. In fact Jay doesn’t seem to worry about very much at all.

Jay certainly has big boots to fill but I like to think there might be a certain someone watching over him to help him on his way. 



Nero, Nico And Nicki  Enjoy Their Visit To Saundercroft Farm And Are Progressing Really Well With Their Training


This group of pups are now 5 months old and they were incredibly calm meeting all of the different animals during our visit on Sunday to Saundercroft farm.
It is my favourite training day and I learn a lot just watching the reactions of the pups meeting the animals.


We started as we always do with the sheep. There are several sheep like AL who have been hand reared which make them much less jumpy and with Andi and her bucket of feed the pups are usually more interested in stealing their food.


We usually start doing some sit and down’s with the pups for titbits just to stop the pups getting over excited.
We are in no rush and after a period of time the pups usually get bored and  when they are in this state of mind this is the best time to introduce them.



I would say that this group of pups bred by Bernard of Kazzardsway German shepherds are probably the calmest group of pups I can remember on a farm visit.


Next it was off to see the cows and calves.
Nico is pictured here calmly weighing up the situation and in the back ground you can see we were joined by Andi’s son Will and Andi’s mum Jean. Will is always very entertaining. 


For me it was a pleasure to see such calmness in young German shepherds. Excitability is endemic in the breed and to see such quiet confidence and calmness made my day.



It was exactly the same with the horses and the chickens and as always young Will was never far away from the action.




One last team photo before another thoroughly enjoyable visit came to an end. My thanks as always to Jean, Andi and the entertaining young Will for allowing us to visit.


Those of you who follow the blog will know that as a young pup Nero had a severe skin infection ( Puppy Strangles) around his muzzle which required daily medication and bathing from the breeder and Chris his puppy walker.
I am happy to report that as a result of their dedication and support it has nearly completely cleared up.


I was very impressed with the training standard of these 3 pups on their previous puppy class up on Exeter race course when they were only 4 and a half months old.


We started with a lesson on how to lay a track or trail and the puppy walkers all had a go themselves. 

After laying it they all got their pups to complete the track. They used liver titbits in every other footstep for the pups to follow. 


We then did some puppy heelwork and some sit and down stays.



 I can’t remember a previous class being able to carry out a group sit stay and a group down stay at such a young age. I was extremely impressed so well done to the walkers for the hard work they have obviously put in.
In my next blog I will be reporting on the boldness assessments taking place with the January 2019 Initial course dogs tomorrow.
I will also give an update on the E litter.
From Ella, Larry and me bye for now.












Monday, 29 October 2018

In todays blog

  • An update on the dogs and handlers now halfway through their initial police dog course
  • We welcome new puppies Obi (now Jay) and Oscar (now Arnie) to our puppy program
  • Ginny goes to her new puppy walkers

After some early concerns all of the initial course police dog teams are now back on track

The teams are pictured here after one of the many tracking training sessions that they have undertaken so far on the course. At the rear left to right are Mark with Brock ( Previously Quest)
Martin with Merlin and Kevin with Peppe. Front left is Chris with Nessa ( Formerly Elsa) and front right is course Instructor Graham with our new spare dog Bill.

We always like to run a spare dog on the course just in case one of the dogs doesn’t successfully complete the course. If this happens then the spare dog can be allocated and the handler doesn’t have to come back and do another course.

We brought Bill onto the course at the end of week 3 because we had concerns that several of the dogs were not performing particularly well on their tracking exercises.

We seem to have come through that sticky patch and all of the dogs are now doing extremely well on all of the exercises. The handlers are certainly much happier now.

Hopefully Nessa, Brock, Merlin and Peppe will continue performing as they are and Bill will not be required. Ones things for sure whether Bill is required or not he is loving every minute of the course.

Bill is handled by course instructor Graham.

When Bill is not being trained on the course he lives with Graham and his family and enjoys his home comforts.

Bill and his brother Ben were purchased from Lorockmor working dogs for our January 2019 Police dog course. Here they are relaxing in my garden after bringing them back from Lorockmor in Shropshire earlier this year.



They have the same father as Merlin who is on the current Initial Police dog course. Here are the boys sleeping in our kitchen after tiring themselves out in the garden.


Bill has been puppy walked by Chris Highton and his son Jake. Here is Jake doing some training with
Bill only a few weeks before he came onto the Initial course.



As always I am extremely grateful to Chris and Jake for their dedication and hard work in looking after Bill.  Here is Bill with Chris on his first training session.
Also I would like to thank my invaluable helpers Mary and Margaret who looked after Ben and Bill for a short period until their full time puppy walkers were able to take them.


For anyone wondering what will happen to Bill if he isn’t required he will be allocated his own full time handler at the end of the course. With all the training he will have received he will only require a short re-handling course with his new handler.

As I have explained many times in my previous blogs the General purpose Initial Police dog course is the most intense and demanding Police dog course that there is.

For new comers to the blog I will outline again what the course entails. The dogs are taught basic focus and control work such as recall’s, stays and heelwork, which underpins most of the core exercises that they do.



They are taught to search for outstanding items of property the subject of crime or lost property. The dogs must indicate to their handler they have found the item without touching or disturbing it. It is important that they do not touch the item if it is the subject of crime as there may be DNA on the item which could identify the offender.

Here is Nessa having located a wallet in long grass and has gone into the down position to tell her handler Chris she has located it.


They are taught to track and search for outstanding criminals and missing vulnerable persons. (Tracking is the following of a person’s individual scent trail)  Here are the teams hot on the trail of an offender.



The dogs are taught to deal with violent or disorderly crowds, to detain a fleeing criminal and to protect their handler from attack.


Here is Bill in the very early stages of learning to detain a fleeing criminal.
The dogs are taught how to negotiate a wide range of different type of obstacles.


Bill is a very large young dog who is still only just over 11 months old and so we have to be careful not to overload his joints. Hence the shallow running board which will remain in place for now.

With an ever increasing elderly population in our area the operational Police dogs spend a lot of their time searching for vulnerable missing elderly persons. Our dogs are trained to search, locate and bark to alert their handler if they locate someone.

In these circumstances the dogs should not bite the vulnerable person even though on occasions the missing person is confused and can try to push them away. This is where training and the temperament of the dog is so important.

Here is young Bill in the early stages of locating and barking at a hidden person.

In all dog training the bond between dog and handler is a crucial part of any success. To develop that bond the handler needs to patiently and calmly  show his/her dog what is required of them, never lose their temper and to never underestimate the value of spending quality time with their dog and the importance of play.
Loss of temper, anger or worse still physical or mental abuse has no place in dog training or in the relationship with our dogs because it makes for a confused unhappy dog and destroys trust.
I mentioned at the start of the article that some of the dogs struggled with their tracking in the first few weeks and it was a cause for concern. Working in a large rural area such as ours requires a dog who is exceptionally good at tracking down offenders or outstanding missing persons.
We strongly suspected the dogs were finding it difficult because the lack of rain over the previous 3 months meant that the soil under the grass was bone dry and very little scent was coming from the ground as the tracklayer walked over it.

Our suspicions were correct because since the rain arrived the dogs have not looked back. Here is Martin and Merlin in the early weeks following a trail which has been laid for them .


Although Martin is a first time handler I have been very impressed with his ability and the relationship he has with his dog Merlin. Merlin is a natural tracking dog and I think they are going to be a first class team.

I hope to do a final blog at the end of the course showing how they all get on in their assessment week.

OBI AND OSCAR  JOIN THE PUPPY PROGRAM



This week I travelled up to Kazzardsway German shepherds in Manchester to collect 9 week old puppies Obi and Oscar to join our puppy program.

Bernard Horton of Kazzardsway German shepherds has previously supplied Police dog Oppo ( Formerly Eric ) TPD Nessa ( Formerly Elsa) TPD Nero,TPD Nicky and TPD Niko to us.

Bernard came to Police dog Oppo’s ( Eric) passing out parade in May this year and will be coming to TPD Nessa’s ( Elsa) passing out parade  on December 13th should she successfully complete her course which I’m sure she will.

On my arrival at Kazzardsway  it was a pleasure seeing mum Jazz still having access to her pups and is pictured here keeping watch over them on her viewing platform.


This litter is a repeat mating of  Oppo ( Eric) and Nessa. ( Elsa)

Here are Obi and Oscar with Bernard and his wife Karen just before I took them back to Devon. I never heard a sound from them all the way back.
Having travelled back with Obi and Oscar I gave them a good leg stretch and run around our garden before taking them to HQ Middlemoor to allocate to their new puppy walkers.



Once I arrived at HQ I was greeted by enthusiastic first time puppy walkers eager to meet their new pups.

Obi has been allocated to Stuart and Alison who live in Crediton and they have renamed their pup Jay.


Oscar has been allocated to Andy Parsons a serving Police officer whose ambition is to one day join the Police dog section. He lives in Plymouth with his wife and 2 children. They have renamed him Arnie. Andy is pictured here with his dad Trevor and Arnie.
Hopefully Jay and Arnie will follow in the footsteps of their older Siblings Oppo and Nessa. I have no doubt they will give their new puppy walkers lots of entertainment and fond memories to look back on.


Jay and Arnie have both settled well into their new homes. This morning Stewart sent me this picture of Jay practising feeling his first collar. Looks a natural to me.

GINNY GOES TO HER NEW PUPPY WALKERS

In my last blog I reported on collecting Ginny, Rogue and Rebel from Lorockmor working dogs in Shropshire.

Ginny pictured centre with Mary was only a temporary arrangement with Mary yet again very kindly volunteering to look after her while we found her a permanent puppy walker.


I am happy to report that Ginny has now joined her new permanent puppy walker home with Dad Keith, Eleanor, James, mum Marian and Oliver who live in Exeter.


Jay and Arnie will be joining Rogue, Ginny and Rebel in the Janaury 2020 Initial Police dog group.

I will be visiting Jay, Arnie and Ginny on Monday to see how they are all getting on and all the 5 pups in the group will have their first training session together next Tuesday.

I will be doing a separate blog later this week on how all the rest of the pups in our program are coming along.

From Larry, Ella and me bye for now.