Tuesday 17 December 2013

The B litter now nearly 4 weeks old

The disappointing news from the web team is we are not able to set up a webcam for the B litter because of the poor signal where I live. Apparently this is the reason the signal kept going with the A litter and constantly crashing.

Meet the gang

The B litter of 5 dogs and 3 bitches is made up of 2 light sable dogs, 2 dark sable dogs, 1 black dog, 3 black bitches. All are thriving and I have just started the process of weaning them onto solid food as mother Molly starts to feed them less frequently. What amazes me is the speed at which the pups grow and the increasing demands on mum.

I have included 2 pictures to emphasize just how quickly they grow.

The litter the day after being born 1 day old.
The pups after 18 days.

We have had concerns about 1 of the pups a small black bitch who I have nick named BB. From the start she has spent long periods asleep under the heat lamp and was not feeding as vigorously as the rest with very little weight gain.  I have been getting Mollie to feed her individually and this seems to have done the trick.

She is pictured here feeding individually with mum in picture 4.

Mum is closely supervising BB being weighed and checking on her progress. 

BB on the sofa.
Interestingly because of all the extra handling BB is now the most forward in the group and has become very energetic. She is still smaller than the rest but is catching up fast.

This litter are much lighter in weight than the A litter were but this litter is much more advanced in terms of their eyes opening and their mobility. They climbed over the low board on day 15 whereas the A litter didn’t achieve that until day 22.

In fact several are trying to climb up the cage run which is 2 feet high. BB nearly came to grief yesterday as she climbed into the bucket of disinfectant as I was cleaning out the run and required emergency drying. Yes I can hear the groans of dissatisfaction at how careless to let that happen but I never thought any pup could climb up such a large bucket that quickly and needless to say it won’t happen again.

They have been so contented from the outset and Mum has been brilliant. It is important now that the socialisation starts with visitors, different noises, and a wide variation of different play articles to stimulate them.

Judging by the way they quickly found their way out of the run and began exploring the room at 3 and a half weeks (Photo 8) I think I am in for some interesting times ahead.


Friday the 13th December was an interesting day as it was my birthday and it was also Molly’s.  We had a double celebration and here we are posing with the excellent 60th birthday cake my wife’s friend Sam Cox made for me.

The cake represents me and my old dog Spud in the grounds of Killerton house where we go for our regular walks together.

Unfortunately soon after taking the photo I wasn’t paying attention and Molly ate Spud’s tiny ball on the cake.

Finally I will sign off with a picture of Molly and me with the pups relaxing in the whelping box and run.

See you soon with an update next week.

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Thursday 5th December 2013 Passing out.

This is always a very proud day for the handlers and puppy walkers. The handlers and dogs put on a short display of their skills and it is an opportunity to thank the puppy walkers and have photographs taken with their dog and handler.

The handlers and dogs practicing for the parade.

The below photo shows the handlers on the day of the parade before they went onto the sports field to give a demonstration of agility, obedience and use of force skills. Pictured in the centre is Chief Inspector Jane Taylor who has been in charge of the dog section for the last 3 years. Sadly for the dog section she is now leaving us to take up a new challenge. We will miss her sense of fun and humour and will always be grateful for the staunch support that she has given us.

The below pictures show the handlers during their display. 

Again I was extremely proud of all of the handlers and their dogs because they gave an outstanding display which was a result of all their hard work.

Assistant Chief Constable Netherton then presented certificates to the handlers and each puppy walker was presented with flowers and a framed  photo of their individual dog as a thank you for all of their hard work..

A presentation was also made to the top student on the course Vikki Ritchie by Graham Mabbutt a retired Devon and Cornwall Police dog Instructor now well into his eighties and still training dogs. Graham is one of my early influences and someone I still go to for advice and it rounded off a special day when he presented Vikki with a signed copy of his very excellent book.

Pictured below are our puppy walkers with their individual dog and handler.

Vikki and Jasper with puppy walkers Elaine and Graham Anderson
Darren and Shadow with puppy walkers Pippa and Paul Sabin
Scott and Max with puppy walkers Mel and Phil Rooks
Simon and Megan with puppy walker Sgt Alan Knight

I would like to say how much I enjoyed taking this Initial Police dog course. It was hard work Instructing an Initial Police dog course for 3 months and also  having to look after all the other puppy walkers and their pups. However it was made easier by a thoroughly great bunch of students who worked their socks off and gave me a lot of help walking and looking after dogs throughout the course.

I would also like to thank Graham Attwood my assistant instructor for his hard work and help. The reason I was asked to take the course was to give Graham a good grounding to enable him to take future Initial Police dog courses. It was quickly apparent to me that he is a fine instructor in his own right and the future is in good hands.

Paul Glennon

Final assessment after 12 weeks intensive training

On Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 November after 12 weeks of intensive training on the General Purpose Initial Police dog course our handlers and their dogs had to undergo their  final assessments to establish whether they were at the required standard  to commence duties as Operational Police dog teams.

Our assessor was PC Nick Dalrymple from Avon and Somerset Police dog section and the current National Police dog champion. We always invite an assessor from another Police force to assess our dogs to maintain our high standards.

I have been very proud of our handlers and dogs on this course as they have been driven hard by me and have never complained and have always been prepared to put in the extra work and learn as much as they could at every opportunity. My assistant Instructor PC Graham Attwood has been equally hard working and has been the good cop throughout looking after the welfare of the  students and no doubt helping them to cope with the trauma of being on the end of my less than diplomatic rants if I believed performance was not as it should be.

Our assessor told us that he has assessed over 60 Police dogs in the last 3 years and that our course is the highest standard he has seen. This acknowledgement of the high standard of our handlers, dogs and instruction was very pleasing to hear and is also a reflection of the work put in by all of our puppy walkers to get us here.

Pictured here is the relieved and elated handlers having just been told they had all passed.
From left to right Darren Tenby and Police dog Shadow (Posted to Camborne). Graham Attwood (Course Instructor). Vikki Ritchie and Police dog Jasper. (Posted to Newton Abbott)

Me. Simon Willan and Police dog Megan. (Posted to North Devon) Nick Dalrymple Course assessor.
Scott Perkin and Police dog Max. (Posted to Camborne)

With the assessments over it was time to prepare for our passing out parade the following Thursday 5th December 2013.

Paul Glennon

Our dogs in Dorset did us proud

This week we also received excellent news that two more of our dogs from our puppy scheme and the same intake Codi and Bear successfully passed their General Purpose Initial Police dog course with Dorset Police last week.

They are pictured below with their new handlers having successfully graduated at the Surrey Police dog training school where they completed their course.

Firstly PC Brendon Trent and Police dog Bear who was puppy walked by Susannah and Kevin Coffin.

and secondly PC Lee Briggs with Police dog Codi who was puppy walked by Annie Miller