Friday 28 November 2014

Episode 5 nearly 5 weeks old

On Saturday the 22nd of November we took the opportunity to get the pups out into the garden as the sun was shining and not a rain cloud in sight.
Because of the wet grass they were transported to their destination.
"Uhmm, not sure about the green stuff?"
 They were a little apprehensive as you would expect but at the sight of food all laid out on a large carpet they forgot their fears and all tucked in for afternoon tea.
"yummy food al fresco"
Here are a selection of photos of their adventure.
"It wasn't me! ain't I cute"
"Or me!"
I have included 2 short videos. Video 1  showing them enjoying afternoon tea and Video 2 showing them enjoying the garden.

Let the fun begin...

After their adventure in the wet grass it was back to their den where some lovely new wood wool was on hand to help dry them all off.
"oww, can we eat it?"
See you next week when they will be 6 weeks old.


Tuesday 18 November 2014

Episode 4 of Ruby and her pups, now 4 weeks old today (18/11/14)

Well the good news is mum and pups are all thriving and the pups are very active indeed between their long periods of sleep. We have started having visitors to the house and our first visitors Karen and Julie came on Saturday and gave me a hand with their feed.

On Sunday we had our first get together with Elvis, Duke, Gizzy and Qwendi who are now 16 weeks old. I have neglected them somewhat with Ruby’s litter and taking the current initial course and so it was nice to see them all. We went up into Exeter city centre where they were all amazingly confident. After that we all went on to my place to show them Ruby and her pups.

We then went on from my house to Saundercroft farm to see how they fared with all the animals. I will be doing a blog this week showing how they all got on.

Today Monday was a lovely day because Ruby’s carers Mark and Liv came down from North Devon to see how Ruby and her pups were getting on. They are pictured here
all having a great time together. Ruby was fantastic and was really excited to see them.

I have included some other photo’s I have taken during the week.
'Not bad, maybe a little more seasoning!'
'You can laugh, he moved the plate honest. Tissue please'
'I'm on guard duty while the little ones are asleep!'
'Very tiring guard duty, I'll just close my eyes for...zzz'
'My eyes won't open! Oh well, must be still sleeping time...'

Also included is your weekly look at the pups on the video.

See you next week Paul

Thursday 13 November 2014

The B litter undergo their assessments to see if they have what it takes to be a future Police dog

The B litter underwent their assessments as to their potential to be future Police dogs on the 28 of September, 12 of October and 19 of October 2014.
Bruno, Bebe, Boris, and Blade
Pictured above are all the puppy walkers (with the exception of PC Darryl Drew and Beau) with their dogs on the 28 of September 2014 when we assessed their working potential.

I Assessed Darryl and Beau separately for their working tests as they were unavailable that day.

The boldness tests were conducted on the 12 and 19 of October 2014.

They are assessed on their abilities in the following areas.
  • Tracking potential. (The ability to follow a human trail)
  • Article Searching potential. (Their enthusiasm and ability to search for articles)
  • Person searching potential. (Their ability to search and indicate a missing person)
  • Criminal work desire. (Their desire and determination to play tug of war games)
  • Play and ball drive. (Their determination and enthusiasm to play with toys)
  •  Reaction to gunfire. (Should be confident and not afraid or affected)
  •  Environmental confidence. (It is very important that a Police dog is confident with crowds of people, heavy traffic, loud unusual noises, shiny floor surfaces, buildings, heights, stairs etc. This is assessed throughout the puppies development period from 8 weeks to 12 months.)
  • Boldness and ability to forget an unpleasant experience. (The assessment consists of 3 boldness tests. Test 1 involves the dog walking through a wood when someone suddenly jumps out from behind a tree taking the dog by surprise to see if the dog can recover once the person shows he is no threat. Test 2 involves the dog being tethered in a place he has never been before and is approached by a strange person. Test 3 the dog is allowed to run free through woodland when a flowerpot man is hoisted in the air as the dog passes. Again we look for recovery.
The below show Beckie and Boris showing exceptional tracking ability.

Bruno is flying back to me with a wallet he has just searched for and located and Boris is searching diligently for a set of car keys hidden in the area.

Boris, "he's lost them again tut!"

Blade is demonstrating real enthusiasm and determination searching and locating a person hiding in the woods who he confidently barks at for his toy reward.

The below show strong character from Buddy. He sees a strange person he has never seen before run backwards into a dark shed. Buddy then runs after him and locates him in the shed. Although it looks well lit in the picture, because of the flash, it was in fact pitch black.

The below show 2 very determined attacks on the tugging games.

Bebe is dealing very confidently with a noisy crowd below. We don’t expect the dogs to deal with a noisy crowd but we do like to see them show a confident interest and not to be worried.
Blade is shown below completely unfazed by a very loud 38 revolver being fired behind him before continuing to play with his puppy walker Emma.
 Below the strange Box man jump out from behind a tree in front of Buddy. Buddy stands his ground with no flight weighing up the situation before going up to the strange person. At such a young age an excellent reaction.

Bebe tethered on her own and then approached by the strange man with a box on his head in a threatening manner. Again Bebe stands her ground ready to engage and meet the challenge with no flight.
 The below shows that once the stranger removed the box she went straight up to him to investigate.

The below shows Beckie checking out the flowerpot man who has just flown into the air as she passed in the woods. Excellent reaction.


With the exception of Brodie all the other 7 passed their assessments to go forward as future Police dogs. Brodie didn’t pass any of the working tests in respect of play and determination. Shortly after the assessments we were concerned with his rear movement and so we had the vet x ray his hips. The result was pretty awful poor old Brodie has terribly badly fitting hips which means he has probably been in pain and hence the reason he does not play.

We then had all of the other 7 dogs hip xrayed and unfortunately Beckie also had poor hips and she also cannot work as a Police dog because of her hips. Because of the amount of strenuous work involved Police dogs have to have good hips. We will now be looking to find suitable homes for Brodie and Beckie.

Even worse news for me is that I will not be able to breed from Mollie again just in case she produces any more bad hips. One pup in the litter is acceptable but not two. Out of the other pups 5 had very good hips and one had reasonable hips which will be okay for work.



Bebe assessed as a very confident, assertive, enthusiastic and determined bitch who will make a very strong Police dog. Born to lead.


Bruno is a very powerfully built athletic dog who has high drives and is very energetic. He is a confident dog with lots of enthusiasm and determination. He can be a little excitable but like his mother is born to work and will settle down once working. Bruno has gone to Police dog handler Lenny from Gloucester Police and hopefully will be her new dog on their Initial Police dog course in January 2015. Lenny has renamed him Brewzer which sums him up.


Blade passed all of his assessments and did not show any weakness’s in any area. He is a very energetic clown who is very immature but very determined and enthusiastic . He has a stubborn streak and if he does not want to do something he will lie down to avoid what it is he doesn’t want to do. He loves to lie in water and muddy puddles. With a firm patient handler I think he will be an excellent working Police dog.


Boris didn’t perform quite so well on his working tests. He did everything but not with any real determination. During the working potential part of the assessment Boris was being looked after by Diane and Mike Laity for 2 weeks while his puppy walker Phil Rooks was away on holiday. Phil had also only had Boris for a short while because Boris had originally been puppy walked by Lin and Ken Kennedy before Ken tragically died from Pancreatic cancer. I believe Boris had been aware of Ken’s illness and the changes of owner had affected him. Phil worked closely with Boris when he came back from holiday and has made significant improvements to a level where I have passed him for work. He passed all of his boldness tests.
I am keeping my fingers crossed because I know he has it in him. Congratulations to Phil for doing such a good job.


Beckie is a very energetic ,enthusiastic, happy go lucky dog with a really loyal nature. She is not a naturally aggressive feisty type of bitch and I was not convinced she had the necessary masculinity needed for a bitch to make a Police dog. She surprised me on the tests because she performed at a high level on all of the working tests and was strong on the boldness tests. Had she not failed her hip x rays I think there would have needed to be a fair bit of work needed to bring out the aggressive side but I think she could have made a good Police dog. I am devastated for her puppy walkers. I will now try to find her a nice home. She will make a lovely dog for someone who has the energy that Beckie has.

I feel dreadfully sorry for Mike and his family who have puppy walked Brodie because they took him on at a time when his daughter Hayley was undergoing cancer treatment and no doubt Brodie played a part in helping Hayley during her recovery.

Brodie’s hips are very bad and he will probably need a hip replacement when he is around 5 according to our vet. It is no wonder he did not want to play because any vigorous activity must have been uncomfortable for him. He is the most wonderfully gentle easy going dog and will try my best to find him a loving home.


Buddy has been a very consistent performer all the way through. On the assessments he performed very highly in all areas. He is a very energetic, determined, assertive young dog who can be a bit feisty over his toy if he doesn’t want to relinquish ownership. He responds to firm fair handling but will take advantage of any weakness from his handler. He has the potential to be a very strong assertive Police dog but will need an experienced handler as he matures.


Beau has been puppy walked by Darryl Drew who is an Exeter dog handler who works his Police dog Murphy. Murphy is a very fine Police dog. Darryl wanted his next dog to be a bitch so there would be no squabbles with his Police dog Murphy which there probably would have been with another male dog. Beau and Murphy get on well together and Beau has no doubt already learned how to bark in the dog van alongside Murphy.

Beau assessed strongly in all areas of the assessment and looks to have all the attributes of a Police dog. She is an excellent tracking dog as a result of the work that Darryl has done. Darryl tells me he has nothing but admiration for the puppy walkers because he didn’t realise just what a lot of work goes into puppy walking a dog until he got Beau.

So there you have it 6 dogs ready for allocation for training in January and 2 having to be found new homes due to hip dysplacia. Six out of 8 of the pups passing is very good but this is over shadowed by my disappointment for the families of Brodie and Beckie after all the hard work they have put in.
Our puppy walkers are always offered first refusal on keeping the dogs that they puppy walk if they do not pass the programme. Unfortunately home circumstances preclude either family taking up that offer and so I will be looking for good homes for both Brodie and Beckie.

With regard to Mollie who I raised from a puppy her carers Angie and Graham are considering taking her on as their own dog. Unfortunately for me to carry on raising litters at my home means that I cannot keep Mollie as my pet much as I would love to because that would put stress on a brood bitch coming into my home to have future litters.

After tragically losing our brood bitch Cleo in whelp to torsion last year and now having to retire Mollie from the programme I am at a low ebb. I will look at Mollie’s daughter Bebe and also our latest import Qwendi to possibly fill the gap in continuing the programme but at this point in time that is not my priority. My priority now is finding Beckie and Brodie good homes.

Hope you are all keeping up with the C litter. I will be doing an update shortly on the final few weeks of the current initial Police dog course which is now in week 10 and the teams will be undergoing their assessments to be Police dogs in 3 weeks time.

Bye for now Paul

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Rubies pups 3 weeks old today (11/11/14)

What a difference a week makes. the pups can now see, hear and walk albeit some look as though they have had a night on the town.

Today I added a run to the whelping box to allow the pups more room to move around and to give Ruby more room. you will see the new set up on the video.

Up until now I have only had a single board at the front of the whelping box to allow Ruby to get in and out. But now the pups can get over the board I have to put the main board up which makes it difficult for Ruby getting in and out. To help her I have placed a small cabinet for her to climb onto and this also doubles up as a feeding station.

Ruby on top of the cabinet.
"One, two, three... think I preferred it when they did nothing but feed and sleep"
As I thought the first pup over the top of the board was Cammy collar the biggest pup.
"Freedom, so close... just need to get my back legs up"
Yesterday we allowed the pups out in the sun for a short while on a blanket which they seemed to enjoy.

"Stress, yep we are sooo stressed"

Obviously at this age we do not cause them too much stress but a little stress is good for them, or so the scientists tell us.

Today I weighed them all and they are midway between what the A litter and B litter were at this age.
"I knew I shouldn't have eaten that burger"
Today I also gave them all a small amount of raw mince to get them ready to eat without mums milk which is not so plentiful any more. Mum is feeding them less and less now and so I need to wean them off mums milk gradually.
"Not bad, now if I could have some milk for afters that would be grand"
All the pups literally bit my fingers of to eat the mince which is a very good sign.

By next week the little play fights will have started and I think I will be doing all of the feeding.

I have attached a short video to show how much they have come on since last week.

All looking good.

See you next week.

(PS we are so looking forward to seeing the Christmas Cards and to naming our puppies :) )