Tuesday 23 December 2014

The C litter have been busy!

'Merry Christmas everyone!'
The C litter all pass their Police Puppy aptitude suitability assessments and have all been allocated to their new puppy walkers


Puppy assessments

Last Wednesday I took all of the C litter to Plymouth for their puppy assessments. Puppy testing is a subject that many breeders and experts do not agree with. It was first introduced by American enthusiasts Volhard and Fisher to assess the personality of pups to make the best match with prospective owners.
Most of the Police forces who have breeding programmes in the UK use some form of assessment. I have developed my own format as I have been assessing and purchasing puppies for Devon and Cornwall Police for over 20 years now. Any form of test at such a young age can never in my opinion be totally reliable but it can give an early indication of how a pup is likely to develop in adulthood particularly in relation to playfulness, nervousness, willingness, determination and sensitivity to sound.
To assess the pups they are placed on their own into a room that they have never been before with an assessor who the pups do not know. They are assessed on how they cope with the stress of the situation, how thoroughly they explore the room and how confidently they interact with the stranger.

The above shows Comet investigating the room unfazed by the assessor who he has never met before.
They are assessed on how long it takes them to relax and how playful they are. They are assessed on how they cope to different noises, how they cope with being restrained, how determined they are in play, how they react to heights and their desire to engage in tug of war games.

Above shows Comet confidently engaging in a tug of war game with the assessor.
Obviously the puppy only has a 10 minute window of opportunity to impress and it is always possible they can have an off day. It is for this reason you must have a close and trusted relationship with your breeder to seek his/her opinion in arriving at decisions.
Above shows Cagney just about to pounce on a hairy mouse on a string.
With regard to the A, B and C litters that we have bred ourselves I have had to get an outside assessor because the pups all know me. I have used my mentor Graham Mabbut a former Devon and Cornwall Police dog Instructor who has over 60 years of assessing adult dogs and puppies who lives in Plymouth.

Above shows Cagney about to grab the pup on a stick. Note the high tail denoting confidence.
Having watched them for the last 8 weeks I was very confident in their quality and therefore I knew the 40 mile trip to somewhere strange was not going to bother them and so it proved to be. I was very proud of them all. Not one of them found the experience at all stressful and all played like kittens demonstrating all the early qualities needed in a potential Police dog ie confidence, strong nerves, determination, playfulness, and happy dispositions.
Above shows Callie playing when a Police siren is sounded and she is totally unfazed.

Above shows Charlie and he says its my ball.
Above shows Cosmic is completely unfazed by the hoover being switched on.
Above show's Graham testing Cosmic’s pain threshold and counts to 10 with no response.
Above shows Copper taking her nearly acquired mouse into the corner.
Above show Chaos attacking from behind.
Above shows Chaos calmly accepting being held on his back with no panic. Excellent response.

Above shows Charlie Completely unfazed by heights on a rickety table.
So after a very successful assessment it was back up the motorway to our house.

Rubies last weekend

On the following Saturday Ruby was with us for her last weekend before going back to her carers Mark and Liv.

Here is a video of her last day with her pups before leaving us. 

Christmas Card competition winners

The following day Sunday we had the winners of our Christmas card design and puppy naming competition out to meet the pups at our house which was a great day for all concerned.
Here are some photos that I took.

Puppies to their walkers

Monday 15th December Cagney, Comet, Copper and Cosmic leave with their new puppy walkers. 
All 4 pups leaving our house
Cagney and Jill
Comet and Dawn
Cooper and Mel
Cosmic and Linsay

FRIDAY 19TH December Chaos, Charlie and Callie leave with their puppy walkers.

Chaos, Charlie and Callie on their way to HQ to meet their new puppy walkers
Chaos, Charlie and Callie with their new walkers.
Chaos with Colin
Charlie with Paul
Callie with Abby
Well this is the 3rd litter that I have bred and raised at home and whilst it has been hard work I am excited about seeing the C litter grow and develop.  I still find it an incredibly moving and awe inspiring experience seeing mother nature in action and how the mother just instinctively knows what to do in delivering and raising her pups. I am extremely proud of having raised this litter at the same time as instructing a 13 week Initial Police dog course and also training and turning Argo into a Police dog.
I have also developed and looked after the other pups and walkers but I am aware they haven't received the support that I would have wanted to give them with all that has been going on.
Most of all I would like to thank my wife Diane who has put up with an incredible amount of disruption and has helped me to raise the litter.
Hopefully we can enjoy some time off together before the next project instructing the January Initial Police dog course and seeing the rest of our pups develop, although this week I will be visiting all the C litter pups to make sure all is ok.

Hope you all have a great Xmas and new year.
Bye for now.

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