Monday 19 January 2015

Welcome to our first blog of 2015

Since my last blog about the C litter puppies leaving us to go to their new homes my wife Diane and I took some well overdue leave. I have also taken the opportunity to look at the dogs that will be going on the 2015 Initial Police dog courses in January and September this year and we also held our first training get together for the C litter pups.
I also spent a day With Argo and his new handler Mandy from Avon and Somerset Police dog section. They were due to start their 2 week re-handling course on the 12th of January in Argo’s new force and it gave me an opportunity to show Mandy all the training he had undergone with me.

At the time of writing this they have completed their first week and are getting on really well together.

To update you on the B litter Blade, Boris, Buddy, Bruno and Beau will be starting their Initial Police dog courses on January 26th 2015. I will update you on that course nearer the time as I will be Instructing on the course. Also on the course will be Yogi.

Bebe has just had her hip and elbow scores back from the kennel club which were very good and so she will be one of our new brood bitches.

Beckie who failed her hip x ray has been placed in a wonderful home with Devon and Cornwall Police Inspector Julian Pezzani and his family in Exeter.
I am really pleased that she is going to Julian who I know very well as he used to be a Police dog handler in our force. I would like to thank Mike and Diane and Colin and Mitzi for there time and help puppy walking Beckie.

Lastly Brodie who has very acute hip displacia will be seeing Dr Attenborough a veterinary orthopaedic specialist with me and his puppy walker Mike next Tuesday about a possible hip replacement. I will be doing a special feature on Brodie to show how he is getting on.

I am still very upset that we have had to retire Mollie the mother of our B litter from the programme because 2 of her pups have inherited poor hips. However there is a silver lining with her daughter Bebe having inherited good hips  I believe that she will be an excellent replacement as a brood bitch to carry on her excellent working genes.

Here are a few photo’s of our get together last week.
Boris tracking with a low nose and showing real determination.
Boris relaxing with his puppy walker Rob at the end of the days training. Training included tracking, heelwork and learning to ignore all other dogs.
Buddy and his new handler Rachael practising their down stay exercise. Note the intense concentration on Buddy’s face which is the result of the excellent work carried out by his puppy walker Linsay.

Blade here is barking at me for his toy reward which is the early stages of training to search and locate criminals and missing persons.  Again excellent concentration and focus which has been achieved with the work put in by his puppy walker Emma.

Last week I also got the opportunity to see how Duke and Elvis were getting on. They will be on the September 2015 Initial Police dog course along with their brother Gizzy. We looked at their general confidence in the Police vehicle workshops where there are all sorts of loud and unusual noises and different types of flooring and stairs.  We looked at their confidence walking alongside heavy traffic and we did some article searching and tracking work.

I also used the opportunity to see how Qwendi our young brood bitch import from Germany got on in the same exercises. All the dogs were very confident in the vehicle workshops and sensible with the traffic.

Here are a few pictures of the dogs showing how they got on.
Elvis completely unaffected by Roger revving up the Police motorbike.
Qwendi sniffing the very noisy air hose not in the slightest bit concerned.
Elvis walking along the road completely relaxed and oblivious to the lorry coming up behind him.
Duke walking in a relaxed manner with his handler Lyn.
Duke completely ignoring the large speeding lorry.
Elvis searching for and locating the hidden wallet.
Duke looking through the window jump watching his brother Elvis searching for the wallet.
Duke learning how to track a person using food placed in the tracklayers footprints.
Qwendi tracking across a hard gravel surface very easily

She struggled with tracking in the first month of her training but she has really taken to the exercise in the last 2 months and is now outstanding.

All 3 dogs had an excellent day and are showing really strong potential as future working dogs.

C litter

On Sunday 11th January we held our first training get together for the C litter. These development sessions will continue every fortnight. Since I introduced these fortnightly development sessions several years ago I have been amazed at what a difference they make to young growing puppies.
Let’s get going.

Today was about introducing all the puppy walkers and their puppies. We started with some puppy obstacles which consisted of several different ramps, a small tunnel and later some steep stairs in the dog training school. It is always very interesting to see the different levels of confidence on the obstacles with each puppy. Some run up and down the obstacles without a care in the world and others are a bit more cautious.

With encouragement and the use of titbits very soon all of the pups were enjoying the obstacles and it is very obvious to see their confidence growing and development taking place before your eyes.

Here are some pictures of the puppies negotiating the obstacles.
Bad for your back!
Next it was a briefing to show everyone how to introduce the sit, the down and getting the puppy used to walking along by the handlers left leg in preparation for future heelwork.
Chaos down
Charlie sit
Callie heelwork
Cosmic down
Next it was back to the dog training school for tea and biscuits and a discussion about socialisation and our expectations of the puppy walkers and any questions that they might have. Although the priority for our pups is that they are socialised and the actual training is voluntary for the puppy walkers everyone seems to enjoy the training and there is no doubt it definately benefits their development and gives their brains something to do.
We all then posed for a group photo before a lot of tired puppies and puppy walkers made their way home. Our next session in 2 weeks time will cover article searching and tracking.

Finally I thought I would include a photo of my 11 year old retired Police dog Spud enjoying his retirement. As everyone knows we do not encourage puppy walkers to allow our pups to get into the habit of climbing onto furniture and beds. Spud is no exception he is not allowed on our furniture either.
Mine - zzzzzz!
But after 8 years of serving the people of Devon and Cornwall we decided he has earned his extra privileges and so this is his own personal sofa.

See you next time Paul

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