Friday 16 October 2015

A Busy Weekend Of Training For All Of The Devon And Cornwall Police Pups

German Shepherd puppy with walkers

German Shepherd puppy with walker

German Shepherd puppy with walker

German Shepherd puppy with walker

Sunday Morning

Sunday morning was the first training get together for our latest 4 pups Riggs, Cato, Reggie and Dexter who are all now aged 12 weeks old. This group of pups are an experiment in that they are not pure bred German Shepherds they are a German Shepherd mum called Shark crossed with a Belgian Shepherd (Malinois) father called Dragon.

Dragon and Shark

We are hoping that Shark will give us the character and tracking potential of the German Shepherd and that Dragon will give us the strong constitution and athletic physique of the Malinois. They are certainly very lively and very enthusiastic if our training day on Sunday is anything to go by.

We introduced them all to tracking using tripe food drops, basic obedience ie the sit and down using titbits, some article searching, agility on the ramps and getting them to let go of a toy or possession on command.

My first impressions are as expected very lively, very energetic, very quick, and without doubt interesting days ahead. A couple of the pups were clearly underweight even though they are consuming much more than your average pup.

Some of these pups will be on the September 2016 course and some will be on January 2017 course.

Here are a few photo’s of our very eventful day. 

Reggie trying the ramp

Riggs first track
Cato's first track

Riggs waits his turn

Reggie on the walkway

The group photo shows from left to right Angie with Reggie, Susannah with Cato, Chris and Donna with Riggs, and Eamon with Dexter. 

Trouble ahead

Angie sent in this Picture of Reggie out and about in Exmouth during the week. 

He's behind you

Sunday Afternoon

Sunday afternoon was the turn of our September 2016 course members






We concentrated on our tracking and all the dogs showed they are now getting the hang of it and tracking really well. We are still using food drops on the ground to encourage the dogs to follow human footsteps. Billy is now 5 months old and is starting to lose his cuteness but we still love him. Lenny our German import is 5 and a half months old and is starting to look more like a German shepherd and less like a lurcher.

He is also showing the incredible tracking potential that he has inherited from his ancestors in Germany and that is the reason that I went over to Germany to get him.

There is no doubt that the role of the General purpose Police dog in the UK is changing in that there is a reduced role for a dog in dealing with use of force and conflict situations now that Police officers have alternative options such as Captor spray and Tazer stun guns.

That is a good thing because dogs are much less likely to get injured. However tracking and searching for offenders and vulnerable missing persons now accounts for the majority of the work of a modern Police dog and so an exceptional tracking dog is a must.

Here is a picture of Charlie from our C litter showing the level of intensity and determination in her tracking that is so important to be a successful Police dog. 

Charlie on track

Our 3 siblings Rika, Flynn and Memphis are now 6 months old and even at this early stage are starting to look very intimidating. They are now always on a lead or long line when out and about because we do not want them charging across to other dogs or people who might be frightened by them. Here a few photo’s of our day. 

Andy tracking with Flynn

Rikka keen to go

Rikka gets her turn

Here we all are at the end of our session. From left to right Phil with Memphis, Nigel with Billy, Me with Lenny, Rob with Rika, and Andy with Flynn. 

A great day out training

Monday Morning The C Litter

Unfortunately Cosmic couldn’t join us because Lindsay has just started easing her way back into work after her illness but we were joined for the day by our special guest Cagney. Cagney was released from the program along with Copper and Callie mainly because of a lack of size and not enough tenacity in their work.

I went down to see how Cagney was getting on last week and was amazed by her transformation in attitude and determination not to mention her boldness. Terry and Jill had told me about this and they were only too pleased to bring her back out on our training day.

The day was mainly focused on our tracking training as we near the start of their Initial Police dog course in January 2016. We also did some article searching work and we also assessed how they coped with a particularly loud 38 revolver being fired in close proximity.

All the dogs tracked and searched well and none of them were bothered by the loud gun.

Here are a few photo’s of our day.

Comet no fear of the gun 
Colin hanging on with Chaos

Terry and Cagney glad to be back

Dawn and Comet

After a lovely day in the sun it was time to depart. From left to right Jill and Cagney, Dawn and Comet, Paul and Charlie and Colin with Chaos. 

Fun in the sun

The C litter will be undergoing their final assessments on the week of the 26th of October before their Initial Police dog course in January 2016. I will let you know how they all get on.

The Curse Of The Dreaded Hip X-Ray

Devastating news for me last week when we received the results back from the BVA hip scoring scheme because Qwendi’s hips are not good enough to breed from. I am taking advice from a specialist about using her as a working Police dog because she is without doubt one of the most exciting dogs I have been involved in with regard to her working potential.

What was interesting is prior to sending off her x-ray plates 2 vets saw the results of her x-ray and passed her as fit to be a working Police dog. There seems to be some back tracking since the BVA results came back hence the reason I am taking advice from a specialist.

My decision to take on Sasha our new young bitch now 20 months old seems to have been a good one and our next planned litter will be Ruby in the spring. Sasha is thriving with Lyn Parlour and is going from strength to strength.

She has just come into season but I have decided she needs at least another 6 months to get her fully fit and carrying good weight before we will even consider a litter from Sasha.

All 4 dogs on the current Initial Police dog course are doing well. I will do an update on their progress in my next blog as they near the half way point and also an update on how the C litter get on with their assessments.

From Qwendi, Lenny and Me Bye for now.

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