Tuesday 17 November 2015

Fun and Games at the Farm with our Gsd/Mali Crosses Reggie, Dexter, Riggs and Cato

Before we left HQ for our visit to the Saundercroft farm I decided we would do some tracking training just to see how they were progressing and to get rid of some of their energy making them less likely to misbehave with the animals.

"Think I've found something!"
Pictured above is Riggs following the trail left by the tracklayer.

"I'm going to go straight to the source, I need that bag"

Dexter as always showing his boundless enthusiasm

"No Dexter, nose to the ground that's how you do it"
Above shows Cato really pulling strongly into his track.

I am quite worried about Cato’s ears because I see little sign of them coming up properly. That will be a shame because he looks to be one of the most determined tracking pups I have seen in ages.

If he turns out to be as good a tracking dog as I think he is going to be then I am quite sure most handlers would still be prepared to work him as a Police dog even though he might not have the deterrent effect a dog with upright ears would have. There is no doubt he is going to be a big powerful dog.

Then it was down to the farm and as I watched them pulling down the farm drive as if on a mission I had a feeling the visit was not going to be without incident.

I wasn’t wrong on that score. In fairness to the boys they were all very good with the animals it was more a problem with each other because they all clearly love a bit of a tear up with their litter mates.

This was very apparent on their first port of call the sheep where they were very well behaved with the sheep but took exception to their litter mates getting too close to each other. Here are a few photo’s of the boys getting to know the sheep by trying to share their food.
"Wonder what sheep's food taste like?"

"uhmmm, well, you can live on it, but it taste like ....!"
Dexter is pictured here having some extra tuition having been expelled from the classroom after picking on his litter mates.
"Yay a sheep. I didn't start it, not fair..."
I must ask the breeder Drew whether the mother of these pups Shark was with them and had access to them up until 7 weeks of age because my gut feeling is she didn’t. The mother is so important to install discipline into the pups particularly with the Malinois who comes with a high degree of aggression.

"Aggression! hello strange white thing"
"What did they say it was?" ... "Not what, who.. this is Jack"
Above is Riggs, Cato and Reggie meeting Jack the rescue Pony who is always so good with the pups.

"Can I get some of that food?"
Above is Reggie with Andi being introduced to Bella.

As always we are grateful to Andi and her mother for allowing us to use the farm. We are doubly indebted to Andi who is a serving Police dog handler with her Police dog Sally because she is also looking after Police pup Reggie for the week while his puppy walker Angie is away on a week’s holiday.

"What do cows do for entertainment?
Go to moo-vies" ... "Very funny, not!"
"Moo-vies... Teehehe..."

(Above) Next it was time to meet the calves and here is Reggie, Cato and Dexter being introduced.
Next it was time for all the pups to meet Captain the Shire horse who was very calm and steady making introductions very easy.
"Hi, how you doing?"

Pictured above is Dexter.

"You're all wet!"
"Sorry think we are interrupting your bath time"

Above Reggie and Riggs with Cato looking very relaxed.
"Look away give him some privacy"
Susannah has 2 of her own horses and so Cato is used to them.

For a Police dog it is very important that they are neutral to livestock particularly in our neck of the woods where we are regularly asked to track and search across farmland for offenders and missing persons.

Next it was time to meet another one of the horses called Blue.
"Holly why is he called Blue?"
"Have you any food?"

Again Blue was very nice and calm and is pictured here being introduced to Reggie, Dexter and Riggs.

In the picture also is Holly the farm dog who joined us and followed us around throughout the visit. She was very well behaved and certainly put a few of the pups in their place if they became too pushy which they very sensibly accepted without argument.

Finally we introduced the boys to the chickens and to be fair the boys were reasonably well behaved.

Riggs seemed to be the most excited by our feathered friends inviting them to join him in play at every opportunity.
"Lets play pounce!"

"They don't want to play Riggs"
Here he is with Reggie.

"Chicken pie with gravy"
Dexter is pictured above

"No... Chicken curry"
Cato is pictured above

"I've been good... treat please"
Then it was into the yard to get ready for our group photo

which we eventually got once the boys could be bothered to pay attention

Hopefully the forthcoming cuts to our budget will not affect us too badly and there will be many more farm visits to come.

Finally I would also like to thank Andi’s partner Simon who also helped us out on the day as he usually does.

Well that is it from me. Another great day out at the farm see you next time.


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