Tuesday 8 December 2015

In this weeks blog our 4 new pups arrive safely from Germany and everyone has a wonderful day on our passing out parade

Hi I'm Roz  
Hi I'm Roxy
Hi I'm Ronnie
Hi I'm Rocky
After successfully passing her licensing tests with the Initial Police dog course last Thursday I left Qwendi at home to set off for Germany to collect 4 puppies aged 15 weeks to join our puppy program.

One of our previous puppy walkers Ed Harris who puppy walked Ava from our A litter kindly agreed to look after Lenny for me because it would have been too much for my long suffering wife Dianne to look after both Qwendi and Lenny who is a bit of a handful.

The pups were bred by Alfons Schumeister the same breeder who bred Qwendi. Although Qwendi’s hips were not good enough to use her as a future brood bitch her working ability is so outstanding I decided to obtain further pups from this breeder.

Above are the pups in my kitchen after our 2 day journey from Germany. It was a stressful experience driving back and just praying we didn’t break down on the motorways coming through Germany, Holland, Belgium and France.

This is my 3rd trip to Germany and as far as I am concerned the Quality of the dogs makes the journey well worth it. Also financially it is actually cheaper to purchase dogs from Germany than it is in the UK. The pups are pictured below at HQ Middlemoor with the other members of the Initial Police dog course 2 days after returning.

The cost of these pups was £750 each which includes all inoculations. To purchase the same pups in the UK would have been £1000 each with inoculations.

I certainly had my hands full with 4 pups at home and also trying to prepare Qwendi for her passing out parade with the Initial course on the Thursday. Because I had to go over 2 weeks early to collect the pups I still had not managed to organise our puppy walkers and as I write this blog I still require  puppy walkers for Ronnie, Roxy and Roz.

After the passing out parade on Thursday Rocky went to his new puppy walker Lyn Parlour and Ronnie has been placed with a temporary walker Annie Miller one of our most experienced and reliable puppy walkers.

On Saturday I took Roxy and Roz into Exeter city centre to see how they coped with all the crowds. They took it all in their stride as I thought they would. In the afternoon Dianne and I took them over to Killerton house.

On Sunday Ed returned Lenny and so this week will be all hands to the pumps finding suitable puppy walking homes for Rocky, Roxy and Roz. Then the moment I have been dreading is also now here ie handing Qwendi over to her new handler Ritchie Irwin in North Devon.

Ritchie is a great handler and I know she will enjoy doing what she was born to do which is work. Never the less I am still raw at having lost my beloved Spud and she is my one remaining link having grown up with him and was with him the day he passed away.

So far our current 2 German imports Qwendi and Lenny are both looking really exceptional dogs and so I am really excited to see how our latest 4 pups turn out. What is also exciting is how our contacts in Germany continue to grow and develop which bodes well for the future.

I thought I would end this piece with a picture of Roxy and Roz in my garden this morning full of mischief. 

The initial Police dog course enjoy their passing out parade with their families and puppy walkers

From left to right Amanda with Jet,  Sue with Bebe, Lee with Dasco, Me with Qwendi and Graham with Harry.
After successfully passing their General Purpose Police dog assessments last week and officially becoming licensed Police dogs the teams enjoyed their passing out parade on Thursday. This is an occasion which we have celebrated for over 20 years with the focus on thanking our puppy walkers for all of their hard work and dedication.

Pictured above is Amanda with her first dog Jet who will be stationed in Bodmin.  I know how hard Amanda has worked to get onto the dog section and I am really pleased for her.

Also pictured here is Susannah Coffin who puppy walked Jet. Susannah is currently puppy walking Cato one of our new GSD/Malinois crosses and has successfully puppy walked a number of our pups who are now Police dogs.
Amanda with her family
For me it is always a very emotional day. Mainly because the puppy walkers and I meet every 2 weeks for puppy development classes and I also visit their homes. We all develop a group bond as we share in the fun and joy of watching them develop and grow.

But I have also seen the trauma and heartache the walkers experience when a pup doesn’t make the grade. I have also shared the experience of a puppy having to be quietly put to sleep because of illness and disease. Worst of all I have shared the experience of puppy walkers themselves or their family members having to go through illness and on a few occasions losing their fight for life.

So whilst I always enjoy the passing out day it is often a day of mixed emotions for me as I remember all my walkers and dogs that have gone before.
Sue and Bebe
Sue and Bebe will be working in Dorset together. Sue previously worked another one of our dogs called Monty from the puppy scheme.
Bebe and Sue with the puppy walking family
Pictured above are from left to right are sons Tom, and Jake with girlfriend Chloe, Chris and Donna Highton. Tragically before puppy walking Bebe they had puppy walked our brood bitch Cleo who died of a stomach torsion when she was in whelp. Donna has also been fighting her own health battle and so this was a very special day for the Highton family to see Bebe passing out as a Police dog.

In many ways it was a double celebration as their son Tom recently graduated as an Avon and Somerset Police officer. They are currently puppy walking another of our GSD/ Malinois crosses called Riggs.
Lee and Dasco
Next is Lee and Dasco who we obtained as an adult just before the start of the course from one of our breeders Tony Cronin of Rafpol German Shepherds in Bridgend. It is very rare that we do not use a pup from our puppy scheme but you may remember that 2 of Jet’s brothers failed their hip x rays and so we had to buy Dasco in.

Lee is also pictured above with his partner and son.  Lee and Dasco will be serving in North Devon. Lee’s current dog Vinnie has reached retirement and will be living with Lee and Dasco in his retirement.
Paul and Qwendi.
Next is me and Qwendi.  I am only sorry that I am not a younger man as I would loved to have worked Qwendi who will now be going to Ritchie Irwin whose Police dog Archie is retiring from operational duties.

The original plan was for me to use Qwendi as my brood bitch but because her hips were not of the very high level needed for breeding she was still passed by our vet as suitable to work as a Police dog. Because of the training I had already done with Qwendi I was able to join the Initial Police dog course quite late on.

Qwendi will undergo a period of bonding with Ritchie over the coming weeks before undergoing a 2 week re-handling course together in the new year.
Graham with Harry
Finally pictured above is Graham with Harry. Graham was the course instructor and also puppy walked Harry with his family. Harry will be going to his new handler Chris Curnow for a period of bonding and they will also do a 2 week re-handling course in the new year.

Everyone had a great day which started with the customary photographs and then a display by the Initial course handlers and dogs.
We started with the teams forming up before marching on together.
All the teams then completed some of the agility obstacles

Below shows a display of heelwork

We then did some criminal work exercises.

Dasco is pictured above showing he is keen to get started and get off after the criminal. 
Jet is pictured above setting off after our seasonal Christmas criminal elf.
Above is Bebe dragging Sue onto the field to deal with anything that comes her way. 
Next was Qwendi dealing with the criminal armed with a stick.
If you don't mind, my jaw is aching, please take his gun so I can release the elf!
Finally above Harry deals with our festive gun criminal.

Our thanks also to our comical criminal Alan Knight who even the dogs couldn’t take seriously.

Next it was into the pavilion for the presentations of the licensing certificates to the handlers and framed photo’s of the dogs to our puppy walkers by our Alliance boss Ch Insp Brian Duffy. Last but not least a very nice buffet to round off a lovely day.

See you next time when it will probably just be me and Lenny.

Paul, Lenny and Qwendi