Thursday 21 June 2018

Latest update on all of our pups part 1

So much has happened in the last few weeks that it would be impossible to update you all in 1 blog and so I have split the blog into 2 parts.

Blog 12 part 1

The E litter continue to thrive

Here are the E litter on our last training day. From left to right are Ernie, Errol, Echo and Eyke. We gave Eddie the day off because he had worked so hard representing the puppy program down at the Cornwall county show.

At the E litter training session we worked on resilience exercises, obedience, recall’s, article searching and line work. I had planned an introduction to tracking but it was too warm and dry.


Ernie has settled in well in his third home with Bill and Vivian. The two enforced moves were no fault of Ernie and I am optimistic that this will be his last puppy walking home. Bill and Vivian tell me they cannot fault him and are enjoying having him.

Ernie is pictured here recalling to Bill.


Errol is coming along really well. He is pictured here with Sue throwing his toy into long grass for him to locate and relaxing together watching the other pups work.

Environmentally we have had some early issues with him lunging and barking on meeting other dogs. Initially we used a corrective water spray which had the desired effect. This has now been replaced by gaining his attention with the sit and look for a titbit if another dog is in the vicinity.
Sue has worked hard and is already making excellent progress with Errol.


Unlike her litter mates Echo is not particularly food crazy but her play drive is so strong everything is easily achieved through play. Here is a video I’ve shown before of her natural desire to play and interact with people.

She is exactly like her mum Sasha with incredible focus and drive. She is a happy, biddable playful pup who would happily play all day long.

Here she is with Michelle learning to walk on the long line ignoring other dogs and distractions.


Eyke as I expected has been the most challenging in the group in terms of his strong willed determined character. He is a high energy pup who needs an outlet for his exuberance and he needs firm but calm guidance to channel his energy in the right direction.

I have visited the family several times to give guidance on preventing Eyke attempting to chase cars  and to stop him from biting the children when he gets over excited during games with them.

He is not the easiest pup but then the pups that go on to make outstanding Police dogs rarely are. Rob and his family are doing very well and things will improve as he learns exactly what is required of him.

Here is a video of the pups taking the increased height on the ramps all in their stride.

Another successful training session which I hope the pups enjoyed as much as I did.

Meanwhile down at the Cornwall county show here is Eddie with his pal taking a breather and sheltering from the warm sunshine.

Eddie also found people dropping out of the sky very interesting.

He was joined down at the Cornwall show by Sydney from our January 2019 pups. Here they are clearly enjoying each other’s company.

My thanks to Alaina and Phil for taking their pups to the Cornwall county show and to Cornwall dog section supervisor James Little and his team for making them so welcome.

The January 2019 Initial Course Pups

There have been quite a few changes in our January 2019 group pictured here from left to right Ben, Larry, Star, Bill, Sydney and Lola.


Ben as previously reported had to go to a new home as his puppy walker Lyn has had some health issues and was unable to continue with him.

My thanks to Lyn pictured here at the Devon county show with Ben for all her hard work and giving

Ben the best possible start on the first stage of his journey.

His new home is with Stuart, Wendy, Jacob, Lauren and Lexie in Plymouth.

He has certainly made himself at home and is enjoying the family’s active lifestyle.

Stuart and Wendy are first time puppy walkers and so the first job was a crash course for Stuart on how to walk Ben on lead and on his training line.

Stuart has now cascaded this to his wife Wendy.

Taking on a very powerful and active dog like Ben at 7 months is not an easy challenge but Stuart, Wendy and the family have made a great start.

They certainly showed that they are not put off by a bit of rain on our training day yesterday. Pictured here are Star, Ben and Sydney.

Here are a few pictures of a very wet day.

Ben recalling to Wendy.

Ben teaching

Stuart how he follows a trail.

Sydney and Phil enjoying some article searching in the woods.


Star pictured here with puppy walker Margaret was imported from Holland along with his brother Sydney and Larry on the 4th of April 2018 when they were 4 months old.

I purchased Larry as my own dog. Star and his brother Sydney were purchased for our puppy program.

When they arrived Star and Sydney were allocated to puppy walkers Margaret and Phil.  Angie & husband Graham agreed to look after Larry for me while I raised the E litter.

The 3 boys are pictured here at the Devon county show watching the horses. Star is front left, Larry rear and Sydney front right.

It was soon apparent on our training days that Sydney and Larry were very confident dogs but Star was nervous of some men and particularly me if I got too close to him.

Here he is when I tried to do some individual training with Star and Margaret and I got too close to him.

We have imported many dogs from abroad but because of the rabies laws we cannot collect them until they are 15 weeks old. This invariably means that they have missed out on that vital socialisation between 8 and 14 weeks.

Considering the dogs had not had that socialisation they were very confident at the Devon show.

Larry, Star and Sydney are pictured here taking in the fairground.

Margaret went on a 2 week holiday in late May and so I took the opportunity of having him at my house to gain his confidence and to take a closer look at him.  For the first 2 days he was extremely nervous of me and attached himself to my wife.

I then kept him on a lead with me almost continually to prevent him running away and hiding from me. I instructed my wife to ignore him and within 2 to 3 days he accepted me and I then began training him to search, track and play tug.

He certainly enjoyed the second week with me and loved being around my female Ella who just oozes confidence and definitely took him under her wing.

Here is a short video of me playing with Star and in such a short time I was really pleased with the improvement.

I have had a long chat with puppy walker Margaret who lives alone and suggested that he probably needs a busier environment and she agreed with me that it would be better for Star if he went to a more experienced puppy walker with regular access to meeting men and monitoring his progress.

Puppy walker Margaret is adamant that if he doesn’t make it she would like to purchase him

I would like to thank Margaret for all the work that she has put in with Star .

I have placed Star with retired Police dog Sgt Alan Knight and his wife Fran and daughter Maddy.

Because of his mistrust I still have my doubts about his suitability to be a Police dog but I believe we should do what we can to boost his confidence and even if it turns out that he is not equipped to be a

Police dog at least we will have better prepared him to enjoy the rest of his life.

I can just hear some of the more unpleasant people who inhabit social media ranting that we are a professional Police force and not a charity and that this all costs public money. 
Fortunately I work for a Police force that trusts its handlers and instructors to do what is right for their dogs.


Lola and puppy walker Karol couldn’t make our Sunday training session due to a family bereavement in Poland.

Lola has been developing really well but last week I had to visit the family to deal with an issue where Lola had shown aggression towards Karol’s mother Anna.

The family are pictured here with Lola when she arrived in February. Left to right are Dad Steve, daughter Christina, Karol and mum Anna.

The incident occurred when Anna’s husband Steve allowed Lola to sit on the sofa with him (as he often does) and when Anna came into the room Lola growled at her.

Karol had then tried to intervene by grabbing Lola and tried to drag her to her cage which resulted in him getting some superficial bites to his arms.

Here is Lola with Anna and her husband Steve at the Devon show.

Had husband Steve just got up and walked out of the room as soon as she growled the incident would have been defused without any escalation.

No further problems have occurred since I introduced an action plan for the family. This required not allowing Lola onto furniture and her playmate and general softie dad Steve having to ignore her.

I suspect Lola sees him as a soft touch and sees him as a play resource and is jealous of his wife Anna being involved in their relationship.

I also needed to give some instruction to prevent Lola pulling on the lead on her walks.

The pulling on lead was very easily resolved because the cause was simply Lola wanting to get to the park for her daily fun. It doesn’t occur on the way back home which always the case. ( Show Pic 24 )
I demonstrated to Karol how to use her energy and desire to charge forward to his advantage by just stopping dead and work in changes of direction and short recalls for a toy game and this worked well.

Time has to be set aside for this strategy because Karol must never move forward while there is tension on the lead and this means it could be a long session. There is no quick fix to what is the most common of all dog training issues. Patience, repetition, praise when the dog is in the correct position and a broad collar are a must.


Bill’s puppy walker Chris has been busy changing jobs and so we haven’t seen much of Bill lately. However we did see him at the Devon show with Mary and Roger who looked after him while puppy walker Chris was away for the week.

He was very confident and social and certainly looked the part.

See the update on the remainder of our pups in Blog 12 part 2

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