Friday 14 December 2018

After 14 weeks

After 14 weeks our general purpose initial police dog teams graduate and enjoy their passing out parade with their puppy walkers, family and friends.

Pictured above at today’s passing out parade are Mark Stephens with Brock, Chris Carter with Nessa, Course Instructor Graham Attwood and Martin Prince with Merlin along with all of their puppy walkers, family and friends.

The teams completed 13 hard but enjoyable weeks before finally being assessed by Home office Police dog Instructor Ian from Derbyshire Police on Monday and Tuesday this week. Ian was very impressed with their overall standard and granted the teams their license to be Operational general purpose Police dog teams.

At the conclusion of the General purpose Police dog course we always have a passing out parade where the handlers enjoy the final day with their family and friends. We also invite the puppy walkers to thank them for all of their dedication and hard work in raising our pups.
Mark and Brock will be stationed at Ashburton. Brock has big shoes to fill following in the footsteps of retired Police dog Axel but with Mark’s enthusiastic and energetic work ethic Brock will soon get the hang of what is required.

Brock was imported from Belgium at 15 weeks and was bred by Walther Verbruggen. He was puppy walked by Colin, Mitzi and Luke Belsher.

Brock is pictured here with his family.

 Chris and Nessa ( Previously Elsa) will be stationed in North Devon and just like Brock she also has big shoes to fill following in the footsteps of Chris’s retired Police dog Maverick.

Nessa was bred by Bernard Horton of Kazzardsway German shepherds in Manchester.

Nessa was initially puppy walked by Steve Pearce and his family from May 2017 to February this year.

She was then walked by Chris Walther and his family.

Our intention was for Chris and his family to keep Nessa for the rest of her life and hopefully for her to have puppies for our puppy program. Unfortunately her hips were just slightly below the level required for a breeding female but well above average as a working dog.

Nessa was then allocated to Police dog handler Chris Carter to replace his retiring Police dog Maverick. Chris particularly wanted a female because Maverick is a very masculine male and probably wouldn’t have been particularly welcoming to another male dog.

Nessa lives with Chris’s family and gets on really well with Maverick and his drugs dog Rosie.

Martin and Merlin will be stationed in Ferndown in Dorset. Martin is a first time dog handler with 10 years Police experience and in Merlin has a dog with exceptional potential. For a first time handler Martin has impressed me both in terms of his natural handling skills, his empathy and the bond they have together.

Merlin was bred by Ian Morgan of Lorockmor working dogs in Shropshire. He was puppy walked by Lyn, John and Ian Parlour.

Today Merlin certainly remembered his puppy walkers just as all the dogs do.
Martin and his family are pictured here enjoying the day.

After the photos of family and puppy walkers there was time for a course photo before a short display.
The handlers gave a short demonstration of their heelwork.

Martin and Merlin then gave a demonstration of tracking down an offender who had run off down a track and was hiding in woodland. They tracked and located him but he then ran off and was then detained by Merlin.

Chris and Nessa then demonstrated a search and locate of an armed criminal.

Mark and Brock then completed the display by dealing with a criminal firing a gun.

We all then made our way indoors for refreshments and presentations. Mark’s wife Bex made an incredible cake to celebrate the end of a very successful and enjoyable course.

ACC Davies then presented the puppy walkers with a framed picture of their puppy as a thank you for their hard work and commitment.

Brock’s puppy walkers.
Nessa’s 1st  puppy walkers.

Nessa’s 2nd puppy walkers.

Merlin’s puppy walkers.

The handlers also received their certificates for successfully completing their General purpose Initial Police dog course.

Then it was time to disperse and a sense of pride of a job well done by our puppy walkers and handlers.

We have been running our puppy program now for over 25 years and all of our dogs now come through the program.

 It couldn’t function without our dedicated puppy walkers and although it is a really enjoyable day to see the dogs graduate I always have a sense of sadness for the pups that didn’t make it and the disappointment of those puppy walkers.

I apologise that this blog isn’t up to my usual standard in terms of information and presentation but my wife and I are off to London for a short break in the morning and I had to rush to get it ready before we left.

We will be having a Xmas get together for all of our pups and puppy walkers on Sunday 23rd December as we do every year.

From Ella, Larry and me  bye for now,

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