Tuesday 14 January 2020

First blog of 2020, Initial Dog Course, update and a meet!

In this blog

  • TPD Jay, TPD Rebel and TDP Arnie start their 13 week initial police dog course
  • An update on TDP Ernie and TDP Rana
  • Meet TDP Ace
TPD Jay, TPD Rebel and TDP Arnie start their 13 week initial police dog course

The 2020 January General purpose Initial Police dog course started on January 6th and will run for 13 weeks. On the course from left to right are Ed Harris with TPD Jay, course Instructor Phil Wilson, Danni Howett with TPD Rebel and TPD Arnie with Dean Barker.

The boys certainly looked very different when they first arrived.




Meet the teams

TPD Jay and PC Ed Harris.  Ed is a first time handler and on successful completion of the 13 week course they will be posted to Plymouth.

TPD Jay (Obi) and his brother TPD Arnie (Oscar) were born on the 19th August 2018 and were bred by Bernard Horton of Kazzardsway German shepherds in Manchester.

I remember bringing the two boys back from Manchester and letting them have a leg stretch in our garden before taking them to HQ for allocation to their puppy walkers. They were very confident and self-assured exploring the whole garden.

TPD Jay has been puppy walked by Stewart and Alison Fleming. Here they are collecting TPD Jay from the dog training school aged 8 weeks.

TPD Rebel and PC Dani Howett. Dani is a first time handler and on successful completion of the course will be posted to Ferndown dog centre in Dorset.

TPD Rebel was born on the 5th of August 2018 and was supplied to us by Ian Morgan of Lorockmor working dogs in Shropshire.

TPD Rebel has been puppy walked by experienced puppy walkers Terry and Jill Hodge who are pictured here collecting him from my house aged 8 weeks.

TPD Arnie and PC Dean Barker. Dean is also a first time handler and on successful completion of the course will be posted to Plymouth dog centre in Plymouth.

TPD Arnie as already mentioned is the brother of TPD Jay bred by Bernard Horton of Kazzardsway German shepherds.

TPD Arnie has been puppy walked by Andy Parsons and his family pictured here at their home aged 10 weeks.

Last but not least is our course Instructor Phil Wilson who will be Instructing on his first Initial course and we wish him luck. 


Our puppy program has been running very successfully for over 30 years. Initially we acquired puppies from established breeders and placed them with puppy walking families who socialised and looked after them until allocation to a Police dog handler.

This has evolved to a situation where we still acquire puppies from established breeders but we also now breed our own puppies and our puppy walkers are much more involved in the actual training of the puppies.

Here are TPD Jay, TPD Arnie and TPD Rebel on their first training/development day.

Here is TPD Rebel in the early stages of his sit stay.

Here is TPD Arnie in the early stages of his down stay.

Here is TPD Jay doing some work on the ramps.

By the time the pups have become adults and before they are allocated  to their handlers our pups have already reached a very  impressive level of performance on many of the core exercises such as general control, tracking, person searching, article searching and use of force exercises such as the straight chase.

This means the dogs are already at a very good level when they start their Initial Police dog course which in turn means when they start operational deployment they are much better prepared going forward.

Here is Andy with TPD Arnie showing excellent tracking potential with his impressive concentration and obvious enjoyment of this exercise.

Here is Stewart with a very young TPD Jay already showing determination and boldness on the chase and detain exercise.

Here are TPD Rebel and TPD Arnie showing that they are not backward in coming forward either when it comes to criminal work.

They were very impressive at the Devon county show last year aged only 9 months and were a credit to their puppy walkers and the Alliance.

Whenever we start a new Initial Police dog course I like to do a blog introducing the dog teams and showing the work the puppy walkers have done to get the dogs this far.

I always find it very emotional going back over the photos and seeing all the good times we had together on our puppy classes. I know just how much commitment our puppy walkers put into their pups and how much heartache there is for the puppy walkers whose pups don’t make it.

The 3 dogs and their puppy walkers had their last training day together in November last year and I was really thrilled to see the 3 new prospective handlers Ed, Dean and Dani and course Instructor

Phil all turn up to see the dogs perform and to meet the puppy walkers.

Once the course started  I went out with the course several times during their first week to see how they had all settled in and to be on hand if any of the handlers or Instructor Phil had any questions or queries.

Here is TPD Jay searching and locating a hidden person to his handler Ed.
Here is TPD Rebel doing some focus work with handler Danni.
Unfortunately TPD Rebel cut his pad the week before the course which required stitches and so we had to restrict a lot of his work until the stitches are removed this Monday.

We were able to do some work with TPD Rebel wearing a boot. Here he is just about to be introduced to a wood search.
He was also able to perform the tracking exercise on the soft grass.
Here is TPD Arnie doing some focus work with handler Dean.
The 13 week General purpose Initial Police dog course is without doubt the most demanding dog training course there is. The reason the course is so demanding is because of the wide range of skills, disciplines and diversity of different tasks that a General purpose Police dog has to master.

The dogs will be conditioned to follow tracks or trails of criminals who have left a crime scene or of vulnerable missing persons across all types of terrain.  Here is Ed  with  TPD Jay and Dean with TPD Arnie in the early stages of this exercise.

They will learn to search for outstanding criminals and vulnerable missing persons using air scent and to indicate to their handler when they have found them by barking.

They will learn to deal with violent volatile crowds and to defend their handler against attack. They will learn to chase and detain a fleeing criminal and to disarm a criminal who is armed with a weapon.

Here are TPD Jay and TPD Arnie both extremely committed dogs performing a straight chase.

Here is Ed and TPD Jay completing the early stages of the long jump together. Fortunately as the long jump increases in length only the dog has to jump over it which is just as well because I think it might have been a problem for Ed in those tight trousers.

So far so good and I hope to do a full update on their progress around half way through the course.




For those of you who follow the blog you will be aware that TPD Rana only completed 9 weeks of last year’s Initial Police dog course before picking up a severe gastrointestinal illness and although
TPD Ernie completed most of the course we were unable to find a handler for TPD Ernie until the end of the course.

TPD Rana now appears fully recovered and will be doing a 4 week catch up course in Dorset with her handler Jenna Bushby and Instructor Chris Burridge.

TPD Ernie has started a 4 week finalisation course in force with his new handler Racheal Prescott and Instructor Steve Dutton.

Hopefully both will successfully complete their courses.  Jenna and TPD Rana will be posted to Ferndown in Dorset and Rachael will be posted to Ashburton with TPD Ernie.

I’m hoping that both teams will join the passing out parade of TPD’S Rebel, Arnie and Jay so that their families and puppy walkers can share in the success of their pups.


TPD Ace has been donated to the force by Angie Kurn and her family in Liskeard . They rescued him aged 6 months but now aged around 18 months he has so much drive, energy and enthusiasm that the family are unable to give him the exercise that he needs. 

They would not accept any money for Ace and just want him to have a good home where he will be happy. Having had him living with me for the last week I can vouch for the fact that he does not belong in a pet home.

Here he is enjoying charging around the garden with my female Ella.
I think he has all the qualities to be a Police dog and although we do not have a place for him on the current Police dog course he is enjoying living with us until a vacancy materialises.
I hope to do a blog half way through the current Initial Police dog course to update everyone on how the teams are doing.

From Ella and I bye for now.

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