Thursday 20 February 2020

Sasha‘S Boys PD Eyke, PD Ernie and PD Errol Graduate as Operational Police Dogs

Mum Sasha pictured here with her E litter in April 2018  is now the proud mum of 3 operational Police dogs.

Those of you who follow the blog will know that PD Eyke graduated in April 2019, PD Tank ( Previously Errol) graduated in December 2019 and now PD Ernie has just successfully graduated with handler Rachael.

From left to right are brothers PD Eyke with handler Tom Bond, PD Ernie with handler Rachael Prescott and PD Tank ( Formerly Errol) with handler Elizabeth Porcher.

PD Ernie started the September 2019 Initial Police dog course as the spare dog because we didn’t have a handler for him. He completed over 10 weeks of training with the course and in December 2019 he was allocated his own handler Rachael.

Although PD Ernie had already completed a large chunk of his training Rachael still needed to get to know him and so she completed an extra 4 weeks of training in January with Police dog trainer Steve Dutton.

For those of you wondering why PD Ernie didn’t have his own handler on the September course it was because all of the handlers were inexperienced 1st time handlers and PD Ernie is a very strong willed, determined, powerful fast dog who needed an experienced handler.

Here he is showing his excellent tracking skills with Rachael.

At the end of their 4 week training period  Rachael and PD Ernie were independently assessed by Police dog Instructor Justin Andrews from Avon and Somerset Police dog section and passed with flying colours.

Our thanks to Justin and good luck to Rachael and PD Ernie who Im sure will have an excellent future ahead of them. My thanks also to our Instructor Steve pictured here with Rachael and PD Ernie.

Steve has been the trainer of all 3 brothers PD EYKE, PD Ernie and PD Tank ( Errol)

I would like to give a special mention to PD Ernie’s puppy walking family Dave, Viv and their grandson Jack for the significant part that they have played in PD Ernie’s development. Here they are with a very young PD Ernie.
It had been a very emotional time for Racheal because at the end of last year Rachael tragically lost her Police dog Buddy to severe Furunculosis at the age of 6.

PD Buddy had been a very successful Police dog and was Rachael’s first dog from our B litter. Only
Police dog handlers can appreciate how devastating it is to lose your operational best mate and PD Buddy had looked after Rachael through thick and thin.

PD Buddy was one of my favourite dogs and I will never forget even as early as 6 weeks old the way he would look at me with that confident steely gaze which confirmed to me that he was going to be a strong special dog.

Here he is with puppy walkers Lyndsay and Anthony collecting him aged 8 weeks.

You can see it in him here pictured with Rachael and his puppy walkers Anthony and Lindsay at his passing out parade that self-assured inner confidence.

PD Buddy’s life may have been too short but he would have loved every day doing what he was born to do alongside his beloved handler Rachael. RIP Buddy.

 PD Buddy will be a hard act to follow but I can confidently say that PD Ernie is cut from the same cloth. He is a tough nut who does not have a bad bone in his body but woe betide anyone looking for trouble because he is not a dog to back down.

It’s really nice to see Rachael with a smile on her face and a sparkle in her eye again.

What now for Sasha and her E litter?

We are rightly proud that Sasha’s 3 boys have qualified as operational Police dogs and we will follow their journey but what happens now for Sasha and her other 3 pups Elsie, Echo and Ernie.

The E litter were born on the 23rd of February 2018 in our conservatory which is where all of our litters have been born. There were 6 pups which consisted of 4 boys and 2 girls. 

The father of the pups was a dog called Xato vom Sickinger Moorwerk a German import owned by Lyn Camden of Linern German shepherds in Ipswich.
I selected him because of his excellent working aptitude and most importantly his excellent temperament and social nature. I’m unlikely to forget the mating which took place on Boxing day after a 6 hour drive to Ipswich.

Just as she was with her first litter the D litter Sasha was an excellent mum to the E litter. She always had access to her pups from the moment they were born to the day they left with their puppy walkers.

They were a very adventurous litter and always seemed to find a way to escape from whatever barriers I put in place. The worst offender was Errol who would climb any barrier to go off in search of food.

Six pups was an ideal number for Sasha to manage. They were a close knit group and they all got along together without any major dust ups.

Sasha was a very diligent mum always wanting to know where her pups were and she had a presence which meant she rarely had to discipline her pups because a stern stare from her was usually sufficient.

We always provided Sasha with access to her pups 24/7 and an exit so that she could get away from the pups at any time if they became a nuisance.

Here they all are with their puppy walkers about to leave us at 8 weeks. Left to right are Sasha, Elsie,
Errol, Ernie, Echo, Eddie and Eyke.

Elsie was the only pup that didn’t go to a puppy walker. We sold Elsie to Sam who was looking for a companion dog. Sam is very pleased with the way that Elsie has turned out and spends time training her with my friend dog trainer Graham Mabbutt.

Elsie has grown into a lovely looking dog.

The other 5 pups went to their puppy walkers and all thrived showing excellent promise during their development and on their training days.

Here they are at 12 weeks taking part in the Police dog display at the Devon county show.

Here they are on the farm visit at 5 months showing remarkable restraint meeting the livestock. On the right of the Video lying down is PD Ernie once again showing his strength of character and composure.

The training was going remarkably well until they were 7 months old when Eddie began to show sensitivity to certain noises. Up until then Eddie and Alaina were making great progress. His criminal work and tracking were excellent.

He particularly became sensitive to gunfire and loud noises. We monitored this to see if it was a passing phase but once we established it wasn’t I reluctantly had to release him from the program. I was devastated for Alaina who had religiously attended all the training sessions coming up from St Austell.

Alaina decided that she wanted to keep Eddie and he now lives happily with Alaina and her partner Ryan pictured here with Eddie aged 4 months.

The remaining 4 dogs all continued to progress rapidly and I was confident they would all go on to become Police dogs. PD Eyke joined the January 2019 Initial Police dog course aged just 10 months and passed with flying colours.

Echo and Errol were allocated to their handlers for the September 2019 Initial Police dog course and
Ernie also joined the course as the spare dog. Echo then suddenly became very sensitive on certain types of floor surfaces and going into confined spaces.

This was a huge surprise as she had shown no such issues throughout her puppyhood and was outstanding in all of her work. Her tenacity on her tracking and her bite work was exceptional as demonstrated here.

Here she is in the centre pictured with Errol and Ernie on one of her last training days.
Reluctantly we had to release Echo from the program and although her puppy walking family loved her they decided that living in a small house would not have suited Echo long term. Just as with Eddie I was devastated for Paul and Michelle because they had attended every training day with Echo.

Here she is with her puppy walking family shortly before leaving them to go to her new home.

As we always do we took our time making sure we found her the right home for Echo and we placed her with experienced GSD owners Alix and Peter who live near Dartmouth. They are sailing enthusiasts and Echo regularly goes on the boat wearing her life jacket.

So what about mum Sasha. Well after 2 litters we decided that Sasha had more than played her part for the Police family and she is now enjoying retirement with her carers and now owners Les and Julie who live near Bath.

She never gave us any trouble during the time she was living with us and was just a lovely dog to have around. Les and Julie absolutely adore her and will give her a brilliant home for the rest of her life.

Thank you Les and Julie and thank you Sasha for 2 great litters and lots of great memories.

PD Rana recovers from illness and qualifies as an operational Police Dog

I am so happy to report that Jenna and PD Rana have qualified as an operational Police dog team and will be working at Ferndown Dorset.

I am particularly pleased for Jenna who has had some real lows on her journey. She started with Echo who was with her for several months. They had a super bond and were progressing nicely when Echo developed a phobia on certain floor surfaces and had to be retired.

She was allocated PD Rana and they were going great guns up to 8 weeks into the September Initial Police dog course when PD Rana became ill.

PD Rana was diagnosed with intestinal issues and had to leave the course. She lost weight and It was nearly 6 weeks before she recovered. She then continued her training for another 6 weeks with Chris Burridge the Dorset Police dog section environmental trainer.

I went up to see how they were getting on a couple of weeks ago as they prepared for their licensing assessment.

It was an absolute pleasure seeing the very high standard that Jenna and PD Rana had achieved together. Here they are tracking together.

The track they successfully completed was half a mile long with multiple changes of direction and articles hidden on route and over 30 minutes old. I was unable to film it all but I have included the end of the track to demonstrate their relationship and how a dog should be played and interacted with.

They then performed a stand-off exercise where PD Rana was sent on a chase and attack after the running criminal who then stopped running and gave himself up. PD Rana performed the perfect stand-off which is to bark and wait to be joined by her handler.

Jenna and Rana then demonstrated an excellent emergency recall. This is where the dog is sent in pursuit of a fleeing criminal and the handler has to demonstrate that they can instruct their dog to terminate the chase and return to their handler.

Next the team demonstrated a very determined long straight chase and detain and call off.

I was extremely impressed with the wood search that the team conducted to locate a hidden criminal. Jenna and Rana had never searched this location before and the search was performed without any form of stimulation to tune the dog in.

PD Rana ranged off like an experienced dog and when she located the criminal she was required to bark for an extended period of time before getting her reward.

She then performed several short searches for the criminal in various lying and sitting positions.
I know from the quality of her breeding that she is capable of such exceptional work but credit must also go to her trainers and her handler Jenna.
She was bred by Walther Verbruggen in Belgium.

She was puppy walked by Colin and Mitzi Belsher who must also be congratulated for the huge part that they have also played in her development.
I am hoping that PD Ernie and PD Rana will be attending the passing out parade of the dogs on the current Initial Police dog course to receive their certificates and to give their puppy walkers the opportunity to share in their success.
Meanwhile the dogs on the current Initial Police dog course TPD Jay ,TPD Arnie and TPD Rebel have just completed 7 weeks of their training and are all making excellent progress. I went out to see them today and will be doing a blog on their progress next week.

This means that TPD Ace who I have been running on as the spare dog for the course will not now be needed on the current Initial course and so he will be staying with me until a handler is identified. I enjoy having him around and he will make someone a fantastic Police dog.

I will also be including in my next blog individual reports on all of the F litter dogs.
From me and Ella bye for now.

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