Wednesday 4 March 2020

Progress Report on the F Litter and New Recruits Jazzman and Jessiejames will be arriving from Austria at the end of March

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Progress Report on the F Litter and New Recruits Jazzman and Jessiejames will be arriving from Austria at the end of March

Progress Report on the F Litter

The F litter now 8 months are all progressing really well with their environmental training but I do have my concerns regarding one, possibly 2 of the dogs regarding some elements of their  development training.

Here they are individually with their puppy walkers on a recent training day.

TPD Freddy  with puppy walker Andy

TPD Floyd  with puppy walker Simon

TPD Franky  with puppy walkers Leah and Rich

TPD Fozzy  with puppy walker Lyn

TPD Flint  with puppy walkers Sarah and David

TPD Freya  with puppy walkers Jeanette and Phil

TPD Fendi with puppy walker Sarah

TPD Flo with puppy walkers Jill and Terry

TPD Finni  with puppy walker Colin

Now that they all have their adult teeth I have introduced them to the start of criminal work exercises. This is an exercise all working Police dogs should enjoy. Looking at TPD Fozzy here on only his second session he is going to be a very committed dog on this exercise.

TPD Floyd is equally committed on this exercise.

I have also started the dogs on the person search exercise where they are trained to search and locate outstanding criminals or missing persons and to bark to alert their handler that they have located someone.

Here is TPD Freddy with his puppy walker Andy in the early stages of this exercise which we start on a lead.

TPD Freddy has only been with Andy for a short while because he was originally puppy walked by Karen and Rod. Sadly Rod’s health took a turn for the worst and Rod had to call it a day because he wasn’t able to give him the exercise he needed.

I am grateful to Karen and Rod who have already successfully puppy walked PD Nico and tried so hard to make it work for TPD Freddy. You more than played your part and as you will see in this video TPD Freddy is loving life as a trainee Police dog.

Probably our most important and widely used exercise is tracking where we teach the dogs to follow the track or trail of a criminal or vulnerable missing person. Here is Sarah (B) and TPD Fendi showing a tracking intensity and natural ability which is quite exceptional.

Natural tracking ability seems to be a feature of the whole litter. This is TPD Flo tracking in a  heavily fouled field which had just had a herd of deer running around over it before I laid the track.

I taught TPD Flo to track at around 4 months of age and I have no doubt that she is going to be a very special Police tracking dog.

Here is TPD Freddy doing a track with 90 degree turns for the first time and as you can see it is not a problem to him at all. His puppy walker Andy is a serving Police officer with aspirations to become a Police dog handler.

I have been impressed with Andy’s handling skills with TPD Freddy. Andy also puppy walked TPD Arnie who is on the current Initial Police dog course with his new handler Dean Barker. For a first time puppy walker I thought Andy did a great job with TPD Arnie.

Here is TPD Franky tracking with puppy walker Rich a recently retired Police Inspector who from what I have seen with the way he handles and trains TPD Franky could have been a half decent Police dog handler had he not gone in a different career direction in the Police force.

Another superb tracking dog is TPD Floyd with Simon. Unfortunately I didn’t get him on video with my camera to show you just how good he is.

Simon and TPD Floyd are pretty much together 24/7 and their close bond and time spent working together has resulted in an incredibly impressive training and development standard.

Here is TPD Floyd doing some water work with Simon.

In addition to the tracking, criminal work and person searching we have also progressed with our control and focus work. All of the teams are able to do a solid down stay which we will aim to progress to 2 minutes before they start their Initial course in 7 months’ time.

The down stay is the bedrock of so much of our work. Here is TPD Flint with puppy walker Sarah.

Here is TPD Franky with Rich who has an excellent down stay with TPD Franky.

Here is Andy with TPD Freddy working on focus work which not only builds that all important bond it promotes an attentiveness and willingness so essential in any working dog.

Here we are with TPD Floyd, TPD Franky and TPD Flo starting to work in a group which is not always easy with sibling rivalry but so important to be able to work Police dogs in close proximity of each other.

Here is Rich working with TPD Franky in the early stages of formal heelwork.

We train every 2 weeks but with 9 pups I break them down into groups of 3 to make sure everyone gets as much individual tuition as possible.

I have no doubt that some puppy walkers find me constantly taking photo’s somewhat tiresome but it gives me a record and memories of the pups coming through the program and gets the dogs used to being in close contact of each other.

We will soon start preparing the pups for the Devon county show. I am also running individual one on one sessions with the puppy walkers who need extra help. Some of the walkers are finding that at 8 months they are becoming very powerful and they struggle to hold them on a lead.

Here is a good example on our last training day puppy walker John was able to hold onto a very excited TPD Fozzy at the start of the track.

But once TPD Fozzy got into the track he is such a determined dog he pulled John over. Not that TPD Fozzy was worried and he carried on tracking anyway. No bones broken and John is a seasoned veteran who is used to a few tumbles along the way.

Because Sarah (B) had missed our last training session and had requested some help with walking TPD Fendi  I did an individual session for them last week. We did some tracking, some puppy bite work and an introduction to the A frame.

We then went into Exeter city centre where we worked on walking TPD Fendi on a loose lead and I also assessed her reaction to walking on different floor surfaces in Debenhams. TPD Fendi was exceptional and I was very impressed with Sarah’s handling of her.

At the beginning of the blog I mentioned that I had concerns about two of the pups in terms of their working ability. TPD Finni and TPD Freya are both confident environmentally and both are tracking very well.

But neither have been particularly tenacious in terms of their tugging and play. TPD Finni has certainly improved in that area and on her last training day was much better. TPD Freya however is very weak in terms of her determination to play and I will be assessing her further over the coming weeks.

It’s that time of year when the dogs start shedding their coat for the spring and our puppy walkers will need to be extra busy with their grooming kits. Here is TPD Franky’s contribution after just one grooming session.

But doesn’t he look all the better for it.

I get lots of pictures and videos from the puppy walkers which I retweet and use in the blog. One of my favourites is TPD Flint with his puppy walker’s 2 year old grandson Ben.

I often get asked why don’t you purchase the dogs you need as adults to save money and time with raising puppies.

Well for me the picture of young Ben and TPD Flint answers that question at a stroke. We know the history, character, temperament and trustworthiness of our pups having watched them grow with their families.

Here is another excellent example of good temperament where TPD Floyd comes across what he thinks is a woman sitting down in the wood. Note the calm friendly approach from TPD Floyd.

I can well imagine an adult dog raised in kennels having had lots of bite work training and little socialisation growling with hackles up ready to take flight or bite in such circumstances.

Well there you have it a full update on the F litter and so from TPD Franky and his littermates see you next time.

Meet our new recruits Jazzman and Jessiejames who will be arriving from Austria on March 24



Our planned puppies from Lorockmor working dogs for our January 2021 course didn’t materialise as the mating didn’t take. Although the F litter will be able to fill a couple of vacancies for that course I still needed at least 2 more puppies.

Because I couldn’t find any suitable pups in the UK at such short notice I made contact with Michael Stesi an Austrian German shepherd family breeder who had bred a very nice litter of pups. He only breeds a litter each year and has provided dogs previously to Police forces.

I have been in close contact with Michael who has sent me many videos and photographs. Looking at the pictures and video’s It is very clear how healthy and well reared these pups are.

Hopefully they will go on to become our first qualified Police dogs from Austria. Here they are playing with their littermates

TPD Ace still waiting for his chance

TPD Ace was donated to the force in early January this year and has been on standby as the spare dog for the current initial Police dog course.

TPD Rebel, TPD Jay and TPD Arnie are now in week 9 of their 13 week long Initial Police dog course and are all doing really well which means TPD Ace will not now be needed as back up for the dogs on the course.

He has been with me and Ella since I collected him and I have enjoyed having him. He is a real handful and I think he will make an excellent Police dog. I intend to run him on with Ella until a handler can be identified.

My next blog will be a report on the current Initial Police dog course as they prepare for their licensing assessments in 3 weeks’ time.

From Ella and me bye for now. 

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