Winners of 'Public Choice' Award

Friday, 6 April 2012

Slapped Wrists

OK folks so first up I think an apology is due! When we set out doing this Blog, we said we'd  try to 'Blog' at least twice a month as a minimum - however we've now gone through the whole of March without one. So apologies for the long delay!

We've got lots of exciting things going on at the moment, and we're just putting the final touches to some of our plans - hence March's lack of Blogging! We'll be able to reveal a little bit over the coming months. All of which, will of course be dog related.

Those of you who follow @WMP_Dog on Twitter will have seen his progress over the past month, but we thought we'd give everyone a little update on what PD Sear has been upto over the past few weeks and how his training is coming on.

First of all we'll also give you a little update on @WMPD_Mambo who is now well into his initial licensing course. Mambo was allocated to his handler on 25th February, after spending some time with the instructor of the initial course. When we picked PD Sear up , we did so on the premise that Mambo wasn't going to be left in the Police kennels for long - hence him going out with the instructor.

He has settled in really well in his new home and he is doing well on his course - touch wood everything is all OK for the final half of the course and come the end of it he will be a fully licensed Police Dog.
We keep lots of photo's & videos of our pups - and with each one we sometimes forget what they were like as baby puppies. It's frightening how quickly they turn from. . .

Mambo hand reared
Mambo ready for his course
. . . . . to this . . . .  

PD Sear is progressing really well, and picks up everything we're asking from him. Sear is a lot different to Mambo in his personality and his work ethic. Whilst Mambo was very quick about the task - always 110 miles an hour. Sear is a little more stable & controlled, yet has bags of drive when we ask him for it. It's almost like he is weighing up the best way to deal with each situation he is put into. It's great working with different puppies, with different traits & mannerisms. You have to make sure you're approach & methodology in everything you do is matched to the dog.

For those subscribed to Sear's YouTube channel - WMPD Sear Channel - you will have seen Sear's development first hand. Sear has a phenomenal nose, which, linked to his ability to learn has meant he's already completing some great nose work exercises. Everything we're putting in front of him & asking him to do - he's doing it.

I think from my previous Blogs and Sear's Twitter posts, it's clear that we're now huge advocates of Scent In A Bottle tracking. We've now used this technique on our last 2 pups & the results are there for everyone to see. At 16 weeks old, we've now got Sear tracking grass & hard surfaces, with & without the scent from the bottle being laid. He's not as good on hard surfaces without the bottle scent, but on grass he'll now track some good distances without anything other than our normal footsteps.

We continue to mix things ups, different surfaces with & without the scent down - and as we go we lengthen the tracks & insert turns on them. Lots of his initial work is nose related, we do little bits of bite work here & there but it's nose work we focus on first. His property searching is absolutely nailed on now too.

Sear is beginning to show a bit of suspicion about things now - he's massively confident but he's also starting to have an air of suspicion about him. He'll keep his eye on people, objects and things blowing in the wind - it's a really great trait for him to start developing & we'll be bringing this out of him more as time progresses.

Sear is teething quite badly at the moment & his 'baby' teeth are wobbling & falling out!!! So we ease off the bite work a little. If he's experiencing pain & discomfort when biting there's the potential of it 'putting him off' the exercises, because he will associate it with discomfort & pain. However, we have made our own bite roll from jute material & sheepskin filling, so that we can do the odd bit here & there with a soft bite roll.

Sear's greatest asset I'm sure will be his size & presence. He's putting on an average of 1.5kg per week, yet you can still see his ribs! He looks like a bag of bones some days! We keep a weekly tracker of all of our pup's weight, & Sear is by far the biggest by quite some distance!

PD Arragon
We're very conscious of not overfeeding though, especially given the rate at which he is growing. We want to avoid any growing pains, which would mean a rest from training.

To put it into perspective PD Ari was the biggest pup we had (who is PD Axel's brother). However, at the same age Sear is nearly 5kg heavier than him!

Sear & Ari both have the same dad & their mum's are from very similar breeding.

And finally . . . . . . whilst we're on the subject of puppies - a congratulations to South Yorkshire Police, who delivered a cracking litter of puppies, bred from 2 West Mids Police Dogs. The mum, Cici, is the sister of one of the pups we had (PD Cooper) & the dad is the same dad as Mambo - PD Drake. I'm sure there's going to be some top PD's in that litter!

Cici & her puppies
PD Drake