Jay's Blog
The Thin Blue Paw
April 2019

Hello all,

I am now seven months old and weigh just over 40kgs. I am becoming a very powerful and determined puppy.
Since my last canine column I have been busy learning new skills I will need for when I become an operational Police dog.

I am now doing much longer tracks. Tracking in a cross wind, especially a strong wind, is difficult as the scent is blown off the track.
When this happens I have to really focus to get back on the track. Before I start to track the instructor puts a harness on me, the idea being when a harness is put on me I associate this with tracking.
The canine development officer says I quietly get on with anything that is asked of me.

The new skills I am learning are; finding an item in a wooded area and doing a ‘bite’ test and holding onto the padded ‘sausage’ bite trainer. Before I find an item, the instructor teases me with it so I have the ‘drive’ to want to get it. Whilst Stew is holding me the instructor will hide the object, he also does a few ‘fake’ hiding places. On the instructors command Stew lets me go – I am good at finding the hidden item. When I find it Stew gives me lots of praise and we play with the object – at the moment it is meant to be a game, so I enjoy it!

During my last two training sessions I have been introduced to the ‘bite and hold’ – this is something I can really get my teeth into – please excuse the jest! The instructor again teases me with a heavy duty bite trainer. Stew has to hold me back as I try to get hold of the bite trainer, on command from the instructor Stew and I go forward allowing me to get a good grip and hold onto the bite trainer.

The instructor tries to pull the training aid away from me – I don’t let go as I have a very powerful bite – It’s all the nice bones Alison and Stew give me!

After a little while the instructor lets go and Stew takes me away a short distance to praise me and play with the bite aid.
On our first session one of the pups – who is a month older than me - wouldn’t bite. On the second session she did - which is a relief.

Playing ‘tug of war’ with Stew and Alison is one of my favourite games, this encourages me to ‘bite and hold’.

Here I am after a training session with two of the older pups on the programme – Ginny right and Rebel left.

Stew and I continue to visit busy shops and go on the train. The train conductors are very good as they let me walk through the carriages – some passengers look a bit anxious when they see me coming – I can’t think why!

Stew took me to a large carpet warehouse on our local industrial estate, Stew tried me on open metal stairs which I managed with ease – Stew was very pleased with me. This can be a major stumbling block for some dogs when they start their general purpose training.

Well, I have to close now as I want to play another favourite game – football. Anyone want to try and tackle me for the ball?

So, until next time - bye for now,