Staffordshire Police’s dog section has entered into an agreement with one of Europe’s top breeders of working dogs, (*K9 Core’s breed line, Hundencraft) to supply the force with two German Shepherd Dog (GSD) puppies to be trained as police dogs.
A spokesperson for Staffordshire Police confirmed:
“We intend to follow their progress from birth up to the end of their first year when they will start their serious training as general purpose police dogs. We’re calling it #Pup2PD.
“Within the next week, Nelly (kennel name Nelly Von Haus Erpado), pictured, will give birth to a litter of puppies and then the fun will begin”.
Nelly was mated with Gerro (kennel name Viper Z Noveho Draka) about six weeks ago.
The normal length of a pregnancy for a dog is between 58 and 68 days so she could give birth at any time.
Gerro is a top class working German Shepherd who has won the British Association of German Shepherd Dogs trophy and qualified for the World Championships.
As this is Nelly’s second litter, she is an experienced mum.
“We will keep in touch with how she and her offspring are getting on over the next eight weeks as they grow and develop from blind, helpless tiny bundles to boisterous and curious youngsters with ears like bats and paws the size of dinner plates!” the spokesperson said.
The litter will be monitored by the breeder and the two pups will be chosen when they are around eight weeks old.
The breeder and Staffordshire Police dog handlers will be looking for dogs that have the right temperament to make it through the training to become a working police dog.
The dog pup will be trained by PC Steve Thomas, a dog trainer who handles explosives search dog, Macca and the bitch will go to veteran dog handler PC John Maunders.
John has two dogs he is assessing at the moment, a yellow Labrador called Milo and Tiger, a Dutch Herder and GSD cross, but they will both be passed on to other handlers in September.
PC Maunders said:
“This is a really exciting project for the Dog Support Unit.
“The agreement with the breeder has made it possible for us to acquire puppies rather than having to bring in older dogs.
“This means we can start training them the way we want them from the start without having to get rid of any bad habits they may have picked up.
“The breeder will be looking out for potential candidates for us in the litter and will help us pick out the final two.
“As an experienced dog trainer and handler, his help and support will be invaluable.
“Being able to let members of the public watch the puppies’ progress is something I’m looking forward to.
“I hope it will help people understand the hard work that goes into training a police dog but also what a great job the dogs can do for us.”
Updates on the puppies’ progress will be posted on social media regularly by Staffordshire Police.
The puppies might even make an appearance at the Force Open Day later this year.
*K9 Core is owned and run by Richard Harrison and Jess Dunsdon. Both have an extensive background in Sports Dog training and have represented Great Britain at the World Championships. Richard Harrison is a Grade One Schutzhund helper.
K9 Core is a hydrotherapy centre and boarding kennels situated on Lime Lane, Walsall Staffordshire. They offer a bespoke rehabilitation facility, daily and residential training, dog grooming and pet supplies.
K9 Core is also an approved Police dog boarding kennels.