Jess, Neo and Rocket - The Search Dog Journey continues
Rocket is here and in a month I head off to Surrey Police Headquarters to commence our Pro-Active Specialist Search dog course. I am looking forward to it and as I have mentioned on many occasions, I hold high hopes for Rocket. She has bags of enthusiasm and won’t stop running for a ball!
These attributes will hold her in good stead for a successful course but I don’t want to get my hopes up too much. We have to remember that these animals, as clever as they are, are not robots. They have characteristics as you and I so we will have to see how we go. That doesn’t stop me having aspirations with her.
The course itself is six weeks which can be extended if the needs must. It’s a fun course where we attend numerous different training venues and as the course progresses we make the hiding places more and more complex! These dog’s, once they recognise the scent, are very difficult to deceive! The drugs world believe they can but its not easy, I assure you!
My time as a search dog handler has been a roller coaster of a journey really. My first dog Jess was a black Labrador. A beauty of a dog and couple with a smashing nature. She passed the initial course that I’m about to go on with Rocket. However, out in the real world, she didn’t take to the work quite so well. The dirtier of the addresses we attended to search were not Jess’s cuppa! She became very subdued and very difficult to motivate. This was something we worked on in terms of improving her confidence but with very little obvious success. In the end we re-homed Jess to a couple who have taken her in and given her a wonderful home away from the police. She is often seen flying around th beaches in the far west of the county. Good Luck Jess!
Then came Neo. I won’t go too in depth regarding PD Neo as I’ve rattled on a lot about how good he is! He’ll not be able to walk out of my house if I carry on! Haha! He is coming to the end of his service with Sussex Police and it his time to chillax! Thanks Neo - You and have been an absolute Legend :-)
So, Rocket, we have got lots of work ahead… You’ve seriously got some big old pads to fill! No pressure girl! As I mentioned in the last blog, I’ll keep you posted with our progress along the way, no,doubt with the odd photo or 10 along the way!
I will close this blog with a Huge Thank you to everyone who nominated me for the Award at the Sussex Police Social Media 4 year Anniversary hosted by our very own Deputy Chief Constable Giles York. I was sadly unable to attend the event held at Sussex Police HQ, Lewes. I am very humbled by the award. Without the experiences with my canine colleagues, I’d be proper boring!! I am relatively new to the whole social media in the work place so am really pleased with the award. Thanks Tweepers and catch up soon. You know what’s coming. #followthepaw
Warm Welcome to T/PD Rocket
Rocket has arrived into the fold of @foxydogteam ! Exciting times… PD Neo is definitely looking forward to his retirement now. I believe he caught a whiff of my Sun tan lotion and thought “I’m up for some of that kicking back action”! To be fair, he’s earned it. Maybe not the sun tan lotion though!
Rocket is 150mph but has the initial makings of a good little search dog. I don’t want to tempt fate you understand. However, she is very responsive to her name and searches naturally. She is totally in love with her tennis ball.
Rocket will not officially be a search dog for Sussex Police until successful completion of her initial course next month. She’s a year old with bags of raw enthusiasm so I have high expectations!
Her puppy walkers have done a great job with her and definitely deserve credit. I will keep you posted with her progress in the run up to the course and throughout. I’ll maybe even get more photos up of her! She’s very photogenic as you may have noticed!
Watch this space :-)
Police Puppy Rocket. We are off on an initial course in August
It’s been a while… Sorry! It’s been a busy few months with work. My little dog team have been training hard, trying to improve our core skills and as per previous blogs, continuous training can only make us better! It’s been good and with the aid of my instructor, we are seeing progression. Next week we head off to our colleagues at Surrey Police HQ for our Annual Refresher course. A good intensive week of training with other dog handlers and a great chance to add some training ideas to the ‘tool box’.
PD Abbi has been working well, helping in the detention of two males recently who broke into a leisure complex in Eastbourne and fled the scene into the darkness. One of the local Sergeants stopped 2 males about 1/2 a mile away who were out of breath. Abbi, using her hunting abilities, tracked straight to them! Answer that one lads! Good positive result!
PD Neo has been busy too though. He found a quantity of cash secreted in clothing recently during a search warrant. he also located a small quantity of ketamine in a car. Still quite a new controlled substance which is coming to light more and more. Neo has been searching across the whole force! The boy loves it! He is such a great dog as I often harp on about! Sadly he is entering the twilight of his Police career and is due to retire in the late summer this year. It will be odd but I will be off training my new recruit! Neo has worked hard and deserves to put his pads up!
I’m hoping to catch up with James, Baxter and Diesel soon to throw some ideas about for our blogs. We will hopefully look at doing some vlogs too!
Until the next time, keep following the paw, your interest and ongoing support is greatly received.
Yesterday @foxydogteam ran the Brighton Marathon with thousands of other like minded folk. Almost £600 was raised in conjunction with Police Endurance Fitness Team Ironcoppers for Cancer Research UK. Foxy came in at 4hrs16 minutes and is feeling a bit sore today! Thank you all for your support and sponsorship. It was warmly received.
Lets take a moment, however, to remember the young male runner, aged 23 who collapsed on the course and later died in Hospital. Very sad times and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time
This April 2013, I am running my 1st Marathon. I am still relatively new to the running scene having only got into it properly in September 2011. Since then I have run a few half marathons but this year I have joined a team of police officers and staff called Ironcoppers and I am running for…
Please sponsor me! Great cause :)
Neo - My Wonder Search Dog
I must apologise for the lack of blogs over the last month. Things have been quite full on with training commitments and other operational deployments. Busy is what we do best!
I thought I’d do a blog to celebrate the working career of Police Dog Neo who’s working time with Sussex Police is drawing to a close in the summer - that is if the summer ever appears?!
Neo has been a true gem to me. He came to me in unfortunate circumstances you could say. I was struggling with a new search dog called Jessica. She is a black Labrador bitch. She passed the Pro-Active Search Dog course, being able to locate all of the substances and articles that is required. However, sadly, when we went operational, Jess struggled in some of the places that we had to search. As you may imagine, some of the premises we have to search are not particularly pleasant and this had such a negative effect on her searching ability. We tried to work on this but sadly things didn’t pan out and in time she had to be withdrawn from service. She is now a happy member of a family in West Sussex, perched nicely on their leather suite! It makes me happy to see her so settled and happy in her new life.
Neo was a fully trained police search dog when he came to me from a handler at Gatwick. Neo is a black and white coloured English Springer Spaniel who has been with Sussex Police for about 7 years. Unfortunately Neo suffered a nasty ligament injury in one of his rear legs which required major orthorpedic surgery which was aired on a TV series called ‘The Bionic Vet’. Neo had a re-alignment operation on his knee joint which went really well. Neo then underwent months of hydrotherapy which is, in my belief, what enabled him to work on for many more years. The odds were against him at the start. He is a strong willed little fellow and totally defied the odds! He’s adored swimming ever since!
The only down side is that arthritis has set into the joint as you can imagine and as a result he is to retire about a year earlier than expected. This is for his quality of life which is really important. He has totally earned the feet up time he is about to experience! I have found a new home for him, close to me which will enable me to still see him lots! It will be weird not to have him at home but it is the best thing for him in the long run. He will love his new home as he gets to stay there from time to time already! They love him to pieces. He could have stayed with us but what with PD Abbi and the new search dog, along with our pet pooch, I did not want Neo to be left out. He deserves more.
Neo has had so many operational finds throughout the course of his career. We are talking hundreds of thousands of pounds in cash, drugs and firearms. Ridding the streets of drugs, cash and guns from the proceeds of crime pleases me immensely. It’s a big part of what I joined this job to do. Neo is such a clever dog who has been a credit to Sussex Police and I believe he warranted a whole blog of his very own. I know we are not done yet Neo but I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such a top police dog and pal. Your replacement has some seriously big pads and nose to fill! Bless you mate :) #followthenose
PD Neo in Training today. Located and indicates on a firearm secreted. Good Boy :)
PD Abbi enjoying yet more snow :)