From puppies to police dogs - a trainer's diary (Week four)
Date published: 11 June 2010
Puppies - week 4
Following last week's third entry of ‘From puppies to police dogs - a trainer's diary’, here is the fourth instalment.
Two major changes this week :
- The puppies are becoming more aware of humans
- They can explore and find their way back to sleep sites
The puppies are growing and putting on weight at quite a rate now. They eat three times a day with two meat meals and one dried (but soaked) puppy meal. They eat all their meals readily and respond to us calling them when we are about to put the food down.
Peter is addicted to eBay but it has to be said he does find some great bargains. Just recently he bought a mincer and boy is everything being minced! The pups have a menu of beef, lamb, tripe and chicken. The meat of the day is mixed with brown rice, vegetables and fish oil. It is far more nutritious than the dried puppy food but we include puppy food as most of them will be fed a dried food diet when they leave us. They eat the dried food because they are hungry but no doubt their preference is for proper natural food. Unfortunately budgets and having somewhere to store fresh meat makes it impractical to use on a large scale for organisations such as the police but we like to think the pups have had a good start.
The puppies have had quite a few visitors this week with people arriving daily to view their progress. However the most exciting time was when Dave and his family travelled all the way from Essex to stay for two days. It was a great time to visit as the puppies had just started to get used to going outside for feed times and they were also approaching people for attention.
Xena was delighted to see her family – so much so we had to keep her on her lead so that she didn’t bowl them over! We all went for a walk and Xena soon calmed down she then led everyone back to the house to show off her puppies.
The following day we fed the puppies outside and watched them play in the sun. I had saved a large cardboard box which made an ideal Wendy house.
The puppies love human company and readily sort out social contact.
When Bethany and Oliver sat in the shade it wasn’t long before they were swamped with puppies wanting a cuddle.
It was quite a wrench for the family to say goodbye to Xena and her puppies and travel all the way back home to Essex but with loads of video footage and photographs they can at least share the puppy experience albeit at a distance. In two weeks time Dave will be back to pick up Xena and take her home. We will continue the puppies’ education for a further 2 weeks before they are tested by the police and placed in their new homes.