1. HITS – SAN FRANCISCO
In Sept 2017, two members from the NZ Police Dog Section attended the International Handler Instruction & Training Seminar (HITS), in San Francisco.
HITS is America’s premier Police Dog training conference held annually. It is America’s largest police dog event both in terms of numbers attending with 1000 plus handlers and trainers but also equipment supply with over 100 vendors.
Our dog section members attended 12 seminars covering a range of topics. The main focus from the NZ perspective was use of muzzles in police dog training. Tuition from instructors from American and Israeli backgrounds gave a new and unique perspective on muzzle training. Classes covering police dog tactics in dealing with America’s environment of serious crime provided some eye opening moments including a heartfelt incident debrief from a South Carolina handler who lost a leg and K9 partner during an incident.
The trip opened up networks with police personal across America and also provided a very valuable insight into training of police dogs and handlers from an international perspective. It allowed the NZ Police Dog Section to see how it sits with what’s happening in other parts of the world.
This valuable trip was possible due to funding from the NZ Police Dog Charitable Trust.
2. AUSTRALASIAN DOG TRIALS
Trials are about competing against the Australians states but also bench marking our standards with Australia. It was pleasing to see NZ doing very well in both Patrol and Detector dog training taking out 1st and 2nd place and team trophy for Patrol Dog. Detector dogs was very close with final result coming down to the last search and NZ placing 3rd.
This important event would not have been possible without the support and funding from PDT.
3. DOG ENRICHMENT STRUCTURE
Trust funds have been used for this latest great addition to the Dog Training Centre.
This structure has allowed for a much more enriching environment for our dogs to be in and is already being well utilised by the dogs who have been having great fun using it. As well as a superb playground for the dogs it also serves as a shelter during winter and summer.
Staff at the DTC are delighted with the new structure and extremely grateful to the Police Dog trust for funding this worthwhile project.
4. CASHA & DJUNA
The NZ Police Dog Trust provides funding support to the Police Dog Programme for the acquisition of dogs and the improvement of genetic bloodlines. It is essential to maintain diversity in any large working dog population and the right type of dog is needed for the specific job role of a Police Dog. This means accessing quality stock from proven Police, Military and Working Dog breeders internationally. Casha and Dunja were purchased from the Tiekerhook kennels in the Netherlands to improve NZ police dog bloodlines. Casha and Dunja were both pregnant when they arrived in New Zealand in February 2015 and have since produced further litters of puppies
Casha – Casha V. Tiekerhook
Dam: Tess V. Tiekerhook and Sire: Black Jack Von Der Teufelskehle
Casha was pregnant to Brisco Vom Patriot and gave birth to seven puppies on 10.04.2015 (four males and three females). All were sables except for one jet black male puppy. In New Zealand she was mated to Trentham Gus and gave birth to three puppies on 07.10.2015 (two males and one female). All were sables except for one jet black female. As at March 2016, Casha has contributed 10 puppies to be trained as police dogs. Casha enjoys water and the company of people and other dogs.
DUNJA – Dunja V. Tiekerhook
Dam: Tess V. Tiekerhook and Sire: Pike Del Lupo
Dunja was pregnant to Brisco Vom Patriot when she arrived in NZ and gave birth early to six puppies on 24.03.14 (three males and three females). All were sable coated except for one jet black female. She was mated to Trentham Isaac and had 6 Puppies on 24.10.14 – exactly 7 months after her first litter. This litter was also made up of three males and three females. All were sable except for one jet black male. As at March 2016 Dunja has contributed 12 puppies to be trained. Dunja spent some time as a pup in Czech Republic where she lost a toe in a kennel accident. This has not slowed her down and she still enjoys doing everything at full speed. She enjoys the water and on one occasion got into a pond and refused to come out until DTC staff went in and got her out.
5. IWDBA CONFERENCE
Attendance at the International Working Dog Breeding Association (IWDBA) Conferences (held every two years) is a key way to foster international cooperation. It is provides an opportunity to establish contact with a variety of professionals with expertise in dog reproduction and development and is an ideal chance to network within the international working dog community.
Attendance at the IWDBA Conference has provided the following benefits:
- The conference focuses genetic improvement, artificial insemination and techniques for maximising mating success and litter size, general canine reproduction and health care. Other topics include working dog health: ways to measure and improve dog health, along with prevention strategies and optimum treatment options. The importance of nutrition and fitness is highlighted with a number of studies and presentations provided on these topics. The development of an International working dog database has also been discussed. This is critical for sharing genetic knowledge worldwide.
- The conference provides an ideal opportunity to network and to develop professional relationships with international working dog organisations. Cooperation has been established with a number of Police organisations in Europe, North America and Australia, enabling opportunities to import breeding stock and frozen semen to NZ. This has provided diversity and dog quality improvements for our own genetic pool, essential to the long term viability of any working dog breeding programme.
- As a result of connections made during the last conference, NZ Police were able to host a Working Dog Behaviour and Development Seminar, run by Dr Esther Schalke and Mr Hans Ebbers – both internationally recognised professionals in the areas of dog behaviour and operational Police Dog work. The seminar highlighted important advancements in the development and training of working dogs and has resulted in the evaluation of current practice to reflect those advancements and knowledge.
6. POLICE DOG SECTION SUPPORT
The Trust furthers the training of handlers and dogs but also looks for opportunities to support the police dog section where appropriate. To this end a grant was approved to purchase and distribute copies of the book “Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement” to all dog sections as an additional resource for handlers.
From 2006-2010 the trust funded a number of police dog handlers to visit police dog sections in Canada, USA and Australia to benchmark their own practice and look at development opportunities. This ensures we maintain our high standards of training and dog management. Developing cooperative international relationships enables NZ Police share breeding stock with other international groups and to keep up to date with best practice in breeding, pup development and health care. The trust supports the development of these relationships by funding overseas travel.
Constable J Owen (Rotorua) – Canada: Tracking
Sgt B Marley (Wellington) – New South Wales: Handler Selection
Constable M Robinson (Rotorua) – Queensland: Dog Operations
S/C A Campbell (Wellington) – USA: Detector Dog Training
S/C G Knight (Hawkes Bay) – The Netherlands: Human Scent Identification