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Week 2 - Training Continues

January 15th 2016 | PC Richie Vinen

Meg1

Day 5: 

Started the day at Portesbery School, Camberley with a 15 minute progressive search for 4 hides of Heroin, Cocaine and Amphetamine, the search included a number of negative areas. All the dogs were brilliant and found all the hides with only a little help from us.

Later during the day we returned to a Surrey Police HQ and used their training block for further searches. This was classed as a Live venue due to it being used daily and will have many more smells for the dogs to contend with. The new venue and smells didn’t bother any of the dogs what so ever and they all monstered around and located all the hides that had been put out by our top instructor Andy Hayward (who I know will see this blog).

What was realised on Monday night is that the dogs will find the substance if they can reach it, the handler has to help the dog sometimes, be very aware of their body language and interpret it correctly. Not as easy as you think with a dog that moves at a 100 miles an hour, all the time.

Day 6: 

Back to Chertsey Mead School for imprinting of MDMA on the blocks. All the dogs really understand this game now and are imprinting very quickly, this took half the time to imprint the dogs compared to last week.

10 minute search for three hides, MDMA, Cocaine and MDMA. All dogs are working very well and getting stronger by the day.

During the afternoon we took a trip over to Woking Football Club for outside area searches. Two searches were set out, one was over seen by Andy and one which was overseen by PC Di Bristow due to her being a very experienced handler and because at this stage of the course we now believe she is the Spaniel Whisperer.

Again all the dogs worked very hard and knew exactly what they were doing making the job easier for us but also helping us learn very quickly, the hides in the football ground were MDMA/Amphetamine and MDMA/Heroin.

Day 7: 

Our instructor decided to push the dogs on further today as they are well ahead of the curve at this point of the course, so we went back to Portesbery School and conducted a 30 minutes progressive search of the building looking for hides using street seizure quality substances. For example one of the hides was 1g of Cocaine, which only 18% of that 1 gram was pure Cocaine. The other hides were, 15 Ecstasy tablets, 1g Heroin, 2g Crack Cocaine and 3g Amphetamine.

The dogs were outstanding and located all hides successfully which we were all very pleased about. During the afternoon we went to Stonebridge (Surrey Police workshops) to let the dogs play inside of a vehicle. During this session they got to play with a tennis ball inside a Ford Focus then when they appeared comfortable we put them through a Mercedes Sprinter van to search for 1 hide of MDMA. Again all the dogs looked very comfortable and located the hide in the Sprinter with no issues at all.

Day 8: 

Back to Chertsey Mead School to imprint Ketamine using the block method which went very quickly for all the dogs. After the initial imprinting the lady who originally sourced the dogs arrived with 5 other spaniels for Andy to look at and possibly select for an explosives search dog course that is being run soon. This was obviously great fun as we all got to play with 5 lovely little dogs as well as our own.

After a bit of play time we carried out a search for 1g and 3g of Ketamine. No problems for any of the dogs here.

During the afternoon we carried out a 30 minute search for 4 hides along a long corridor and lots of rooms. This was a sharp learning curve as our instructor is now hiding the substances in areas that the dog will get as long as the handler tasks them to these areas. All the dogs did very well and all handlers were very pleased.

It's only week 2 and all the dogs are now imprinted and searching for all the powders; Amphetamine, Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, Heroin, MDMA and Ketamine which is brilliant. They are all responsive, driven and are working hard. Great week 2 and looking forward to the rest of the course.

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