September 27th, 2016

When forces first Sprockers grow up they want to hound criminals

Updated: 5:08 pm, May 07, 2015

WRIGGLING around on their bellies, not even able to open their eyes yet, but never venturing far from their mother.

These are the earliest moments of West Midlands Police’s first Sprocker litter.

Born just over two weeks ago, the pups can be seen trying to feed from their mum Olympia, as she lovingly licks them clean and makes sure they are warmly snuggled into her when they were just two-days old .

The three boys and three girls are the force’s first Springer-Cocker Spaniel cross breed – known as Sprockers – and are the latest addition to West Midlands Police’s dog breeding programme.

“All the pups are doing really well – they’re healthy and Olympia is a fantastic first-time mum,” said Dave Raymond, breed scheme manager at the dog unit in Balsall Common.

He added: “What we’re trying to achieve in breeding Sprockers is to bring out certain temperaments in each of the breeds.

“Our Springer Spaniels tend to be a little bit gamey, meaning they like to chase birds, but the Cockers can be quite responsive so we’re hoping we can create the ideal search dogs by combining the two.

“We’ve had Sprockers donated to us before and the ones we’ve got work very well and have a great nose on them.”

In around seven weeks’ time, the pups will be looking for homes with puppy walkers who will look after them until they are around a year old.

Puppy walkers are vital to the training school and help orientate the dogs for the next 12 months of their lives – allowing them to experience what it is like living in a home, socialising with people and other animals.

Dave said after their time with the puppy walkers, they’ll go on an eight-week course to develop their search instincts, but for now, it’s important they’re just allowed to be pups and have fun developing in a happy environment, without any fears.

The pups – who are yet to be named – will be the ‘T’ litter and the force is looking for any name suggestions beginning with the letter ‘T’.

The team are also looking for puppy walkers who are aged over 18 and are normally at home during the day to look after the pups.

The puppies are getting ready to join the Police on duties when they grow up. (s)

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