It’s been a long time since the first post about our new foster dog. A lot of things that were up in the air have now been ironed out so to speak. We know the breed we’re getting, the delivery date and have even chosen a name according to the police naming convention. We’ve even met mum and the full litter of puppies that were born, what was once something distant is now almost upon us.
Beautiful German Shepherd / Belgian Malinois Puppies
Although UK Police by enlarge still rely on the German Shepherd Alsation for service duties they have also started to introduce and interbreed the similar Belgian Malinois breed. The mum of our pup Queenie is a German Shepherd but dad is a Belgian Malinois. There are lots of similarities in terms of personality but crucially the Malinois has less potential major health issues. They generally have larger litters of pups too so this is a win win for a dog that is ultimately being used as a working dog. To get to the point our new foster pup will be a German Shepherd/Malinois cross. For those that would like to know more about the similarities and differences between the breeds the Pet Breeds website has a great resource. Our pup would basically get the best of both worlds.
Visiting Niagra Police Dog Training School
Part of the puppy fostering process is to get to know your pup prior to taking it home. Also the whole foster care scheme as such is run with the help of lots of volunteers that look after the litters in 3 lots of 4 hour slots on a daily basis. Fitting in a 4 hour slot during the day what with work and schooling is difficult but we’ve tried to chip in with some time here and there. This was also a reality check for what would soon be the norm for our family. Duties basically involve giving mum some attention as well as the pups and keeping their kennel space clean and tidy.
During the first visits it wasn’t possible for our 3 girls to handle the dogs until they were at least 4 weeks old. This was to prevent any kind of infection from passing to the pups during this early period. The kids had to watch what was happening via a security camera, very frustrating especially for Hannah who was the main champion of this entire thing for our family.
4 weeks have quickly passed and all uf us were allowed to meet Queenie the mum and handle the tiny cute pups. The mum is such the most handsome and gentle German Shepherd you’ve ever seen. Unbelievably playful with a little bit of mischief thrown in for good measure. We were all trying to throw a rubber bone for her but half the time she pinched it when you got too close. Saying that my 6 year old daughter seemed to get the seal of approval and Queenie was letting her pick it up no problem. This dog had a great temperament. Queenie had been responsible for 3 litters of pups for South Yorkshire Police and she would soon be going back to her permanent ‘member of the public’ home.
A lot of the time during visits the pups were busy sleeping and growing. The rule was while they were sleeping they were left alone to get on with it. Still there’s nothing quite as cute as watching a litter of 8 puppies sprawled out and intertwined with eachother making all manner of cute noises. A paw here a little nip there a constant process of waking up, moving slightly then drifting off again. We were constantly waiting for one or two of them to wake up and play and when they did they didn’t dissapoint, scamping around and interacting with each other.
They still have to be handled with surgical gloves on until they’re a little older. Even at a few weeks old these were some chunky little pups with paws and claws to match. Little sharp baby teeth being used to feel everything. They all have different colour collars to identify them and despite having a favourite all the pups are gorgeous, playful and inquisitive. The smell of them reminds me of when our black labrador gave birth to 3 or 4 litters whilst I was growing up. The delight in my 3 girls faces was plain to see.
A Name Begining With ‘Q’
You may recall that this litter of pups had to be given names begining with ‘Q’. Not the easiest of letters to choose from by any means. After much debate we needed to let the force know what name we were going with. This name would then be allocated to a pup. We were told ours would be a boy dog so that helped to narrow things down. We had a short list of Quiz, Quin and Qwerty. Knowing that short names were preffered and based on a majority vote we decided on Quin, or the mighty Quin as the song goes.
At 5 weeks old while visiting the pups there was no real indication of which would become ours. Only the sex narrowed down our potential pup to 4. They’re all as cute as can be but our girls clearly had their favourites, particularly the dark one with the orange collar. We would see but I can’t imagine there being any dissapointment come the time to take pup home. Afterall this is as much as I’ve seen our teenage daughter smile in while.
Count Down To Taking Home Our Puppy
As I’m sure many of you will know teenagers are glued to their mobile phones. Anything that gets them away from a screen and out in the frsh air is a good thing. Still we had to laugh at Hannah who’d put a count down timer on her phone for the day we would be picking up the pup. We’ve had regular updates, sometime on an hourly basis…We will be picking up a dog crate, toys and the pup on November the 4th at 11.00am, at the time of writing, I’m told, this is 16 days, 16 hours and 25mins and 4 seconds…you get the idea.
Furthermore Hannah also advised that she would be training the puppy to be as daft as possible. The theory being that the Police wouldn’t then want it and we could then keep it forever. Nice idea but I suspect there will be tears ahead come the time we have to give the puppy back. For now we all look foward to November 4th and picking up our little bundle of puppy joy.