Hamer (pronounced “Hammer”) – the one-year-old RCMP puppy who stole hearts with his progress updates – has successfully completed the first component of his puppy training and is forging on to the next phase in New Brunswick.
In December 2015, the public met 10-week-old Hamer and his imprinter, Cst. Richard Bushey (an imprinter is an RCMP police officer trained to raise puppies as potential police service dogs). In March 2016, Nova Scotians watched Hamer grow through an update featuring photos and video highlighting his progress.
“The goal of puppy training is to develop a confident dog who can work in any setting,” says Cpl. Glenn Brown, Cst. Bushey’s imprinting mentor. “Every day for the past eleven months, Hamer and Cst. Bushey have worked to grow skills and characteristics required for a career in the Police Dog Service.”
Over the course of Hamer’s time in Nova Scotia, experts regularly assessed his progress and improvement in confidence, tracking, courage, criminal apprehension and seeking ability (chasing and retrieving). After thorough examination, Hamer was selected to continue training in the hopes of one day becoming a full-fledged police dog.
Now in New Brunswick, Hamer is working with an RCMP dog handler who may become his permanent partner. If the pair meshes well, they will be begin the rigorous training program at the RCMP Police Dog Service Training Centre in Innisfail, Alberta, in 2017. Training usually runs for four to five months, five days per week. In order to become a police dog, recruits must show exceptional strength in tracking, criminal apprehension and narcotic and explosion detecton. Dogs are regularly assessed and can be removed from the program at any time.
“There’s no telling whether Hamer will make it as a police dog as it’s early in his training,” says Cst. Bushey. “But he’s a focused tracker with a good bite and a loyal nature. I’m proud of how far he has come.”
Throughout the week, Nova Scotia RCMP will share photos and videos documenting Hamer’s progress while in Nova Scotia. Follow along at @RCMPNS on Twitter, Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Nova Scotia on Facebook and the hashtag #HamerTime.
Hamer’s move to New Brunswick marks the closing chapter in his public updates. The RCMP wishes to thank everyone for their interest in Hamer’s progress and in the RCMP Police Dog Service. We will miss Hamer but we are proud to see him successfully move on.
Source: Media Release