Four-month-old Nova Scotia RCMP puppy, Hamer (pronounced ‘Hammer’), has one goal: to become a police dog. He is currently in the force’s puppy program, where he works to develop the foundational skills and characteristics required for a career in the Police Dog Service. At this point in his training, Hamer is focused on building confidence in new environments.
Every day, Hamer and his imprinter, Cst. Richard Bushey, explore new places, from homes to airports, automobiles to office buildings.
‘When a police dog walks into a room, they need to feel like they own it,’ said Cst. Richard Bushey. ‘They need a high level of confidence so that they feel comfortable working in any location.’
Part of feeling comfortable comes from having confidence running on many surfaces. For this reason, Cst. Bushey encourages Hamer to walk on a variety of materials at different heights, from slippery ice to gymnasium bleachers.
Stairs are one of the most important surfaces to conquer, since most buildings have them. Hamer has learned to ascend and descend many types of stairs, including those made of concrete, metal and wood; both open-faced and closed.
After approximately one year in the puppy program, Hamer will be eligible for acceptance into the RCMP police dog training program, where candidates learn technical skills such as tracking, narcotic and explosion detection and criminal apprehension. According to Sgt. Rick Bushey, Division Coordinator for RCMP Police Dog Services (PDS), Hamer is on-track for success.
‘This is one of the most important periods in Hamer’s development, since it is focused on building confidence,’ said Sgt. Bushey. ‘At this point, he appears to be a self-assured pup and is showing promise as a potential police dog.’
Every day this week, we will tweet a link to a new short video of Hamer as he explores a new space. We will continue to post updates on his growth every three to four months. Follow Hamer’s progress on Twitter at @RCMPNS and the hashtag #HamerTime and on Facebook at The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Nova Scotia page.