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Dog Loses Police Job, Becomes Governor’s Companion

A police dog has been sacked from his job, though it’s for the best reason possible. One-year-old Gavel had been enrolled to be trained as Police service dog, but his temperament was regarded by his employers as being “too friendly” to be in the Force. 

The puppy is said to just love rolling over and having his belly rubbed rather than standing to attention and looking menacing. 

The police dog-in-training failed to make the final cut for Queensland Police Service in Australia because of his overly sociable temperament. 

But luckily for the cheeky canine, he was offered a new role welcoming visitors to Brisbane’s Government House as Governor Paul de Jersey’s official Vice-Regal Dog. And German Shepherd Gavel, who has struck up quite the bond with Governor de Jersey and the many Australians he greets every day, is now a social media star. 

A spokesman for Queensland Government House said: “Gavel arrived at Government House in April last year as a six-week-old puppy. 

“It was intended that he would undergo a training and socialisation programme preparing to become a Queensland Police Service Dog. 

“But like many aspiring QPS dogs, Gavel did not display the necessary aptitude for a life on the front line. “Not all dogs display this, and Gavel proved himself to be quite sociable.” He added: “He is better suited to life as a ceremonial dog and will instead now spend his working days at Fernberg, where he has become a much-loved part of Government House life.” 

Gavel was brought to the prestigious 40-acre Fernberg residence in Paddington, Brisbane as part of the 16-month dog squad training and socialisation programme. 

He was one of 40 budding police hounds sent to foster homes across Queensland but was the only one to not be fostered by a QPS officer. Instead, Gavel was officially presented to His Excellency the Governor of Queensland, the Honourable Paul de Jersey and wife Kaye de Jersey. 

But despite having a prestigious family bloodline which saw him related to five current working QPS dogs, playful Gavel didn’t make the cut and was let go by the Force. 

But when the pooch hung up his Queensland Police Service coat for the last time earlier this year, staff at Government House couldn’t let him go. 

They created a brand new state position – Vice- Regal Dog – especially for Gavel and gave him the official title Gavel VRD. 

Now his official state duties include welcoming the building’s thousands of callers, attending functions and formal ceremonies with the governor and even sitting-in on briefings. 

Gavel wears a specially-made Government House coat emblazoned with the Governor’s Personal Standard and the brolga, the official bird emblem of Queensland. 

And to avoid him being startled by the fanfare trumpet salutes which can frequently be heard in the building, he has been familiarised with Australian Army Band music. 

Gavel even enjoys donning a scarf in the official state colour, maroon, in support of Queensland’s sporting teams. 

Last April, Sergeant Dean Hansen of Brisbane Dog Squad, QPS, said: “Gavel is confident, with no nervous tendencies, and shows a willingness to retrieve, prey drive and ball drive and can be motivated by food for a reward. 

“Police dogs can be taught many skills, but they need to have these basic traits already in their personality.”

Gavel and his admirers

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