Aspiring Police Dog Fired For Being Too Friendly Gets An Even Better Job

Being a police dog is definitely an honorable job, but it requires a lot of training and dedication.

To become a part of the law enforcement team on four legs, puppies have to go through the rigorous training of the police dog academy.

They learn to track and apprehend criminals. In 2016, a six-week-old German Shepherd puppy named Gavel was among the 40 police puppies in training in Queensland, Australia.

With a lineage of “long line of pedigree dogs related to working police dogs,” Gavel seemed destined for a career in crime-fighting.

Everyone had high hopes that he would soon be a key player in the Queensland Dog Squad.

But, as it turned out, Gavel had a different calling. He was more interested in making friends than in patrolling.

His love for cuddles and pats over police work soon became apparent.

Despite not making the cut for the police academy, Gavel didn’t miss out on finding his perfect role.

He stumbled into a job that allowed him to just be himself and live life joyously.

From Police Dog Drop-Out To Vice-Regal Dog

In April 2016, Gavel arrived at the Government House in Queensland with aspirations of becoming a police dog.

He was supposed to spend 12 months in preparation for joining the elite Queensland Police Service Dog Squad.

During this time, Gavel was introduced to basic obedience training and even received a formal uniform adorned with the Queensland Police Service insignia.

However, it soon became evident that Gavel’s interests lay elsewhere.

His preference for affection and treats over law enforcement duties made him a less suitable candidate for police work.

After spending a year at the Government House, the feedback from the police trainers was clear: Gavel “did not display the necessary aptitude for a life on the front line”.

But by then, Gavel had become a beloved member of the Government House family.

Fortunately, the Governor saw his potential in a different role and decided to keep him around with a new title.

In February 2017, Gavel was officially appointed as Queensland’s first Vice-Regal Dog.

He even had the honor of “pawing” his own contract, which is just too cute for words!

As the Vice-Regal Dog, Gavel’s responsibilities included supporting the Governor, the Honorable Paul de Jersey, in various official roles.

He took part in greeting guests, leading tours, and participating in formal ceremonies. His most important duty, of course, was being irresistibly cute.

On special occasions, he wore a custom-made ceremonial coat displaying Queensland’s state emblems with pride.

Over the years, Gavel has outgrown four of these ceremonial coats.

Earlier versions even included the Queensland Police Service insignia, a nod to his initial training.

Gavel has not only captured the hearts of those at the Government House but also taught everyone a valuable lesson: success can come from the most unexpected places. Sometimes, a setback is just a step in the right direction.

Gavel has enjoyed a life of prestige at one of Brisbane’s most notable addresses, donning the emblems of the State he represents with honor.

Not only did he become the state’s beloved Vice-Regal dog, but he also starred in a children’s book that tells the tale of his journey to find his true purpose.

In late October 2021, the Governor of Queensland’s official Instagram account shared that Gavel, after giving 40 dog years of service, retired.

He left behind a legacy of joy and warmth.

Throughout his service, Gavel received abundant love not just from His Excellency and Mrs. de Jersey, but also from his handler and companion, who will continue to care for him in his retirement.

Gavel made a lasting impression on everyone he met, proving that even though he didn’t become a police dog, he excelled in his vice-regal duties.

And if you’re wondering whether Gavel is still living at the Government House estate in Brisbane, the answer is a resounding yes.

He’s enjoying a well-deserved retirement, filled with the love, treats, and pats he’s always adored.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate some of Gavel’s favorite moments from his time working at the Government House:


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