From Police Academy Dropout to Thriving Success: Gavel’s Journey to a Fulfilling Life


Becoming a police dog is undoubtedly an honorable role, demanding extensive training and unwavering dedication. Aspiring pups must attend the police dog academy, where they are rigorously trained to tackle hardened criminals and assist in law enforcement.


In 2016, Gavel, then a six-week-old German shepherd, was one of 40 police puppies in training in the Australian state of Queensland.

Coming from a “long line of pedigree dogs associated with working police dogs,” [1] Gavel had a vibrant future. Everyone was sure that as a proud member of the Queensland Dog Squad, he would be able to catch criminals very quickly.

However, things did not go as everyone expected. It turned out that Gavel actually had more affinity for patting than patrolling.

Unfortunately, Gavel failed the police academy, but got a much better job that allowed him to be himself and enjoy life to the fullest.


In April 2016, Gavel arrived at Government House in Queensland as an aspiring police dog. He was to be there for 12 months, preparing to become a member of the Queensland Police Service’s elite dog squad.

Gavel received basic obedience training and was issued a suitable uniform with the Queensland Police Service insignia.

However, something wasn’t quite right.

It turned out that Gavel liked pats on patrol and loved treats.

After a year in State House, the report card from police managers came back indicating that Gavel “ did not show the aptitude necessary for a life on the front line.”

However, Gavel had become a much-loved part of the Government family and, coincidentally, the Governor decided to adopt the mascot and assign him a new job.

In February 2017 an official location was created and Gavel was designated as

Queensland’s first viceregal dog.


He even “tampered” with his personal contract! How adorable!

Gavel’s duties were to assist the Governor, the Honorable Paul of Jersey, in carrying out important constitutional, ceremonial and local duties: greeting friends, going on excursions, attending formal ceremonies and, above all, being incredibly cute.

During special events, Gavel proudly wears his custom-made ceremonial coat featuring Queensland state emblems.

In fact, as Queensland’s official viceregal dog, Gavel outgrew four ceremonial coats. Earlier versions also featured the Queensland Police Service insignia.

This cute boy has not only won the hearts of everyone in Government House, but he has also proven that there are many paths to success.

It is a lesson for all of us because sometimes you need to fail to succeed.

Gavel was not only the first viceregal dog of the State, but also the main star of the illustrated children’s book, which follows his journey to discover his place on earth and his ultimate goal.

In late October 2021, the Governor of Queensland’s official Instagram account announced that after 40 (canine) years of service , Gavel the German Shepherd had formally hung up his coat and retired from service.


During his service, he received a lot of love not only from His Excellency and Mrs. Jersey, but also from his handler and companion, who will continue to care for him when he retires.

Gavel received the hearts of everyone he met and, although he did not transform into a police dog as expected, he has fulfilled his viceregal duties with aplomb.

You have done an admirable job welcoming guests and making them feel comfortable. If you’re wondering if Gavel still lives on the Government House property in Brisbane, I’m happy to say yes.

Enjoy a well-deserved relaxation filled with lots of love, treats and caresses that you love so much.

In the end, enjoy some of Gavel’s favorite moments while working at Government House:

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