Jango is back for good 😉
He is a springer spaniel that was donated to Wiltshire police as a puppy and we had the honour of fostering him through his puppyhood until he was was ready to go off for specialist drugs dog training.
We treated him as one of our own but always knew he wasn’t really ours and we were just looking after him and giving him a happy start in life until he went on to be a working police dog.
Jango has two modes – full on hooligan or chilled back floppy dog who loves cuddles. He is bold, bouncy, very friendly and is a very handsome boy. Whats not to love about him.
The police dog sergeants & trainers came to visit him regularly when he was with us and were very pleased with his progress, the only concern was he was car sick as a puppy but that improved as he grew stronger. He showed his strength in carrying dumbbells around the house we used as door stops, his agility in hopping over one of many fences erected to stop him digging and destroying the garden and he loved our girls. He treated Megan as his mother or big sister and Kira as a wrestling partner and playmate.
At 13 months the time came to hand him over to the police and he went off wagging his tail one Thursday morning for a pre-assessment ahead of the 6 week training course. It was a bittersweet moment but I wished him well and told him to be the best police dog he could be.
The short version is that after a week with the police it was decided police work was just not his thing !
At first he was wary of his new surroundings and wouldn’t play ball hide and seek. He went home with the sgt for the weekend and settled in with Police Dog Bear where he relaxed, settled and started to play ball. PD Bear and family fell in love with him, he has that affect on people ! They took him back to the training facility on Monday but if anything he showed even less interest in playing the hide and seek ball/drugs game. His tail was firmly stuck between his legs, he started being car sick again and was generally unhappy.
I got a call on Tuesday evening saying that they had tried everything and given him more than a chance to shine but he just wasn’t interested and couldn’t settle in the training area. Normally dogs are assessed over a day or two, Jango was there nearly a week as they really wanted him to succeed. But he just wasn’t happy in the training surroundings and as he was starting to lose weight from being sick they didn’t want to stress him further, so called it a day and called me to collect him. Jangos police career was finished before it even started.
Why did he not make the grade ? Who knows? its just not for some dogs, I’ve been reassured its nothing we have done with him. They thought he was maybe too smart, a thinker and they need dogs that will react to commands with no questions asked. He may have missed home, but then he settled with team PD Bear & family. Being car sick in the police cars didn’t help his case ! Eight dogs were lined up for the training course but only 4 passed the pre-assessment, standards are high as there is no time to catch up during the 6 weeks intensive course and the dogs have to be 100% committed.
The training course started on 22nd September with four dogs, 3 Springers and a sprocket but no Jango. My aim over the next couple of years it to find a replacement dog to offer the police for training, ideally around 12 months old. I will also be supporting WAGS charity – Wiltshire & Gloucester retired police dogs.
So Jango is back with us for good. from taking him on we were always asked if he failed at any point would we have him back ? and we said yes, never thinking for one moment he wouldn’t make the grade. Its a shame he didn’t make it, just not his thing, but I’m happy to have him back for sure. He bounced back into our home with no ill effects and settled right back into chasing Kira, cuddling up to Megan and giving Mike & I lots of licks, love and thoughts of what to do with him next ? He will have a second chance as a working dog as Mike will try gun dog training with him, otherwise I will try agility and Canni-X as he has boundless energy and enthusiasm. However his main future is a pet and part of our family, forever.