Bailey, a stray Labrador who was described as ‘unruly, untrainable, unsociable, rude and stubborn’ has proven her haters wrong and found a new life as a service dog!
Essex Fire Service dog handler Graham Currie came to the rescue after Dogs Trust in Loughborough called for someone to take Bailey home. In an interview with the BBC, Currie shared that he had been looking for a new dog to train and soon discovered there was something Bailey loved more than food…
When stray labrador Bailey was taken in by @DogsTrust , he appeared to be a lost cause.
But thanks to training from our dog handler Graham Currie, Bailey has excelled at search and rescue activities and nothing fazes him.
— Essex Fire Service (@ECFRS) November 23, 2021
Currie shared: ‘After testing Bailey’s drive for a tennis ball and checking he had no aggression towards other dogs or people, I offered to take him on a six-week trial. The biggest thing was getting him in the van because he associated it with being taken to a compound, but within 24 hours he was taught to associate it with fun.’
Currie added that he was looking for a more traditional ‘seeking’ dog like a spaniel but after working with Bailey, he found a ‘drive’ that could be used in search and rescue. ‘A dog that cost us £185 has turned out to be the most incredible creature,’ Currie remarked.
He also said that Bailey was ‘one of the most natural search dogs’ he had ever met. Bailey will now be on duty as of April 2022, despite the fact that it can take up to three years to conventionally train a search dog. He will form one of the 20 dogs used by Urban Search and Rescue teams in the UK and will be part of the UK International Search and Rescue once he is fully trained.
Bailey’s innate ability to find hidden toys made him perfect for the role of finding and rescuing people trapped or lost in emergency situations. Bailey has also earned himself the nickname of ‘Polar Bear’ because of his size.