Capricornia Dog Squad’s Jabba turned five on Saturday, June 11.
Capricornia Dog Squad’s Jabba turned five on Saturday, June 11. Contributed

The force is strong in five-year-old Jabba

EVERY dog has his day, and for Capricornia District Dog Squad's Jabba, his came on Saturday - June 11 marking the German Shepherd sable's fifth birthday.

Jabba has dedicated three years of his life to the force, busting some of the biggest jobs in the district alongside his partner-in-crime prevention Senior Constable Peter Moore.

From the outset, SnrConst Moore knew he wanted to land a job on one of the most admired and enviable roles in the QPS, and dedicated his formative years on the force proving his passion, before joining Capricorn Dog Squad in 2012.

While previous years have seen Jabba don birthday badges and party hats, the celebration was more low-key this year, with a couple of tasty T-bones and a day on the job.

Officially Police Dog 312 - Jabba was in good stead fresh out the Academy as one of the first dogs sworn in by current Police Commissioner Ian Stuart.

PARTNERS: Senior Constable Peter Moore with PD Jabba.
PARTNERS: Senior Constable Peter Moore with PD Jabba.

Every day since, he has offered operational support to police officers on jobs ranging from domestic violence, armed offenders, property offenders, hostage situations and missing persons.

Snr Const Moore explained his dog was more than just a partner or a pet - with him came a lifestyle he would give up for nothing.

"I absolutely love my job, I will never leave," he said.

"But really, it's not a job, it's a lifestyle - we are together 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"That is one of the biggest things... a lot of people think you just pick your dog up at the start of the shift, and say goodbye when you leave, but that's not the case."

Before landing his dream job, Snr Constable Moore fostered, then adopted, two other working dogs, Dutch - who has supplied 24 puppies for the service - and Eve.

With three to five more years left of Jabba's working life, Snr Const Moore said while there may be tears come Jabba's retirement, he wouldn't go far - remaining with the pack at home.

Snr Const Moore explained German Shepherds were the "whole package" for police work, used for their superior senses, particularly smell and hearing, and agility, temperament and size. 

He said he was attuned to and relied on Jabba's natural instincts to warn him of any potential dangers, placing his life in his paws every job.

"The jobs you go to I rely on him as much as he relies on me to protect me, so there's an unbreakable bond," he said.

"All the time it's just he and I, we could be doing anything, looking for armed offenders that have taken off on foot, we could be within a residence searching for an armed or violent offender.

"So I am using the dog's natural instincts and watching his reactions... with Jabba if someone is close his hackles will go up, his tail, head and ears will go up. He will be saying to me, 'Dad, someone is close'."

Jabba has come a long way since starting life at Kovacs Kennel's in Melbourne, Victoria where his fellow police dog and an upcoming addition to the team have also come from.

With another officer and dedicated drug detection dog are to join Snr Const Moore and District Dog Squad officer-in-charge Tony Chiverall in August, they will soon be able to offer an even greater service to the Rockhampton and wider community.