Please find below a Case Study written by one of recent students:

After serving 25 years in the Army I decided that the time was right to hang up the uniform and seek new ventures in civvy street, the only problem was what I was going to do.  After flicking the pages back to front in a resettlement magazine I was still none the wiser; until I spotted a course in detection dog handling.  As a massive dog lover and having spent many occasions working alongside Dog Handlers on Operational tours I knew this was where I wanted to focus my resettlement and potentially my new career.

Having done some research on where to complete my course, I was kindly given the details of a company called WAGTAIL (name very fitting).  So, remembering what I was taught on my resettlement workshops I put together a short email asking for some information and advice about the courses they offer.  Half an hour after the email had been sent my phone rang with a North Wales dialling code; immediately thinking this was someone ringing to tell me that I had been in an accident and was due compensation.  However, this was not the case as it was the Training and Courses coordinator from WAGTAIL ringing to give me the answers to my questions I had sent in an email some 30 minutes ago. Not only did he give me the answers that I was after but being ex RAVC and having also served over 22 years he knew exactly what I was going through.

After spending nearly 45 minutes on the phone to WAGTAIL I was kindly invited down for the day to have a look at the Training School and courses that they run, this was obviously an opportunity I wasn’t going to decline.

So, after a 2-hour trip from the East Midlands I eventually arrived at want I can only describe as home farm from Emmerdale, stunning surroundings where at first, I thought I was in the wrong place, but fortunately this was not the case.  After being introduced to some of the other instructors and staff that work for WAGTAIL I soon realised that I had made the right decision, and this was where I wanted to do my course.  The day was topped off with me being able to handle one of the Drug Detection dogs (although it was more like the other way around) and although my mind was made up of what I wanted to do for my next career, it certainly was after being given that opportunity.

On the 8 January 2018 I started my Explosive Detection Dog (EDD) Handlers Course.  From start to finish I knew I had made the right decision in career paths. The instructors are extremely experienced, with the majority having served in the forces and with a lot of Operational experience between them. All the locations we used to conduct our training were live locations; with the 2 most challenging being a cinema and a pet food warehouse; the cinema more than the warehouse bizarrely enough.  One of the main the things that struck me about WAGTAIL was the fact that no one treated you differently, just because you were a student.  Towards the end of the course you started to feel more like an employee to the company than just someone taking a course.  It definitely says something about the place when the Managing Director of WAGTAIL is taking time out of his day to come and talk to you.

On the 18 February 2018 I was awarded my level 4 EDD handlers qualification and 2 weeks later I find myself conducting searches at a Premier League Football Stadium under the WAGTAIL banner.

In Summary

It took me a while to figure out what I was going to do with my life after leaving the Army but through research and help from those that have been in the same situation I’ve definitely found something that I’m very passionate about.

For more information about Wagtail’s range of detection dog handler courses click here.