A German Shepherd named Turk, who served eight years with the Royal Australian Air Force, will be allowed to retire to civilian life instead of being euthanized. In the past, military dogs in Australia were put down after service because they were deemed to aggressive for civilian life. However, thanks to a new initiative, military dogs will be given the chance to undergo an assessment to determine their suitability for retirement. Turk was the first to successfully pass the test. Read more from ABC News:
Military Working Dog (MWD) Turk is the first animal from Amberley to successfully complete the assessment.
Turk has switched the base for the backyard and now lives with former handler, Corporal Bruce Ross.
"To have him home is extremely important not only for me but for every other handler in the defence force," Corporal Ross said.
"They can see if the dog has the right temperament, then they can be actually brought home."
After eight years of service in the RAAF, Turk’s gentle nature made him a prime candidate for retirement.
However, the highly-trained German Shepherd still had to pass a rigorous assessment process to prove he was suitable for civilian life.
Turk underwent testing on base to see how he reacted to stress, and was assessed both in public to see how he handled attention and at the RSPCA to gauge his interaction with other dogs.
After a distinguished career, Turk has passed his assessment with flying colours and is now enjoying a quiet retirement at his new home in Ipswich.
"He will not be used as anything other than a pet in this backyard," Corporal Ross said.
"He’ll be going for walks, and it’s a normal life for the dog like anyone else has their pet dogs.
"That’s what [Turk] will now have."
It seems Turk has a gentle side that will allow him to live out his life as a civilian. Click here for the full story.