Jenna Mayo

Dog handler and trainer | Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC)

What I do

I’m a dog handler and trainer with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC). I’ve spent the last few years travelling to places like Afghanistan helping to search vehicles for arms and explosives as well as America and Lebanon. I’ve found myself in Camp Bastion, Lashkar Gah and Sangin as well as on the other side of the Atlantic learning how to handle role-specific search dogs which were being used in war zones. I currently train RAVC soldiers to be Class 3 Military working dog handlers. I train the students how to handle and care for a patrol dog safely wherever they may be deployed. In between courses, I help care for and maintain our fleet of course dogs.

How I got here

Joining the Army was not something I had always wanted to do or even thought about. My original career plan after finishing at Hartpury University was to join Gloucestershire Police with the intention of eventually getting into dog handling. I was unsuccessful during the application process and so researched other jobs with dogs. It was then that I looked into the prospect of working for the British Army. After joining, as every soldier must, I completed 14 weeks of a basic training before beginning my education as a dog handler.

How Hartpury University helped me

The facilities and standard of teaching was extremely good at Hartpury University and my training there confirmed my love for animals and helped me to pursue a career in this field. Becoming a military working dog handler is an extremely popular job choice within the army and so the RAVC have a separate interview to join. I have no doubt the qualifications and skills I gained from Hartpury University doing both my National Diploma in Animal Care and my Foundation degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare helped me to get the job offer as a dog handler and a place within the RAVC.