Throughout the years, headlines and lawsuits have revolved around police officers and their subject’s pets, with some even drawing national attention. Unfortunately, many of these stories stem from situations where a pet dies by the officer’s actions while an investigation occurred.
The reason these headlines continue into today is that, oftentimes, officers do not understand the cues a dog is giving and react poorly. If you think about it, this makes sense; it can be difficult to tell if an animal is acting aggressive or simply reacting to the situation without specific, proper training.
To best prepare officers for these kinds of situations, and to protect lives—including the four-legged ones—VirTra partnered with experts at Law Enforcement Dog Encounter Training (LEDET) to produce dog-based training scenarios. These scenarios come with corresponding curriculum, teaching officers how to recognize various dog cues and how to react appropriately.
In regards to this training, Jim Crosby, certified dog behavior training expert, stated, “the partnership between VirTra and LEDET enables, for the first time, officers to learn safe interactions in real time combining real behavior and live signaling with dogs. With these skills learned and practiced in the VirTra immersive environment, allow officers to interact with dogs safely.”
One of these powerful training scenarios can be found below. Here, the officer is responding to a property alarm when he encounters an aggressive dog. Watch as the officer engages with the dog before responding to the animal’s hostile behavior in the video below!