Arlington Officers to Undergo Dog Behavior Training

Training to teach offers non-lethal ways of handling dogs

By Frank Heinz
|  Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012  |  Updated 6:44 PM CDT
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The Arlington Police Department is putting its officers through mandatory training on how to deal with dogs as well as non-lethal ways to deal dogs considered dangerous.

Mola Lenghi, NBC 5 Arlington Reporter

The Arlington Police Department is putting its officers through mandatory training on how to deal with dogs as well as non-lethal ways to deal dogs considered dangerous.

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Arlington police say officers will undergo training to learn how to better understand dog behavior, including how to identify dangerous animals.

In a news release Tuesday, the department said they instituted mandatory training that began over the summer and will soon include additional hands-on courses.

The goal is to teach officers non-lethal options for handling dogs, the department said, based on an understanding of how dogs bark, approach people and other clues.

"Recognizing what is a bark and what is a menacing bark and growl and the behaviors, the body language that goes with that, allows the officer to differentiate between what is an imminent threat and what is not an imminent threat," said Mike Bass with Arlington Code Compliance.

After completing training, officers will know how to use verbal commands, visual and chemical deterrents as well as stun guns.

"In the end, improved officer confidence with appropriate animal-handling reactions will go a long way toward increasing the public confidence in our response to situations that involve dogs," said Cook.

In October, the Fort Worth Police Department implemented similar training for their officers after a police officer shot and killed a family's dog that was not acting aggressive.

NBC 5's Mola Lenghi contributed to this report.

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