Back to socializing…throughout the training I will incorporate numerous bite, no bite situations, just as we do shoot, no shoot scenarios on the range.
1) I will have the decoy (helper) walk up, shake my hand and walk away;
2) I will have the decoy walk up, talk and/or shake hands and then attack;
3) decoy walks/runs up attacking.
In the attack situations, the canine obviously should react by protecting and going for the bite. After calling off the canine, the canine should be on alert but not aggressive. In many of the bite scenarios, I will then shake the hand of the decoy again. It is all part of the socialization. What happens if you’re all alone on an arrest after your partner just took someone down and your back-up is 10 minutes away? You should be able to handcuff the suspect, help him/her to their feet and walk them back to your cruiser. You can watch any number of police TV shows and see a canine officer holding their partner back from biting a suspect that is in handcuffs. In my opinion, these canines need more training. As I mentioned before, it should be like a light switch. You give the command to apprehend (switch on), give the out command (switch off). Yes it takes a lot of training, but we as trainers and handlers owe it to our partner, the police agency and more importantly, to the public.
About the author:
Steve Forgues started his career over 18 years ago in Arizona. Over the years, Forgues has worked contract security, police, corrections and tactical operations. Forgues has been an instructor in various disciplines since 1998, and has been working and training with canines since 2000. Forgues has also been writing for law enforcement since 2005. He is currently working as a police officer and firefighter in Pennsylvania.