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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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civilian vs police dog

The other topic about PPDs got me thinking of this.
Why is it that a Police Dog is considered "less than lethal" but a PPD is generally considered to be "deadly force"

my first thought is that a police dog is trained to detain a subject. even if they attack and "take down" a fleeing individual, the main purpose is to detain until the officer makes an arrest.

a PPD, on the other hand, is often used in an offensive manner, as an attack dog. is it public perception?
if your dog's primary training was merely "bark and hold" would you be viewed differently?

any thoughts?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 12:20 PM
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Re: civilian vs police dog

not really related but I serve a lot of police officers at work. Their GSDS bark at anybody and everybody, even at some of the other officers.
I don't think that the officers (around here anyways) socialize their dogs for whatever reason. I always thought that the dogs had to be given a command by the officer to attack or takedown, not just go for it anyways.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: civilian vs police dog

Kaity,

Ive seen a lot of that as well, esp in small police depts. the dogs aren't given any follow-up training a lot of the time. also, sometimes they get dogs from shadier trainers because the dogs are cheaper. not to mention, that without a dedicated officer who wants the dog for the right reasons, you get people who believe that a vicious or mean dog = good for protection.

Shady, now retired, was assigned to a friend of ours. He went above and beyond, spending his own money to further her training and to keep her well socialized. He was often actually criticized by higher-ups, which is why he had to spend his own money. they viewed it as a waste.

Local small town in WV, the Chief wanted a "drug dog" The facility he got it from specialized in PPDs and "police dogs" the dog they got was CRAZY. he lunge out the window of the cruiser if someone walks by. Walking down the street, it's all that the Chief can do to keep him from charging down everyone he sees. He's actually pulled the guy to the ground going after school kids and old ladies. plus, they have no plans on doing any follow-up training. and the Chief actually loves that the dog wants to eat everyone who comes by. He thinks that it's a sign that the dog will be good at "taking out" bad guys.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 12:31 PM
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Re: civilian vs police dog

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Originally Posted By: DainerraWhy is it that a Police Dog is considered "less than lethal" but a PPD is generally considered to be "deadly force"
My thought - I don't think the dog has anything to do with the above judgment. It is the handler or the owner - the education, the qualification, and the formal authority that comes with the job.

Cops are better qualified in making the decisions on the use of the Protection Dogs and also they have a higher authority in making that decision.
Also, the state has offered the dog as the tool in protecting the society as opposed to an individual taking the initiative in possessing the protection dog tool without any clear definition of the needs.
Lastly, the use of dogs by cops many times is neutral to the situation. In other words, cops get involved as an independent party in resolving the conflict - it doesn't matter who the bad guy is. However, the individual is a direct participant in the conflict and is not likely to make an unbiased decision in the use of the protection capability. JMO.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 12:32 PM
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Re: civilian vs police dog

I thought a police dog would be better trained socially too, but when we went to an event that had a police dog demo, the whole time that dog was in the back of the cop car all it did was bark at everyone that walked by. But, like people who commit murder, you always hear others say, "He was so quiet, kept to himself". The quiet one's are always more lethal. Maybe it's just that people don't realize that an ordinary citizen can have control over a dog, but the cops, well, there dog is a cop too!

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: civilian vs police dog

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Originally Posted By: gagrady
My thought - I don't think the dog has anything to do with the above judgment. It is the handler or the owner - the education, the qualification, and the formal authority that comes with the job.

Cops are better qualified in making the decisions on the use of the Protection Dogs and also they have a higher authority in making that decision.
.
I don't think that really covers it. It's the exact same tool. either it's a deadly weapon or it's not.
also, as in my other post, the amount of training might actually be less than your average person you would find in PetCo...
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 02:21 PM
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Re: civilian vs police dog

There are many reasons a trained police dog is not considered deadly force. Without boring you with a lot of legal gobblygook, let's look at deadly force. Deadly force is: "An amount of force that is likely to cause either serious bodily injury or death to another person."

A PSD's primary duty is one of detection. Whether it's searching an open area, performing track or doing a building search, the dog's primary function is detection. The dog is also used to located evidence such as discarded weapons or other evidence that is discarded by a fleeing subject.

Another duty of the dog is to apprehend under certain conditions. the use of the dog however is not likely to cause serious bodily injury or death. Sure, if a subject is bitten, it will hurt, and there will be injuries. The more the suspect fights the dog, the possibility of the injuries becoming more severe increases. However, the dog generally does not cause life threatening injuries. In all the years police canines have been used in the U.S. there is only one (1) case where the dog was considered the proximate cause of death. So by applying the basic definition; "An amount of force that is likely to cause either serious bodily injury or death to another person." The Police Service Dog is NOT considered deadly force. There are several court decisions make that statement.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: civilian vs police dog

DFrost, that is my point of thought, though. a dog isn't likely to kill someone, even one trained in protection. so, to me, a dog is "less than lethal" and it follows logically that a police dog is a "less than lethal" means of apprehending a suspect.

but, if John Q Public sends there dog after someone, the legal precedent is there to qualify the dog as a deadly weapon. this also applies if they own a dog that is trained for protection and the dog bites someone.

why the double standard?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 03:34 PM
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Re: civilian vs police dog

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Originally Posted By: Dainerra
why the double standard?
I guess only the court can answer that question. I can't recall anyone ever being charged with a "deadly weapon" charge because of a dog. That certainly doesn't mean it hasn't happened, I'm just not aware of it. We have aggravated assault, meaning a person used a weapon. That is certainly a charge I've seen.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 05:30 PM
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Re: civilian vs police dog

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Originally Posted By: Bama4usI thought a police dog would be better trained socially too, but when we went to an event that had a police dog demo, the whole time that dog was in the back of the cop car all it did was bark at everyone that walked by. But, like people who commit murder, you always hear others say, "He was so quiet, kept to himself". The quiet one's are always more lethal. Maybe it's just that people don't realize that an ordinary citizen can have control over a dog, but the cops, well, there dog is a cop too!

I agree! Every police dog I have seen was NOT AT ALL friendly.
I would NOT pet the dog even if the cop said it was ok.
The dogs Ive seen on that animal planet show though, were TOTALLY AWESOME! They brought them to local hospitals where the children could pet the dogs.
They seemed very very well socialized.
I guess it depends on who is in charge of the training...?

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