German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I just read this story and I was totally shocked (I have shared the link below). I would curious to hear everyones thoughts on how something like this could happen. It seems like clearly something was wrong with the handler or the dog, or both as this was the second time the dog had bit the handler.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,922 Posts
Newspaper stories are notorious for getting facts wrong, such as having a photo of the dog which clearly is not a long coat GSD as stated in the article. Also, there are many police K9 handlers who are marginal. But it sounds like the dog probably should not have been selected as a police dog candidate which is not uncommon either.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,980 Posts
This sounds like an inexperienced handler who has let this situation build. In my opinion, his actions are questionable at best.

100% speculation follows.

They have built a predictable routine putting the harness on and then doing bite work. Handler went to put the harness on and dog fires up. He gets frustrated. Handler corrects. Dog redirects or attacks, getting a hand bite.

The handler has several options other than shooting the dog. Taser, OC, flank with a batton or the leash, choke the dog off, make a phone/radio call and wait.

A similar situation happened with me and Fama early on in our relationship. I didn't shoot her. We got through it.

Edited to remove a potentially offensive comment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
What I have observed over the last few years is that departments want dogs with more and more drive, more possession, more, more, more... when you have dogs like this, a lot of times there is also a high level of frustration. Frustration, if you dont know how to handle it, can be dangerous. It dogs overstimulate, they can redirect onto the handler. It sounds like that is what happened.

Then these dogs are handed to brand new handlers that go through a six week academy and then they are let loose onto society.

Its like giving a 16 yo kid that just got the drivers license a formula 1 car and not expect them to crash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,468 Posts
No one else knows what happened. However the dog that crushed my arm was latched on and not letting go.
I took the fight to the ground and knelt across his neck and eventually was able to pry him loose.
I think there were options, but no one can say for sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,728 Posts
The dogs I know that come from Holland tend to be high drive, intense dogs. It does sound like this dog was loading up and loading up expecting to bite someone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
This sounds like an inexperienced, and cowardly, handler who has let this situation build.

100% speculation follows.

They have built a predictable routine putting the harness on and then doing bite work. Handler went to put the harness on and dog fires up. He gets frustrated. Handler corrects. Dog redirects or attacks, getting a hand bite.

The handler has several options other than shooting the dog. Taser, OC, flank with a batton or the leash, choke the dog off, make a phone/radio call and wait.

A similar situation happened with me and Fama early on in our relationship. I didn't shoot her. We got through it.
As you admitted, you’re speculating. It seems like law enforcement is considered an acceptable target for judgements based on speculation. Labeling the officer, who goes and puts his life on the line every day for strangers as a “coward” based on our limited knowledge of the scenario is unjust, to say the least. This was not the first time the dog had attacked him, he tried for a long time to disengage him resulting in extensive injuries to himself, and was not an inexperienced handler. Both hands were injured, the dog was on him. He had to consider the safety of his fellow officers, the public and himself. There was a suspect already in the equation he was also there to address. I’m going to speculate the opposite end of the continuum- handlers usually love and respect their dogs, the situation became intense and the handler had to make a judgement based on an extremely high stress situation with numerous factors at play and now is spending a significant amount of time in guilt and judgement from the outside in a profession where they are already readily demonized. I don’t think any one of us, put in a life or death situation would think it just to be put in judgement by others who were not there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
As you admitted, you’re speculating. It seems like law enforcement is considered an acceptable target for judgements based on speculation. Labeling the officer, who goes and puts his life on the line every day for strangers as a “coward” based on our limited knowledge of the scenario is unjust, to say the least. This was not the first time the dog had attacked him, he tried for a long time to disengage him resulting in extensive injuries to himself, and was not an inexperienced handler. Both hands were injured, the dog was on him. He had to consider the safety of his fellow officers, the public and himself. There was a suspect already in the equation he was also there to address. I’m going to speculate the opposite end of the continuum- handlers usually love and respect their dogs, the situation became intense and the handler had to make a judgement based on an extremely high stress situation with numerous factors at play and now is spending a significant amount of time in guilt and judgement from the outside in a profession where they are already readily demonized. I don’t think any one of us, put in a life or death situation would think it just to be put in judgement by others who were not there.
I do and would recommend everyone take anything the news/media reports with a grain of salt.....or two or three. The media here is a disgrace(topic for another day/place) and I try my best to withhold judgement based on what 'they' say. They almost always have an agenda and a little hint....its rarely being solely focused on informing people with GOOD information/facts.

That said, very sad and unfortunate situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
292 Posts
I have heard from trainers/decoys that a large dog's head/skull area is extraordinarily hard, to the point that you'd more likely break your knuckles than dislodge a determined biter by punching it in the head. If true, that might make sense as dogs evolved as coursing hunters whose heads would be vulnerable to bigger prey hoof strikes.
Punch it in the brisket instead of the head? I don't know. I once struck a Labrador in the ribs with a bike wheel at over 30 mph. Not intentionally, he came out of a ditch and was chasing me and a couple others. When he cut in front of my wheel, it launched me over the bars and broke my collarbone, which is now improved, rust free titanium in part. Best I could tell, as it was not really my main concern, the dog was OK, maybe a little sore in the ribs as he trotted on off. Point being, dogs are tough and when they are revved up, they don't quit easily. Hence, the adjective "dogged." Or the old dated slang verb "to dog," as in Larry Bird told Magic or vice versa, "I'm gonna dog your [keister] all over this court."

Back to subject, I'm a novice at Schutzhund, but have gone 1-2 times a week since March, minus COVID break. Some days, police K9s also show up and do protection training with apprehensions.
I've seen some of these dogs slow to out from a bite, some a little nervy from blank gunshots (honestly, their handlers see it and remark on it; I might have missed it otherwise).
I've definitely seen one or two prance around with the sleeve a good little while before coming back on command. But I have not seen any get over-revved and go at the handler when getting harnessed up for bite work. Granted, it was practice bite work, not the real thing. But even our two non-police K9s get pretty jacked up for it.

I don't know enough, either from the flawed media or just about handler-created issues in general to judge. But assuming the dog had one arm in a hard bite, his options might have been limited?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,839 Posts
I had a dog-aggressive GSD latch onto the hind leg of my male GSD. I kicked her in the ribs and face as hard as I could, and it made absolutely no impression on her. She was wearing a prong, so choking her out with the collar wasn't possible, and she did not react to me jerking on the collar as hard as I could. (She was on leash.) I finally managed to separate them by sitting on her, and trying to choke her out with my hands. She let go, and my own dog reacted by biting me on the forehead, then biting her on the face.

Fortunately, the person who had him on leash was able to pull him away, and we finally got the two of them separtated.

Do NOT underestimate the determination of a dog in drive to keep hold of its target. I heard about a schnauzer breeder who had to immerse two of her females in a tub full of water and try to drown them before they would let go of each other!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,980 Posts
As you admitted, you’re speculating. It seems like law enforcement is considered an acceptable target for judgements based on speculation. Labeling the officer, who goes and puts his life on the line every day for strangers as a “coward” based on our limited knowledge of the scenario is unjust, to say the least. This was not the first time the dog had attacked him, he tried for a long time to disengage him resulting in extensive injuries to himself, and was not an inexperienced handler. Both hands were injured, the dog was on him. He had to consider the safety of his fellow officers, the public and himself. There was a suspect already in the equation he was also there to address. I’m going to speculate the opposite end of the continuum- handlers usually love and respect their dogs, the situation became intense and the handler had to make a judgement based on an extremely high stress situation with numerous factors at play and now is spending a significant amount of time in guilt and judgement from the outside in a profession where they are already readily demonized. I don’t think any one of us, put in a life or death situation would think it just to be put in judgement by others who were not there.
My actions have been judged many times by people with no experience in my job that were not there in life and death situations. That's what happens when you are in that type of job.

I just can't come up with a scenario where killing the dog is the best solution. That's just my opinion. I will remove my original comment and replace it with something less offensive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,468 Posts
As you admitted, you’re speculating. It seems like law enforcement is considered an acceptable target for judgements based on speculation. Labeling the officer, who goes and puts his life on the line every day for strangers as a “coward” based on our limited knowledge of the scenario is unjust, to say the least. This was not the first time the dog had attacked him, he tried for a long time to disengage him resulting in extensive injuries to himself, and was not an inexperienced handler. Both hands were injured, the dog was on him. He had to consider the safety of his fellow officers, the public and himself. There was a suspect already in the equation he was also there to address. I’m going to speculate the opposite end of the continuum- handlers usually love and respect their dogs, the situation became intense and the handler had to make a judgement based on an extremely high stress situation with numerous factors at play and now is spending a significant amount of time in guilt and judgement from the outside in a profession where they are already readily demonized. I don’t think any one of us, put in a life or death situation would think it just to be put in judgement by others who were not there.
I've had my actions judged a thousand times by folks who couldn't stand in my shoes, never mind walk in them. At the end of the day an officer was injured and a dog killed. The 45 seconds that this all occurred in is not a "long time". The department admitted that there were issues right from the start with this dog and this team. The bottom line here is that there were other options. And an officer who holds the lives and safety of the general public in their hands should be held to a higher standard and should be able to think and act clearly in times of chaos.
I'm a nobody and I've had dogs latch on to me, for a lot longer then a few seconds. My right forearm is permanently damaged from a sustained bite, and chewing, that it took a few minutes to disengage. If a biting dog panicked him that badly he was a poor choice for K9. And if the department failed to realize after the first bite that there was an issue then they have no business having a K9 unit. I would love to see their trainers assessment of this team.
I am sorry that an officer was injured and I wish him a speedy recovery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,987 Posts
This bothers me on a few levels, first is that this type of dog is allowed to work the streets. Scary stuff if he attacks his own handler. It's easy to breed for drive and bite, harder for a clear head and an on-off working switch. I hope departments start selecting dogs with the whole dog in mind, not just how impressive they look knocking down the decoy. The second of course is the handling of the dog. Never the dog's fault... always the people who selected, handle and train him.

Who am I to judge? A nobody, just someone who loves a good working dog with a clear head who is safe and social out in public. Those dogs absolutely exist, I have a couple.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,753 Posts
I've been put up against a wall and chewed on by an aggressive dog and I was powerless to stop this dog. Thankfully someone else was present who was able to get it off me, and although it was an emergency room visit, I healed completely except for scars.

That incident was a real eye opener for me, and I no longer have strong judgement or opinions about how anyone reacts or deals with dangerous situations.

Maybe the officer knew how far the dog would take it or maybe not. The dog that got me, it was my first time meeting that dog and it was a sustained attack and I have no idea how far it might have gone had the other person not been able to intervene. I feel like after having been on the receiving end of an attacking dog I just can't judge anybody for how they choose to defend themselves.

EDIT: I realize Sabis Mom also got chewed on pretty bad and has a whole other perspective from mine it seems.

I will say this, though. Who knows if he was truly panicked? I don't think I panicked when the dog got me. I calmly gave instructions to the other person on what to do while the dog was biting me, and I kept from physically doing anything that would make things worse.

After the fact, looking at the gaping hole in my right hand and wondering if I would ever be able to use it again, I had a big revelation about the hierarchy of importance of certain things in my life...

I could imagine that officer thinking of the loss of use of his hands, inability to work, and maybe even valuing his own ability to work over the life of the dog chewing on him. Choosing to shoot the dog rather than sustain further damage. I don't know how bad his bites were. It's a terrible situation, and I'm sorry for the dog and the man.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
997 Posts
I took the fight to the ground and knelt across his neck and eventually was able to pry him loose.
That's how it's done. Choke 'em off. If you can't do it by the neck, get on top and put all your weight on the ribs/lungs until they run out of air and let go.

can't imagine cop shot the dog until AFTER the dog was off...
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top