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Utah Deputies to Train in Canine Interactions

October 14, 2014  | 

Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder hopes training will prevent shootings of dogs in his jurisdiction. Pictured is Geist, 110-pound Weimaraner that was killed in June during the search for a missing child.
Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder hopes training will prevent shootings of dogs in his jurisdiction. Pictured is Geist, 110-pound Weimaraner that was killed in June during the search for a missing child.

Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder said all officers under his command will be required to undergo new training designed to help them minimize fatal confrontations with dogs.

Winder made the announcement Sunday at a joint press conference with the Utah Humane Society, which called the added layer of schooling a step in the right direction in light of the outcry over the June killing of a man's 110-pound Weimaraner in Salt Lake City, the Deseret News reports.

Stressing that the new training is not an indictment of any officer's actions, Winder nevertheless said "unfortunate" incidents prompted him to act.

"I have been fortunate enough to be a trainer and K9 handler for a large part of my adult life, specifically in my law enforcement career, and what it has taught me is that often times dogs can be misunderstood and misrepresented," he said. "I think this has been evidenced in some unfortunate interactions related to canines and law enforcement in recent past."

Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

maddog1962 @ 10/15/2014 6:13 AM

It's about time. I've been a K-9 handler most of my adult life also, and dogs are often times misunderstood. Many officers have a fear of dogs and don't know how to act around them. Body language around dogs speaks volumes to them and they react instinctively. Training on how to act around a dog will not only save dogs lives, but will keep officers from being attacked.

Bo2234 @ 10/15/2014 3:26 PM

My grandparents had dogs. My parents had dogs. I knew them before I could say the word. When I moved in to my first place, I had my first dog within a week. I had dogs at work for 8 years. I know them.

The problem lies with those that don't. I don't fault them. It's a life-style choice. But you can't give a seminar and (maybe) sporadic re-training and expect someone unfamiliar withs dogs to be able to read them and act the right way every time as compared to those of us who have spent a lifetime with them.

Put someone in a classroom for an hour. Give them a refresher every two years. But they have NO hands-on experience. Now put them behind the wheel of a car...same result. They can't do it. But it makes the command staff and those on the outside think they have accomplished something.

132&Bush @ 10/17/2014 10:20 PM

Try to find the video of the owner questioning the sgt. why his dog was shot on his property. The officer was searching the area for a child (who actually never left the house) enter the backyard, the dog growled at him so he shot it.

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