Dog Bite | Animal Behavior Expert Witness For Attorneys

Richard H. Polsky, Ph.D. CDBC
Los Angeles, California

“Bringing the science of animal behavior to attorneys”

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Canine handler abusing his K9 partner shown in disturbing video

As a police K9 bite expert, I am knowledgeable of the various training techniques used to attack-train a police K9. I also have become familiar with and have testified about the nature of the interactions K-9 handlers have with her K-9 partners, usually a Belgian malinois.

A shocking example of abuse, captured on video, by K-9 handler towards his canine “partner”.

Videos depicting police K9 attacks are usually beneficial evidence for victims in lawsuits against the police. Often such evidence is sufficient to prove that a K-9 handler used his K-9 partner to abuse a suspect, usually through excessive force.  An excessive force bite by a police K9  often causes severe injury and permanent psychological damage to suspects. And, particularly with an inexperienced or over overzealous handler, these dogs are difficult to control, hence their inherently dangerous nature.

I mentioned this in light of the very disturbing video recently posted online by TMZ showing a handler abusing his K-9.  The incident happened in North Carolina. The video shows  the K-9 jumping out of the open door of the patrol car and then the canine “dropped” (i.e. lay down) about 20 feet from the officer.  What happened next was shocking. The handler approached the dog, and hung the dog with the leash, and then slammed the dog against his patrol car. Also disturbing was what was heard on the video after the incident ended: Someone said “we are good, no witnesses”. [1]According to Greenville North Carolina police dog trainer and certifier, Mike Bullock: “Cops do stupid things. Half of the police dog trainers in the state suck. Properly trained dog should always … Continue reading

View the video here

According to the TMZ report, the handler has been relieved of his duties, at least temporarily. This particular handler obviously lacks knowledge of the fundamentals of animal training as it applies to attack-trained police canines or the most effective methods to “correct” police canines for noncompliance to training exercises. [2]“Hanging” is an old-school dog training technique frequently used in the 60s to punish a dog for its misbehavior. It aims is to make the dog temporarily pass-out. This cruel and barbaric … Continue reading

Also disturbing was the reaction of the police chief who said: “Canine training tactics and corrective measures can sometimes be alarming out of context. SPD cannot and will not comment about whether the training tactics used in the video were appropriate, because that is still being reviewed.”

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Richard Polsky Ph.D is an animal behavior specialist and expert witness located in Los Angeles.  Dr. Polsky welcomes inquiries from attorneys representing clients who have been attacked by police K9s.

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1 According to Greenville North Carolina police dog trainer and certifier, Mike Bullock: “Cops do stupid things. Half of the police dog trainers in the state suck. Properly trained dog should always know who their intended targets are.”  It is significant to note that these remarks come from an individual who likely has first-hand knowledge about the competency of police dog handlers.  Read full story here.
2“Hanging” is an old-school dog training technique frequently used in the 60s to punish a dog for its misbehavior. It aims is to make the dog temporarily pass-out. This cruel and barbaric technique has fortunately been abandoned by dog trainers, however.  On the other hand, police K-9 handlers continue to widely use the controversial method of electric shock, by cattle prod or through a collar.