Dog Training

News and Press Dog Owners Can Prevent Violent Encounters Between Police and Their Pets

There are usually two people involved in lethal encounters between law enforcement officers and pet dogs: the pet owner and the officer.

While the mainstream media and many angry dog owners believe the sole responsibility for these tragedies should fall on the officer who pulled the trigger. Often times, the pet owners made mistakes or were even irresponsible in controlling and training their animals.

Noted author and dog trainer Brian Kilcommons argues that some pet owners are just not taking good care of their dogs.


Huffington Post – Hundreds Of Abused Dogs Have A Second Chance Thanks To This Amazing Chicago Rescue Program


This is Braveheart. Her owner was arrested on felony animal cruelty charges in August 2014.  At the time, Braveheart was covered in bite marks, her muzzle was swollen and her ear had been ripped in half. She was impounded as evidence in the criminal case against her owner.

Not long ago, a Chicago-area dog like Braveheart would have been warehoused until the owner’s case was decided or the owner gave up the dog. But even then, the animal’s future wouldn’t have been bright. “The dogs were in legal limbo, and then routinely euthanized following the disposition of their owners’ cases,” says Cynthia Bathurst, founder of the Safe Humane Chicago group, which works to make life better for dogs in the legal system.

Thanks to the efforts of this group, Braveheart and many others like her are now available for loving homes. (Here’s Braveheart’s adoption listing.)

Since 2010, Safe Humane’s Court Case Dogs program has been seeking more favorable outcomes for dogs who have had the misfortune to be pulled into the legal process. January marks the fifth anniversary of this program.

Bathurst and Safe Humane Chicago board member Keri Burchfield — a sociology professor who studies animal crime — recently spoke with The Huffington Post by email about what has changed for dogs like Braveheart in the last five years, and how these changes benefit not just the dogs, but also the people around them.

To continue reading the full story please click here to go to the Huffington Post

Animal Sheltering Magazine Sept/Oct 2014

Crossing the Thin Blue Line – New training focuses on reducing deadly police-dog encounters

gp4from Animal Sheltering magazine Sep/Oct 2014

Inside Edition May 2014

Police Shooting Dogs Airdate: 04/29/2014

It is estimated that every 98 minutes a dog is shot by law enforcement.  Earlier this week a Texas cop was fired after shooting a pet dog in the head. Incidents like these have many animal lovers outraged, leading some to call these canine-cop confrontations nothing short of puppycide.

Cindy Boling was heartbroken reliving the day a cop showed up and shot her dog, Lily, in her backyard.

Boling of Ft. Worth, Texas, Brittney Moore of Erie, Colorado, Renata Simmons of Liberty Hill, TX and Cheye Calvo, of Berwyn Heights, Maryland, all say cops needlessly gunned down their dogs.

Watch the Segment on This Story

Washington Post – Dogs and Cops

News from the Washtington Post, reporting on Brian’s work with dogs and the police, and publicity for his video promotion

Aggression is the most misunderstood aspect of dog behavior and understanding dog body language and visual cues is essential when approaching a dog. The videos feature dog behavior expert Brian Kilcommons demonstrating real-life scenarios with SWAT and street officers, giving police options and strategies to better understand and deescalate encounters with dogs.

For the full article, please click here:

Close Encounters Between Cops and Canines – FULL VIDEO

Angry barking dog in a steel cageNearly every week there are media reports of police officers shooting dogs while responding to calls, and some of these incidents go viral once captured by a mobile device or an officer’s dashboard camera. These events are polarizing for communities, pitting officers who protect and serve the public and may fear for their own safety against residents who love their dogs and are traumatized by losing a family pet.

Now, thankfully, there is a new resource available to bring communities together and to improve the safety of both dogs and law enforcement personnel.

At a news conference this afternoon at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., representatives of the National Canine Research Council, Safe Humane Chicago, the Chicago Police Department and the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services announced the launch of a new video training series for law enforcement agencies across the country.

Called “Police & Dog Encounters: Tactical Strategies and Effective Tools to Keep Our Communities Safe and Humane,” this resource gives police the necessary tools to keep them protected when they encounter a dog while on duty.

Stacey Coleman, executive director of the National Canine Research Council, which funded the project, said, “Police are the cornerstone of every community across the country, and these brave men and women keep us safe. They are trained and prepared for dangerous and unfamiliar situations. But part of their training was incomplete—until now.”

The videos feature Chicago police officers in situations they routinely encounter on duty and dog behavior expert Brian Kilcommons demonstrating real-life scenarios with SWAT and street officers. The goal is to introduce options and strategies police officers can use to better understand and deescalate encounters with dogs to keep themselves and communities safe.


The videos, are also are broken into five 10-minute segments, and are available online.

Police officers can’t be expected to be dog behaviorists, but giving them a set of tools to more accurately read and assess a dog’s body language—knowing, for example, when a dog is frightened, not aggressive—will help them do their jobs better. This is a great example of a public-private partnership to develop a constructive solution to a problem that has divided communities all across the country. We are grateful to the Justice Department and other agencies and organizations working to lift up the entire field of community policing and animal welfare, and The HSUS and HSLF are working to spread these ideas to the nation’s law enforcement community.


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