Tuesday, 03. March 2015
28. 07. 14. - 16:00
Mexican cops are being offered special seminars where they learn to talk to dogs in a bid to cut down on the spiralling number of canine attacks in the capital Mexico City.
Trained animal psychiatrists have been enlisted to offer the officers insight into the way a dog’s mind works and - if all else fails - they are also being given self defence tips on putting pets in their place.
The animal psychology lessons include theory and practical elements, with demonstrations on why it is not possible to run faster than a dog when it is chasing you, and how to hand a fine to a person with a dog in their car without being bitten.
Police chiefs view the problem as a serious matter, and the Head of Crime Prevention of the city, Leticia Varela, said the course, named "Canine Communication: Learning a Dog's Language", was aimed at cutting down on the number of officers injured by stray and pet dogs.
She said: "We not only have to deal with dogs during our everyday police activities, but we also have to deal with dogs when they are victims of crime themselves, for example rescuing them from abusive owners or from a situation where they become trapped or lost. With 996,791 reports involving dogs each year, it means that we want our officers to have a basic understanding of how to communicate with dogs."
Every year thousands of police officers are bitten, uniforms ripped and time is lost as a result of dog attacks and the force now wants to cut down on the cost.
Dog trainer Claudia Edwards said: "We have about 20 officers in each class, which last about two hours, and we have dogs with us so that there is a practical element as well. We try to get them to understand the dog's facial expressions and what that means, and what the danger signs are when a dog is saying keep away."
Officers coming into contact with aggressive dogs have got the option of using pepper sprays, but the experts believe avoiding the aggression in the first place is much better for both sides.
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