Friday, January 15, 2010

Body Language: It's Important

I'm unable to hear the accompanying audio on this clip right now (I will later) but from the video, it's apparent that no one was heeding the dog's or the reporter's body language prior to the bite. Thankfully the handler took immediate control of the situation afterward so no further damage was done. But it would have been nice to see that kind of quick thinking as the situation escalated and before the bite occurred.

13 comments:

EmilyS said...

ugh.. "he was doing all right"??? you mean the laid back ears, narrowed eyes and the lip licking ??? And you allowed the reporter to thump on the dog's head?

moron.

Brent said...

Um, yeah, it was really clear that the reporter had no idea what he was doing around dogs -- and the officer clearly needed to control that situation better.

But yeah, patting the dog on the head like that was CLEARLY making the dog uncomfortable, and then doing the move in closer, leaning over the dog thing was a recipe for something bad to happen. Everything about the dog's behavior showed it was uncomfortable well before the bite occurred.

Heather Houlahan said...

This clip has been around for a while, before being used on this idiotic "When Stupid People Get Bit" teevee show.

The narration and interview with the handler make it clear that they still have no effing idea what happened, why the dog did what he did, or what the dog's intent was.

News flash -- when a young GSD who has been bite-trained as a police canine comes at your face and leaves you with some small nicks from his incisors and one canine, HE WAS NOT SERIOUS.

This dog meant to warn only. He'd been warning for some time before he hit upon something that got through.

It's great video of the wide-mouthed warning bite, as well as all the clear DO NOT WANT signals leading up to it.

Pai said...

Holy crap, at the 35 mark I already saw the signs of what was about to happen. Scary stuff!

jan said...

I'm not sure how much clearer the dog could have signaled his discomfort.

Pibble said...

Could the dog possibly have given more warning signs without setting off a flare? The ears, the tongue flicks, the looking back at his handler for reassurance...

Speaking of the handler, why didn't he take control of the situation proactively and tell the reporter to stop what he was doing and perhaps prevent this from happening? Kind of makes me question his credentials.

Viatecio said...

I'm a bit perturbed that the officer agreed to having the reporter and crew present before he even got to really know the dog. At least that's the general impression I got when he said "He was playful with me, but at that time, I did not know his personality."

I may not own or train K9s yet, but for damn sure, those people have to know how their dog will react to certain situations (as well as know their individual body language!) before they go doing something stupid like that.

KateH said...

Just goes to show that that cop doesn't know how to properly keep and use the tools he has to help him do the best job in protecting the public. Did he really think it would be sensible to let anyone get that close to his dog, and by extension, him? The dog is something he uses to protect himself, yet he was oblivious to how that tool, which has the added ability to think for itself, would perceive a dangerous situation. He needs to get some more training on how his dog thinks and acts, and how it should be deployed in the field. And if he thinks he did such a fine job because *he* prevented something worse from happening, he needs to watch that video for an entire shift to see how he he should have prevented the whole thing in the first place.

smartdogs said...

Dumb and Dumber.

The officer showed what looked to me like really awkward leash handling in the beginning of the video. Then, as others have pointed out - stupidly allowed a dog he didn't know well to get rudely pawed by a clueless idiot.

I also wonder how much of the damage to the reporter's face occurred because the officer pulled the dog off. The general rule of thumb is that when a dog grabs you with his teeth your job is to try to stay cool headed enough to stay still so that your punctures don't turn into lacerations. The handler's job is to make him let go w/o ripping your flesh.

Whipple said...

All I can think is, "Good dog!" He was only doing his job. That reporter was a perceived threat, and he reacted as trained. Good dog!

Poor guy had to be teamed up with an idiot though.

Katie said...

I don't see it as reacting as a trained dog. I see it as reacting as a worried, uncomfortable dog. Nothing that reporter was doing was truly threatening. Clueless, yes, but not threatening.

He's trained to protect his human partner, no? Too bad his human partner couldn't do the same for him.

Pai said...

I hear many K9 handlers actually know very little about dog behavior/body language -- they only know the commands they've been trained to use for their job.

Anonymous said...

I pretty much second all the other remarks - the pup did everything but put up a billboard.

But you gotta love the "he bit with 450 pounds of force" comment.

Do they have a magic "bite-o-meter" that they neglected to show?

He got nothing more than a glancing blow or his face would have been a snack for the nice working dog ;)