Free Minds & Free Markets

This Simulator Was Built to Stop Cops From Shooting Dogs

As lawsuits pile up against police departments for shooting family pets, a national police group is using a high-tech simulator to teach law officers how to read canine behavior.

For full text and links, read Cops Kill Lots of Dogs. This Simulator Trains Them Not To. Video edited and produced by Meredith Bragg. Camera by Meredith and Austin Bragg.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Subscribe to our podcast at iTunes.

Music: "Cylinder Two" by Chris Zabriskie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • BYODB||

    If you need to train someone not to shoot things, maybe don't let them be cops in the first place. Logic 101.

  • JoeJoetheIdiotCircusBoy||

    While training is good, it won't solve this problem. The drug war means cops barge into people's homes with no warning in the middle of the night. Understandably dogs see this person as an intruder and attack (which for many people is why they get a dog in the first place). Police officers are going to continue to shoot dogs until you revoke the number of reasons at their disposal to make contact with the public in the first place.

  • target||

    "back then it was taught to us to neutralize the dog, dogs were just considered property. And in society today it's changed, dogs are not just property, they are part of the family, and unfortunately our profession hasn't caught up to that"

    Thats the problem. Police trainers were the only ones in the 70's who considered pets as "just property", society today hasn't changed. As a yard stick, biblical quotes point out that, depending on the person, animals have been considered part of the family for over a thousand years. I understand wanting to fix the problem, but let's not pretend any "rational" cops trained in the 70's that ever shot a family pet, could look at the emotion in the eyes of the owner, or at the tears of the children, or hear the cries of concern over their shot dog, and still tell themselves that it was just property.

  • Liberty Lover||

    Seeing the cops shoot dogs for target practice and sport, I doubt if the "Simulator" will help. It is plain cruelty and meanness, just because they know they will get away with it.

  • BlueStarDragon||

    I like the fact their getting the training like this, Most people today do not seem to know how to handle them selves around dogs. However the gangs in our area favorite way to kill a person is to have their dog attack them ( Normally a pit-bull) and then shoot them. So probably no changing cops attitudes here.

  • Jay Dee||

    The decision to shoot or not shoot is of necessity made in the split second. No good police officers gets a call and decides to shoot someone on arriving at the scene.

    The FBI once used short films showing situations where students would shoot or not shoot at the movie screen. From personal experience, such training is invaluable as it taught officers not only when to shoot but more importantly when not to shoot and how to stop before shooting. The old FBI films were grainy black & white films. We laughed at the training but the funny thing is that it worked. We went into a domestic quarrel that probably would have resulted in shooting one of the participants. It was close but three officers all stopped before shooting. Training is what you fall back on when you don't really have time to reason your way through a situation. Police departments s need more of such training.

  • godonybrook||

    Such as really nice post. I have really impressed. Thanx for sharing this post. To connect to your network without entering a password and making an easy and easy way to connect your product office setup.


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online