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Politically correct K9s headbutt instead of biting

by Therese on December 5, 2007

in Dogs

20071205jumpingdog.jpgPeople are going overboard (way overboard!) with political correctness, and now, dogs in Wales are following suit. The UK’s K9 Magazine is reporting that North Wales Police are now training their police dogs to headbutt rather than bite criminals.

Officers say the toothless tactic provides a safer way to tackle uncooperative offenders, and dog squads may soon adopt it across the country. But critics say it is another example of political correctness gone mad – putting the rights and safety of criminals before cutting crime and protecting the public.


‘Instead of biting, the dog is muzzled and launches itself like a missile at the midriff of the target,’ said Deputy Chief Constable of North Wales, Clive Wolfendale.


The scheme was launched after the Association of Chief Police Officers published a paper for dog handlers on human rights. In it, police dog handlers in a position where they are considering setting their dog after a suspect should ask are told to ask themselves: ‘Are there human rights issues involved in what I am about to do?’

But retired dog handler John Barrett, who served for 18 years with the Metropolitan Police, is critical of the new tactic and said: ‘This sounds like political correctness. It is very strange – I think the public would laugh at you with a muzzled dog, and it could be counterproductive if people think the dog has to be muzzled because it is dangerous.’

The move comes after a surge in compensation claims from bite victims – including officers. One of the UK’s biggest police forces, Greater Manchester paid out £59,000 in compensation in five years.

But alleged wrongdoers are warned – the dogs have a powerful butt, especially after a long run-up.

The force’s Dog Section Manager Sergeant Gareth Crow, who pioneered the technique, says the flying Malinois head-charge is the equivalent of a baton blow if the dog has a full run-up. Apparently, the technique has been deemed so successful that muzzled dogs are also being used for crowd control at football games. Sgt Crowe said: “People may think a muzzled dog can’t do anything but they are caught out by the power and speed of the tactic.


Sgt Crow did not say, however, how the dogs would manage to headbutt a suspect in the stomach when they were running away from them and would thus have their backs to the dogs. A headbutt into the suspects’ lumbar region would surely cause greater injury and lead to further compensation claims.

Read more about the headbutting K9s.

I’m sure a headbutt from a Malinous would hurt like a son-of-a-gun. I know how much it hurts when my border collie headbutts me accidentally. But, I think worrying so much about the criminals feelings is going just a bit too far. People do have human rights and should be treated accordingly, but when they’ve already violated someone else’s human rights the police should have a little leeway, within reason. No, I don’t think K9 dogs should be allowed to maul someone but I do believe police dogs should be able to use the resources they have to get the job done.

I could be wrong, though. Maybe police shouldn’t even K9s…or even guns…in their work. It would definitely be much kinder, much gentler, and more considerate to fire a Nerf gun or a super-soaker at the offender. We certainly don’t want to cause any undue stress while they’re being apprehended!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

jan December 5, 2007 at 11:46 pm

Things like this convince me the world is going insane.


Johann December 6, 2007 at 8:15 pm

Don’t ya think that being bitten by a dog would be better than being shot with a gun for evading capture? Hmmmm…..

I do know that headbutting does hurt, Gracie is good at it…but I don’t think it would keep me down if my life was at stake! BOL!

Woofs, Johann


Robert Davis December 8, 2007 at 6:36 pm

This is a stupid idea. As long as the officer isn’t using the K-9 in a wrong manner, the police should stand behind their actions. What next? The police must head butt too? I wonder if handcuffs or other devices used to hold suspects arms will be considered against human rights……. Or what about holding a suspect – maybe we should just ask them nicely to come in and if they show – then great!
What a strange world we live in. And we call ourselves advanced? Now I know why Atlantis destroyed itself (based on myth) – they got to PC and the criminals overtook the city. Must be.



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