Do police dogs bite?

When you are watching a TV show on police dog training, it looks like the police dog is grabbing the leg and almost trying to shake it but they never really show the aftermath of what happens when the police dog is deployed. The truth is, the police dogs do bite and they bite with a ton of force. We have seen cases where legs have been mangled with blood everywhere, stiches being required and permanent scarring as a result.

Police Dog Bite Study

The reason police dogs bite with so much force is because they are trained to latch on to the object and make it so the object will not let go. In one of the most well known police dog studies, the researchers looked at police dog bites versus domestic dog bites. This study was done in Los Angeles looking at reports taken by the LAPD. The results were astounding. Some of the conclusions were:

  • Police dog bites were ones where the victim was bitten a larger amount of times
  • They ended up in the hospital more often and they were bitten in more locations on the body than a domestic dog bite.
  • The police dogs even bit more often in the head and the neck then domestic dog bites.

These results are scary when you consider the fact that some of these people who were detained were never even charged with a crime. Some studies on training have pointed to the idea that with greater training, these dogs would bite less.

How often do police dogs injure humans?

There have been so many police dog bites in history it would be impossible to keep track of. What we do know from our experience is that almost every time a police dog is deployed the human is injured from the bite. Whether it is just minor cuts or scrapes or large lacerations that require surgery, the dog will always leave a mark on the human’s body.

This has become quite an issue for debate and in San Diego in 2017 people watched a dog bite a man in handcuffs, who at that point was not even trying to flee. The general public saw this and was not happy with the procedures deployed. If an officer caused that damage to someone’s body, that would not be acceptable, but for some reason when an animal does it at the officer’s command, some of our police forces think that is ok.

Can you sue over a police dog bite injury?

When a police dog causes injury on another person it is highly likely that they can sue the government. In order to sue the government there is a different process than a regular personal injury lawsuit. You can look at our guide on how to sue the government for more information on exactly how it’s done. The things that will be taken into consideration will be the medical bills, any scarring, and of course what were the surrounding circumstances of the dog being deployed.