Law Enforcement Dog Encounters Training

Developed in partnership with the National Law Enforcement Center on Animal Abuse (NLECAA) and the National Sheriff’s Association (NSA), this new law enforcement training program is based on canine behavior science paired with advanced officer safety measures.


LEDET includes structured coursework along with VirTra’s immersive, high-quality video training program to teach law enforcement officers how to have safe interactions with domestic dogs in the field. A toolkit discussing this and many other resources can be found below: 

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With recent legal settlements of over $1M for officers wrongfully shooting family pets, this program will enable officers to make compassionate, yet safe, decisions when interacting with pets under stressful circumstances.

As the only canine encounter course endorsed by the NSA and approved by the DOJ, each scenario tests the student officers’ proficiency in recognizing and reacting to specific canine behavior, verbalization skills, sound officer safety tactics and use of force.

Scenario highlights include:


Basics of Behavior

Basics of Behavior demonstrates the 6 canine behaviors that officers are most likely to encounter in the field: offensive aggressive, tense/cautious, defensive aggressive, fearful, predatory aggressive and happy.

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Domestic Violence Response

The officer is dispatched to a loud argument coming from inside a home, where a large or small breed dog can be made to enter the room in a variety of states.

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Public Risk

The officer is dispatched to a public park for a report of a person having a hard time controlling their dog. As the owner struggles to control their barking dog, the officer will have to determine which actions to take.


Unconscious Person

The officer responds to a report of a subject on the ground, possibly due to a medical condition, with a dog blocking access to the downed subject.

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Vehicle Contact (Dog)

The officer receives a call through dispatch of a subject sleeping in a vehicle at a closed rest stop. When the officer makes contact, there is a dog in the vehicle.

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Property Alarm Response

The officer is dispatched to a burglar alarm at a residence where a dog is present, forcing the officer to recognize the characteristics of different types of dog behaviors.

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