Karen B. London
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Suspect Tells Police Dog To Sit
Man ends up in jail
Guess what? Only police officers are supposed to tell police dogs what to do.

When a Gainesville man was pulled over for playing his car stereo excessively loud, his reaction was to act out, yell profanities, and generally disrespect the police officers. When officers brought a drug-sniffing police dog to the scene, the man continued to behave badly. Specifically, he gave commands such as “sit” to the police dog, which is considered interfering with a working police animal and is against the law.

The dog was temporarily distracted from his duties, but resumed his search and found evidence of marijuana in the car. In addition to being in trouble for his behavior towards the police dog, the suspect was charged with disorderly conduct, possession of drug paraphernalia, and refusal to sign the citations related to violating city noise and window tint ordinances.


Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Kathrine Konetz... | February 17 2010 |

Y'know, I never really thought about this before, but it makes perfect sense that you don't want a suspected criminal "barking" orders at the police dog sent to subdue him. My first instinct was to chuckle upon reading this, but as I considered further, I have to ask "who knew this could be an issue?". Kinda smart (or stupid, depending on how you look at it) of the perp to try this tactic, but my guess is that it wouldn't have worked very well anyway. Police dogs are simply amazing.

Submitted by Julia Kamysz Lane | February 25 2010 |

Years ago, I interviewed a K-9 officer and he said that his Belgian Malinois knew all of his commands in German, specifically to thwart a situation such as this!

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