Police Officer Soothes Dog Who Bit Him

Life With Dogs is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.

 

 

 

 

 

When a dog feels threatened and defensively attacks, there is a right way and a wrong way to react.  Officer Randall Frederick was bitten by a dog who believed she was protecting her small human from an intruder, and rather than hastily react by drawing his weapon and firing, he took the time to calm her down.

There are so many sad news stories involving cops acting cowardly and shooting dogs who spook them that we are often overwhelmed.  Little good seems to come from covering these stories, as they seldom serve any other purpose than saddening both our fans and ourselves.

Yes, it’s important to get the word out there so police know that we are paying attention and will not let their crimes go unpunished, but what’s more important is to pay respect to the officers who excel at their jobs and are the standard to which all others should be held.

Positive reinforcement works wonders on all, whether dog, child, or adult.  So that’s also why we are more than thrilled to share news of the good deeds that many officers do, in hopes that others will get the message that it is better for everyone if they conduct themselves admirably and be the kind of police they looked up to as children.

Last week, Geoff Wightman, his mother-in-law, and his four-year-old son were hanging out at home when a neighborhood disturbance forced him to call the police.  He alerted the dispatcher to the fact that his dog is highly protective of the house.  What took place between Jillaroo and Officer Frederick is best explained by the man who saw it with his own eyes:

 

 

8.23.15 - Cop Calms Dog20

 

 

Today, I needed to file a report about a disturbance and the dispatcher who took my report said the patrolman would call before he arrived. We have one dog (an Australian Shepherd) who is very protective of my family.

When the officer arrived and rang the doorbell earlier than I expected, I ran downstairs, but my four year old son was already at the door with our dog. When my son opened the door and started to approach the Officer, the dog immediately put herself between him and the Officer and ended up biting the Officer twice on the leg – not viciously, but still creating bruises and breaking skin. The Officer was slowly backing up and trying to get her to calm down with outstretched hands. Luckily I was there an instant later and separated her.

The Officer then proceeded to take my report about the issue I had originally called about in a very calm and professional manner. I asked him if my dog got him and he said “Yeah a little – I am sorry I should have called first.” (He did not need to call or apologize at all). Protocol necessitated he call in the bite (understandable) so that Animal Control could take a report and do a rabies vaccination check and the standard 10 day in home quarantine – BUT that’s where it ended. The Officer did not strike back against my dog during the incident, did not act disproportionately, he did not file charges or wish her punished, but instead said “She was just doing her job.”

He was absolutely professional and trained and we thank him for it, as we know it could have turned out very differently. I am a grown man, a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, and I am getting emotional over this. We love our sweet dog with all our heart but she is extremely protective, which is a quality in this day and age that is both bad and good with an outcome that always comes down to who is involved.

I tried to look up news stories where police officers had been bitten by dogs to glean some perspective, but all I saw were terrible stories where dogs were being tased and shot by the Police – sometimes with very ambiguous circumstances.

I want everyone to know that in Round Rock, TX we have some pretty darn fine police officers who do a job a lot of the time without much thanks or recognition. This little incident should show you what kind of caliber people we have protecting us and maybe they should get a little credit from time to time for doing things right that nationally seem to be very difficult. I will be shaking all RRPD Officers hands when I see them from now on.

 

8.23.15 - Cop Calms Dog5

 

This is an excerpt from the letter Wightman sent to the Round Rock Police Department.  Officer Frederick received a commendation – a Chief’s CHIP Challenge coin – in recognition of his compassionate and intelligent response to the situation.

The department has a program called BARK (Be Aware of Residential K9s) that trains officers on how to understand dog behavior and body language, and how to respond to an aggressive dog.  Pet owners are encouraged to do their part by registering their dogs with the department so dispatchers can alert officers about what kinds of animals will be present before they arrive.

“We talk about different ways to approach animals, to try to keep them from being aggressive toward officers,” explained Commander Jim Stuart.  “And if they do get aggressive, [we talk about] how to de-escalate that.”

Nearly 1,000 households have registered their dogs, and other jurisdictions have become interested in the program, which also includes stickers for officers to give to people to put on their doors so officers will be aware they may potentially encounter aggressive dogs.  Cmdr. Stuart says Officer Frederick’s behavior is a good example for other police.

“It’s about remaining calm, and thinking a problem through rather than overreacting.”

 

8.23.15 - Cop Calms Dog0

457 thoughts on “Police Officer Soothes Dog Who Bit Him”

  1. Trigger-happy police take note: Dogs often bark at their owners when they come in the door. It’s a natural protective instinct that rarely results in the dog attacking the person. Do none of you have dogs? Please think before killing a member of someone’s family.

    Reply
  2. This person acted totally irresponsible and is a disaster waiting to happen. To the mother, your 4 year-old opens your front door to strangers? REALLY. You called the police and they in your opinion responded early and that’s why you didn’t put your dog away? A dog that you know is protective and should have known would bite? When do the police ever respond early, no matter what time they arrive? If you need to call them to your home, there is no early. I guess in your mind that’s just what dogs do so no big deal if he bites someone. And how would the police and that officer respond if the officer got an infection in his leg that required treatment and caused him to miss work? What if your protective dog bit a squirrel or rat that you didn’t know about and gave the officer rabies? Enjoy being sued? Think it won’t happen? What if the officer did respond by shooting your dog dead in front of your child? Are you ok with your child watching a police officer shoot your dog? What if he pepper sprays your dog? Bet you didn’t consider what it would be like to have your entry way filled with pepper spray. LOL – well enjoy your fantasy land, nothing bad will ever happen attitude while it lasts. Hopefully your child doesn’t get kidnapped because you don’t secure your home. Hopefully your dog doesn’t bite someone who does end up injuring or killing it. I love the comments, everyone is so busy “feeling good” that the officer responded the way he did. What a joke, you did several stupid things and GOT LUCKY this officer responded the way they did. That’s all that happened.

    Reply
  3. I commend the officer and condemn the stupid dog owners. You KNOW you have a biter. You KNEW you were expecting the police to come over.. You did not put the dog in a room behind a closed door? You deserve some sort of a ticket at least. No wonder police get… well… jaded and angry. The treatment they get from even supposedly normal people.

    Reply
  4. I was very pleased to hear about this compassionate police officer’s response and his recognition of the bond between a dog and its human family. I want to sincerely thank-you for responding as you did, and I hope other’s follow your example.

    Reply
  5. i know where my next home is going to be! i have 4 english mastiffs…the most laid back, easy going, non-aggressive creature i know of. until they think i am being threatened. bob save the fool that tries to hurt me. i only wish more police departments were like round rock. t breaks my heart thinking of dogs hurt or killed because of doing their job and the police being so heartless about it

    Reply
  6. Facts:

    No where did the article state that a person or property was in peril. Therefore this should be considered a prime example of a waste of police resources.

    1) “Homeowner alerted the dispatcher to the fact that his dog is highly protective of the house.”

    2) 4 year old child is old enough to be taught NOT TO OPEN THE FRONT DOOR.

    3) Parents called Police and knows how their Dog reacts and STILL REFUSES TO RESTRAIN THE DOG and expect someone to show up at their home..

    4) House isn’t Child Proofed. House needs additional child proof door locks.

    5) Parents need to MTOB and worry more about raising their own wandering kid.

    6) Police can’t cure bad parenting skills.

    The media should cover all aspects of the story, failing to point out the facts stated above.

    Reply

Leave a Comment