Trained Protection Dogs
There is a great need for change following the many incidents of school violence in recent times. Many people have spoken out about the need for stronger security tactics. Research shows that when a teenager is exposed to violence, the exposure can cause an array of mental health issues. Exposure to violence can also increase dangerous behaviors and lower a student’s chance at graduation. In 2011, 7.4% of high school students were threatened or injured by weapons on school grounds (National Center for Education Statistics). The unsafe environment surrounding school violence is a national issue that needs to be addressed. Trained protection dogs may just be the answer everyone has been looking for.
Several schools have incorporated protection dogs into campus security measures. Their supporters consider the school protection canines to be necessary to reduce school violence. There are many benefits to placing protection dogs in schools, even though there are some concerns.
Training School Protection Dogs
Success with canine protection dogs in military and law enforcement agencies has allowed school protection dogs to be supported. It may seem like placing a police dog in a school would be including law enforcement in school security. However, since the campus is a very social environment, training methods are different from police dogs.
The main reason to place canines in schools is to prevent violence. Protection dogs can also be trained to detect any illegal contraband like drugs and weapons. Detecting things such as weapons would create a safer school environment and is an additional preventative measure. It would lower sales of illegal contraband on school grounds as well as possession.
Popular Breeds for School Protection
Since protection dogs are used for violence prevention, the breed of the dog is important. Although dogs are individually trained, each dog breed has varying temperaments and endurance and strength levels. A high energy level, stable temperance, and drive are all qualities found in canines. Therefore, Belgian Malinois and German Shepherds are the most popular canine breeds to train as working dogs. These dogs can be trained to have several useful abilities. Trained protection dogs can detect drugs, detect weapons, serve as a deterrence, and take down an attacker.
Where does the Canine stay?
Handlers for school protection dogs can be community members. These handlers are chosen carefully after being interviewed by the trainer and school. The trainer spends a few weeks with the handler and the dog. This is important to teach the handler how to lead the canine. The dog will normally live with the handler. It is also important that the working dog is not touched by anyone on the school campus, even if it is socialized. Training is also important for anyone around the dog, not just the handler. Everyone around needs to know what to do when the dog is let go, especially since liability is a major concern.
Those in support of implementing protection dogs on school campuses advocate that it will promote safety. This promotion of safety is an appropriate response to lower the issue of gun violence. Training more adaptable dogs can make these programs more cost-efficient. In a school environment, a versatile dog with multiple roles is more beneficial. Cross-training may be a factor that defines the success of placing protection dogs in schools.
The public’s perception of these programs is vital as it can affect the policies in school districts. The media will have an effect on how the public views canines in schools through the portrayal. It is important to create a strategy that considers the media’s ultimate involvement in this initiative.
Where can I learn more?
Although there are many factors at play that need to be considered, implementing protection dogs in schools can be extremely valuable. Israel Protection K9 trains canines specifically to suit the needs of school protection. Get in touch with us today to hear more about school protection dogs!