Law Enforcement Dog Encounters Training (LEDET) Scenario-Based Program

This canine encounter training is different from all others: this has been developed by law enforcement officers, for law enforcement officers.

Law Enforcement Dog Encounters Training - Canine Encounters Training by Law Enforcement and for Law EnforcementCheck out this Executive Summary of the LEDET Program!

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About Law Enforcement Dog Encounters Training (LEDET)

The purpose of this course is to teach law enforcement officers the basics of canine behavior and body language, threat assessments of encounters involving dogs, alternatives to lethal force, making the decision to use lethal force, and how to deal with the aftereffects of that decision, with an end-goal of being able to instruct other law enforcement officers on those key

Target Audience:
Law enforcement officers and executives at the local, state, and federal levels.

The National Law Enforcement Center on Animal Abuse (NLECAA), its parent organization, the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA), and VirTra, Inc. (Nasdaq: VTSI) today announced the Law Enforcement Dog Encounters Training (LEDET) focused on police training for dog encounters. LEDET is the first of its kind training program and includes structured coursework on engaging and deescalating dog encounters, along with simulation training with VirTra’s immersive, high-definition video training system. Together, the new training protocols help law enforcement officers learn safe interactions with domestic dogs. The LEDET program is a culmination of two years of collaboration between the National Sheriffs’ Association and law enforcement executives, legal consultants, and behavior experts to develop a gold standard for protecting officers, pets, and the public. 

A demonstration of the scenario-based trainings was given by the Harford County (Maryland) Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday June 6.

The LEDET scenario package will be officially rolled out in VirTra’s booth at the 2018 National Sheriffs’ Association Annual Education and Technology Expo, June 15-19 in New Orleans, LA.

Law Enforcement Dog Encounters Training - Canine Encounters Training by Law Enforcement and for Law Enforcement

Additional pilot programs are scheduled to occur in Orange County, Florida, and Oakland County, Michigan.

Focused on Police Training for Dog Encounters

The LEDET program is based on canine behavior science paired with advanced officer safety measures. The combination will enable police officers, sheriffs and other law enforcement officers  to make compassionate, safe decisions when interacting with pets under stressful circumstances. The Law Enforcement Dog Encounters Training course includes interactive scenarios where officers and dogs are placed in common situations. Using VirTra’s branched decision-making technology, these interactions will enable officers to experience conflict and make choices in real-time. The course focuses on the use of less- and non-lethal methods of keeping officers, the public, and pets safe during contact.

This course is NOT to make each law enforcement officer a canine behavior expert. Rather, the intent of this training is to give police officers the knowledge and tools to safely handle dog encounters during their daily duties, and to keep officers, the public, and pets as safe as possible.

[Read the full press release here]



  • The General Patton Act of 2003 (Tennessee) - amends Tennessee Code Annotated § 38-8-116, but subsequent revisions have codified the training requirement in Tenn. Code Ann. § 38-8-117, Training in animal and canine behavior
  • Dog Protection Act (Colorado) - signed into law in May 2013. The Act requires law enforcement officers to receive training on handling dog encounters while on duty [Colo. Rev. Stat. § 29-5-112(4) (2013)]
  • Illinois Compiled Statutes – Illinois Police Training Act (Illinois) - also signed into law in 2013, the bill amended the Illinois Police Training Act to include both animal fighting awareness as well as humane response [50 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 705/10.14 (2013)]
  • Canine Encounter Training Program (Texas) - On May 18, 2015, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott signed House Bill 593 into law.  The law requires at least four hours of classroom and practical training in seven areas related to dog encounters for newly hired law enforcement officers [Tex. Occ. Code § 1701.261(a)(1)-(7) (2015)]
  • Certification and Training: Peace Officers: Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed Senate Bill 147 into law on May 20, 2015, which directs the state law enforcement agencies to determine when a peace officer employed by that agency is required to be trained in effective responses to incidents involving dogs or where dogs are present. The bill outlined four areas of concentration for the training and commanded Nevada's Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to develop minimum standards for such training programs. [Nev. Rev. Stat. § 289.595 (2015)]
  • House Bill 64 (Ohio) - Included in Ohio’s 2015 budget appropriations bill was a requirement that the Ohio Attorney General create rules that govern the training of Ohio peace officers on “companion animal encounters and companion animal behavior.” The requirement is codified in Ohio Revised Code § 109.747: Rules governing training of peace officers on companion animal encounters and companion animal behavior
  • MODEL LEGISLATIONHumane Canine Response Training Act - if a state is interested in enacting similar legislation, the Animal Law Resource Center has created model legislation.

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