K9 Team Training: How to Prevent and Deter Active Shooters
Active shooters. It has become an epidemic in the United States, with each story being more horrifying than the last.
Unfortunately, there were over 600 mass shooting incidents in 2022 alone.
With a lot of these incidents happening in public places such as schools, churches, and event venues, it could make people start to doubt their safety and their family's safety in certain public areas.
So, what can be done about this? Well, one solution that is gaining more momentum to deter active shooters is K9 team training.
How can dogs prevent active shooters from conducting mass shootings? What goes into training a dog for this purpose?
This is your guide.
Deterring Active Shooters
Before we can go into the purpose of having protection dogs in a certain area, you need to understand why this is necessary. When it comes to active shooters, these events often happen when it is least expected.
A few places that come to mind are schools, churches, and temples. The reason why this is unexpected is that there is not usually a protocol put in place to look out for lethal weapons entering these facilities.
So, if somebody wanted to bring a machine gun in their bag to one of these locations where there is no security in place, they will not likely be met with much resistance. This makes it very difficult for police to intervene because an active shooter can already do damage and even take hostages by the time the police arrive on the scene.
It is a little bit different in bigger venues such as stadiums, arenas, airports, and amusement parks that have large security staff and metal detectors already put in place. They are more likely to catch someone before a weapon enters those locations.
So, what about venues like schools that do not have the budget for a large security staff like that? What do they do to stop a weapon from entering the building before an active shooter gets the chance to use it?
This is where protection dogs come in.
K9 Team Training
Guard dog training can be vital for venues like schools to prevent active shooters from conducting mass shootings. The reason for this is when dogs are properly trained, they can detect if there is a weapon on the property.
This is done by trainers training the dogs how to detect certain smells. For example, if they want to stop machine guns and other automatic weapons from entering a facility, they will show the dog things such as bullets and gunpowder.
They may do this repeatedly until the dog has the smell down to a science. Once this happens, the dog will then have to detect the smell of these items in any location. This can start by hiding it in certain areas and seeing how far a dog's sense of smell can go.
For dogs that have special training in this category, they may even be able to find weapons that are hidden underground.
The reason why this works so well with dogs is because they have an incredible sense of smell compared to humans. Dogs are reported to have up to 10,000 times stronger smell than the average person.
What this means is that while it would be unheard of for a human to find an automatic weapon based on its smell, a dog has a powerful enough sense of smell to find it just based on that within a certain distance.
This can be a big advantage because it allows security to work in a wider area while still being close enough to the main area to take action if necessary. Depending on the venue, dogs can even be trained to work around people standing still in a line or people on the move to a safe exit.
Other Positive Effects
Obviously, the main pro of having trained dogs in an area is to prevent a tragic shooting from happening before it has a chance to start. However, that is not the only direct benefit of their presence in a venue.
Dogs are known to be very calming animals. In this study, it was revealed that the majority of participants actually felt calmer and less stressed when they were around the presence of a dog.
These animals tend to have strong emotional intelligence and know how to keep humans calm in more stressful situations. This comes into play in two main ways.
In a crisis such as an active shooting or natural disaster, the dog can help prevent people from panicking just by being present in the situation.
Then, there is everyday life at the venue. For example, let's say one of these dogs is walking around a school daily doing its job. Students may feel stressed from social pressure, schoolwork, or even their personal lives. Dogs may be able to help them keep their mind off of these things and increase their morale.
Get Guard Dogs for Your Venue
These are some of the main benefits that K9 team training can have for your venue. A dog's powerful sense of smell allows them to detect any possible weapon in your venue that a human simply cannot.
On top of this, you may find the presence of a guard dog to be a positive thing for the people that regularly use your venue.
Do you want to find out more? Schedule a consultation with us today.