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Dog trainer offers free canine aggression training for local police departments

Local dog trainer offers canine aggression training to police departments
Local dog trainer offers canine aggression training to police departments
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Penny Layne, a certified professional dog trainer with more than two decades of experience, is offering free canine aggression training to local police departments and other first responders. These training sessions are sponsored by local businesses and concerned individuals.

Last weekend, a McKeesport police officer was hospitalized after being attacked by a dog. According to KDKA, Officer Frank Durante was attacked while responding to a custody dispute on Saturday, July 13.

“He was trained to be very protective, we got him as a guard dog,” said Danielle Holloway, owner of the dog. She said her ex-husband actually let the dog outside, and when he saw the police officers, he did what he was trained to do: protect.

“My dog jumped and latched onto the officer’s arm,” Holloway said. “The officer outside of the gate began to shoot at my dog and my children were so close. My mother had to take them home and showered them. They were covered in blood.”

According to KDKA, the officer was bitten on the left thigh and left forearm. As of Tuesday evening, he remained hospitalized. The dog died on the way to the kennel.

Layne believes that such incidences are caused by reckless, inhumane owners and insufficiently trained police officers. She feels that other, non-lethal techniques could have been used to subdue the dog.

In an email interview, Layne said, “I agree this person let the dog out to attack. But here is what I also see… there were children nearby, so close that clothes had to be changed because the children were sprayed with blood!”

Layne states that, by providing officers with training in dog behavior, access to animal control, knowledge of non-lethal techniques and up-to-date equipment, the potential for such incidences can be reduced or eliminated.

“If police would understand how important this training is they would have better PR in their communities,” said Layne. “In this case a pepper ball gun could have been used. They are non-lethal and back the dog up.”

Canine aggression training sessions cover a variety of topics including: how to assess the dog’s environment; reading dog posture, vocalization and facial expressions; options for distraction and escape; defensive options; gathering information/evidence; types of incidents and encounters; and effective responses for the media.

To schedule a training session or learn more about sponsorship opportunities, email or call 724-515-7790.

Layne, owner of Aunt Penny’s Pet Sitting, also provides community education and free training for veterinary staff and other animal-related professionals, as well as Dogs and Storks safety classes through local hospitals. For more information, visit

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