Dangerous Dogs Awareness Training

Dangerous Dogs Awareness


Course Background

Interacting with dogs can be a joy, but it can also pose risks, especially for professionals who may encounter potentially aggressive dogs during their work. Our Dangerous Dogs Awareness training is designed to address these risks.

What You’ll Learn:
This training provides the necessary knowledge and skills to safely handle situations involving aggressive dogs. Participants will learn to understand the signals and triggers that can lead to aggressive behaviour in dogs, enabling them to respond effectively. The training also covers the legal framework surrounding dangerous dogs and the responsibilities of dog owners.

Why It’s Important In the UK:
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires employers to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of their employees. This includes providing necessary training when employees’ work exposes them to potential encounters with dangerous dogs. The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 provide further legal guidelines for dealing with dangerous dogs.

Impact of Dog Bites:
Dog bites can have serious physical and psychological consequences for staff, affecting their ability to perform their duties and potentially leading to time off work.

Employer’s Responsibility
Employers have a duty to minimise the risk of dog bites. This includes conducting risk assessments, providing Dangerous Dogs Awareness training, implementing preventive measures, and ensuring that employees who have experienced a dog bite receive appropriate care.

By understanding this legislative landscape and receiving appropriate training, employees can confidently and safely navigate situations involving dangerous dogs, reducing risks and enhancing their well-being and security. This training is crucial for anyone whose work may bring them into contact with potentially dangerous dogs.


Dangerous Dogs Awareness Session Objectives: 

  • Understand UK Dangerous Dogs Laws: Get comprehensive knowledge of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, Anti-social Behaviour Act 2014, and other relevant workplace legislation around dealing with dogs professionally.
  • Awareness of Banned Breeds: Understand the dog breeds banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and safety precautions around them.
  • New Dog Owner Responsibilities: Learn about the updated responsibilities and requirements for all dog owners under recent legal changes impacting the general public and professionals.
  • Canine Psychology Insights: Gain valuable insights into how dogs think and the motivations behind their behaviours to better understand them.
  • Read Dog Body Language: Develop skills to interpret subtle and obvious body language cues that indicate a dog’s mood and intentions.
  • Recognise Canine Stress Signs: Learn to identify signs a dog is stressed, allowing early intervention for a safer environment.
  • Prevent Dog Encounter Injuries: Acquire proven strategies and techniques to prevent injuries when encountering dogs, including de-escalation methods.
  • Handle Aggressive Dogs Safely: Build skills to effectively and safely manage aggressive dog situations while protecting yourself and others.
  • Respond to Dog Bites Properly: Know the immediate actions to take if bitten by a dog, such as first aid and proper reporting procedures.
  • Use Dog Handling Equipment: Explore available dog handling safety equipment, its applications, and effectiveness.
  • Interactive Q&A Session: Dedicated Q&A to reinforce learning and address any specific questions or concerns.

Leave empowered!
This course equips employees with the knowledge and skills to confidently navigate encounters with potentially dangerous dogs while carrying out their work.

Walter Pennell
Walter Pennell

The Trainer

Walter Pennell brings over three decades of invaluable experience to this training programme. His distinguished career spans thirty years with South Wales Police, where he left an indelible mark in various roles.

As a dedicated Police Dog handler for an impressive 22 years, Walter’s expertise extended to diverse specialist areas within canine policing. He achieved accreditation from the Association of Chief Police Officers, covering an array of specialized training domains. This included working alongside general-purpose dogs, particularly German Shepherds, and specialized conflict management dogs, collaborating closely with Tactical Firearms teams. Additionally, Walter handled dogs trained for specialist roles such as narcotics detection, cash detection, firearms residue detection, explosive detection, and fire investigation searches.

Walter’s unwavering commitment to public safety led him to retire from South Wales Police in October 2021, only to be re-employed as a civilian member of staff by the same force. His dedication continued as a Dog Legislation Officer, where he fulfilled a pivotal role in upholding dog-related regulations and safety. Walter’s impressive tenure in this position extended until his well-deserved retirement in August 2022.

Beyond his illustrious career, Walter has shared his expertise with the wider public. He has provided insightful press interviews on matters pertaining to the Dangerous Dogs Act and has made appearances on prominent television and radio stations, contributing to the public discourse on these crucial issues.


In January 2012, Walter undertook specialized training with the Metropolitan Police dog section, earning accreditation as a Dog Legislation Officer. This unique role empowered him to conduct examinations and assessments of dogs suspected of being prohibited under Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. He adeptly compiled comprehensive reports for the Courts, serving both Magistrates and Crown Courts.

Walter’s commitment to canine welfare extended to his participation as a permanent member of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Dangerous Dogs Working Group. This collaborative effort allowed him to work closely with partner agencies and contribute his expertise to critical discussions and initiatives.

During his tenure as a full-time Police Dog Legislation Officer (DLO), Walter was instrumental in conducting behavioural assessments on dogs seized by the police. His findings and insights played a pivotal role in Court proceedings. Notably, Walter’s dedication and expertise led to the successful prosecution of an organized dog fighting gang. Additionally, he served as the dedicated DLO in the tragic dog attack case in Cardiff in 2015, resulting in a groundbreaking prosecution under new legislation introduced in 2014, marking a significant milestone in UK law enforcement.

In 2016, Walter’s commitment to responsible dog ownership led to his inclusion in the core committee that collaborated on the “Wales Responsible Dog Ownership in Wales” review. This undertaking involved close cooperation with esteemed partner agencies such as the RSPCA, Dogs Trust, and Local Authorities.

For his outstanding contributions to the welfare of police-seized dogs and their unique requirements, Walter received a prestigious “Highly Commended” award from the RSPCA in the Innovation category. This recognition stands as a testament to his dedication to the welfare of animals and his exceptional service to the community.

Walter Pennell’s wealth of knowledge and unparalleled dedication make him an invaluable asset to this training programme. His real-world experiences and expertise promise a comprehensive and impactful learning experience for all participants.

Dangerous Dogs Awareness Session

Download a copy of the training program 

Actions if confronted by a dangerous dog

Legislation advice for dog owners


Please contact us
for further information 


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Safety Solutions Training Ltd.

7 Coryton Crescent


CF14 7EP