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Dangerous Dogs Awareness Training

Dangerous Dogs Awareness


Course Background

We may have an inherent fear of dogs; we freeze when a strange dog approaches, we simply do not know what action to take. On most occasions the dog may pose no harm, but are there certain things that we can do to avoid a frightening encounter? This half/full day Dangerous Dogs Awareness training session is designed to provide staff who may come into contact with aggressive dogs with the necessary skills to keep themselves safe.


The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, defines the fundamental structure and authority for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety, and welfare within the United Kingdom. Section 2 states that “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his/her employees”.

Provision of such information, instruction, training, and supervision as is necessary to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees. If as a result of the nature of work, staff could reasonably come into contact with a dangerous dog, staff should receive appropriate training with regards to what actions they should take to make themselves safe.

Section 1, Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 was introduced by the UK Government as a direct result of a sudden increase in the number of fatal incidents resulting from attacks by dogs. The Act sought to impose specific bans (or in exceptional circumstances certain conditions) on four breeds of dog. The dogs were identified as; Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa, Fila Brasileiro, and the American Pit Bull Terrier

On 13 March 2014, The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, Part 7 Dangerous Dogs – Keeping dogs under proper control, created a further offence in respect of keeping dogs under proper control in a public and private place.

Dangerous Dogs Awareness Session Objectives: 

  • Dangerous Dogs Act and associated Acts and workplace regulations
  • New responsibilities for all dog owners
  • Understanding the dog’s mindset
  • Understanding the dog’s body language
  • How to prevent injury when encountering a dog
  • Actions to take if bitten by a dog
  • Actions to take when confronted by an aggressive dog
  • Identifying stress in dogs
  • Identifying banned dogs and safety around these dogs
  • Current safety equipment available and its use
  • Practical exercises
  • Questions and answer session to reinforce the training day

Who can benefit from this training?

Enforcement officers, housing staff, social workers, health workers, estate agents, probation workers, postal staff, mental health support workers, youth workers, carers … anyone!

Walter Pennell
Walter Pennell

The Trainer:

Walter Pennell served as a police officer for thirty years with South Wales Police. During his career, he served 22 years as a Police Dog handler. Walter completed the Association of Chief Police Officers accreditation in dog training for the following specialist areas, working with general purpose dogs (German Shepherds), specialised conflict management dogs working with Tactical Firearms teams, specialist drugs, cash, firearms residue, explosive detection, and fire investigation search dogs.

Walter retired from South Wales Police in October 2021 and was re-employed by as a civilian member of staff by South Wales Police to continue his role as a Dog Legislation Officer, until his retirement in August 2022.

Walter has given press interviews in relation to the Dangerous Dogs Act and has appeared on television and radio stations in relation to these matters.



In January 2012, Walter attended the Metropolitan Police dog section and qualified as a Dog Legislation Officer whereby he was able to examine and identify dogs suspected to be prohibited under Section 1 Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and compile a detailed report for the Courts (both Magistrates and Crown Courts). He was a permanent member of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) Dangerous Dogs Working Group.

Walter worked closely with partner agencies during his time as the Police full-time Dog Legislation Officer (DLO). During this time, he conducted behavioural assessments on dogs seized by the police and presented the findings to the Courts. Walter was instrumental in the investigation and subsequent successful prosecution of an organised dog fighting gang. Walter was the dedicated DLO in the fatal dog attack in Cardiff in 2015, resulting in the successful prosecution of the defendant. (This was the first prosecution of this kind in the UK under the new legislation introduced in 2014).

In 2016 Walter was part of the core committee which worked on the Wales Responsible Dog Ownership in Wale review, he collaborated with partner agencies including the RSPCA, Dogs Trust and Local Authorities. Walter received a highly commended award from the RSPCA for the Innovation category for his work with police seized dogs and their welfare requirements.

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 


walking along a corridor


Close-up of woman using walker


Holding a child



Safety Solutions Training Ltd.

7 Coryton Crescent


CF14 7EP