FOX6 News is learning more about what led a Hanceville police officer to kill his K9 partner.
It happened while the officer and dog were training at a park, something they did just about every day. Chief Bob Long says the officer underwent surgery Monday for his injuries and was expected to be released today.
He says the officer and K9, a Malinois named Itchabon, had worked together for about a year.
Chief Long says the the two were finishing up a training exercises and the officer had his wallet in a side pocket of his pants.
Police think that Itchabon thought it was a toy and when the officer wouldn't give it to him, the dog bit the officer on his leg and pulled him to the ground.
He then circled around back of his partner and bit him in the head.
Itchabon let go momentarily and when it looked as if he was going to bite the officer again, the officer felt he had no choice but to shoot and kill him.
Tuesday, we talked to Kevin McDonald, who's been training dogs for over 21 years. He says it's not normal for a dog as trained as this to come at his partner, especially more than once.
He says it sounds like the dog may have had a situation in the past where he felt he had been in control of his handler and something may have taken place Monday where the dog misperceived it as a situation he could control again.
McDonald says the dog could have gained this misperception totally unbeknownst to his partner.
"Most of the time, the manipulation dogs present to their owners do not seem significant to address. They seem like harmless actions. But it always has to be considered...how does the dog view the decision it's making and that's hard to do because you can't jump into the dog's head," McDonald said.
McDonald says he feels terrible for the officer because he knows he would have made this decision only if he felt it was a life or death situation.
But he also feels bad for the dog because he says usually when they act in this way they're usually confused and think they're doing the right thing.
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