The final project meeting of the KIRAS security research project “Praise vs. Punishment. New Options for Training of Police Service Dogs” took place on 17th of October 2016, at the Department for Ecology and Evolution at the University of Salzburg.
Besides key representatives of the project partner organizations – University of Salzburg (project lead, legal advice), BM.I (Austrian Ministry of the Interior, requisitioner and demand carrier), AEI (social-science counselling and requirement analytics) – several relevant national and international stakeholders attended. Key findings of the project in regards of potential optimization as well as requirements and good practice examples in the training of police service dogs (PSDs) in Austria were presented in front of this high ranking audience.
Background of the evidence based findings and recommendations regarding this central and complex area of police work was among others the work of AEI as scientific partner. In the course of the one year duration of the project, data was collected and analyzed and processed for further use. The requirements and needs of the police force in regards of an efficient as well as correct use of PSDs in view of animal rights and ethics were also surveyed. Another core issue was the successful, science based and least harm- and stressful training of the dogs with exclusively positive reinforcement.
The data will be prepared not only for the project partners and demand carrier but will also be accessible for the scientific community and practitioners via national and international publications and media releases. This knowledge transfer and networking with key organizations, experts, and practitioners fulfills the objectives of the project as well as the public mission of AEI.