Wiltshire Police are urging dog-loving members of the public to think twice before interrupting a police dog at work.
They say: 'We know lots of people in Wiltshire are dog lovers and understand it's exciting to see a police dog out on duty. But please resist the urge to just rush over to a police dog if you see one working, they will be busy concentrating on the job.'
Wiltshire Dogs Trainer Ian Partington and trainee Police Dog Champ have some advice about how to act around a police dog if you see one working out in the community:
"Always remember these are highly trained working animals, whose focus is entirely on the job they are doing.
"Always speak with the dog's handler first in relation to approaching the dog. The handler knows the dog best. They'll have the best understanding of the circumstances their dog is working in, so will know how it will react if approached.
"If the dog is working off leash, the best thing to do is to ignore it, ideally by standing still. The handler will take control of the situation and manage it accordingly.
"Some dogs and their handlers are okay with meeting members of the public when out and about on duty. But always speak with the handler first as they'll be able to advise if this is the case."