A national program working to improve how police handle situations with aggressive dogs on the job came to the area today.

Law enforcement from all across the Treasure Valley attended Canine Encounters in Meridian Monday.

The whole point of the training is to teach law enforcement how to use defensive tactics instead of deadly ones.

"I want them to learn everything less lethal,” said Canine Encounters senior law enforcement specialist Jim Osorio.

This training is meant to protect dogs as well as the officers, he said.

Osorio said it's about giving law enforcement knowledge because he said this isn't something that is taught in the police academy.

Canine Encounters teaches law enforcement how to distract the dog with tools they already have, how to recognize canine aggression and interpret body language.

“I'm hoping we can cut down on a lot of these shootings of dogs,” Osorio said. “I think some of them definitely could have been avoided.”

Canine Encounters is a program that has been around since 2005.