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Dog Not Really Performing CPR

Spanish police dog actually does detection work
By Karen B. London PhD, July 2018, Updated June 2021

This viral video showing a police dog in Spain performing CPR on his collapsed trainer is quite a stunt—literally. The dog, Poncho, did not really perform CPR, nor did his trainer actually collapse. The routine is part of a presentation to school kids, and its purpose is to make the informational session more amusing for the children, not to save anyone’s life.

According to a police spokesperson, Poncho was trained to do this trick for fun, but he doesn’t know how to perform CPR, nor does any other dog. His actions are just for entertainment purposes, and the dog only does this with his own trainer.

Though Poncho does not have medical skills, he is a trained detection dog who sniffs out explosives. He knows how to search for explosives on his own, which is why he often carries a light on his back.

The video does more than show off a trained trick. It also shows off a great and loving relationship between a man and a dog.

Karen B. London, Ph.D. is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer who specializes in working with dogs with serious behavioral issues, including aggression. Karen writes the animal column for the Arizona Daily Sun and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University. She is the author of six books about canine training and behavior, including her most recent, Treat Everyone Like a Dog: How a Dog Trainer’s World View Can Improve Your Life