BiographyBackground information on Ian's experience and knowledge.
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Ian McParland is an independent consultant and trainer in dog-related matters with a particular interest and expertise in dog welfare as well as dangerous and prohibited types of dogs. Ian undertakes assessments on behalf of both defence and prosecution, in the last four years he has examined more than 300 dogs on behalf of defence solicitors and welfare agencies.
Working and training dogs
Ian served as police officer in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) dog section for 27 years until his retirement in May 2011. He trained and worked a variety of breeds in various disciplines. He is accredited by the Home Office Standing Advisory Committee and ACPO at the most advanced level as a dog training instructor and a Home Office explosive search dog licensor.
Ian was the Deputy Chief Instructor at the MPS Dog Training Establishment at Keston for five years teaching and overseeing the assessment of hundreds of dogs and their handlers. He also supervised the kennel facilities, housing in excess of 100 dogs as well as the world famous breeding unit.
Ian took part in dog trials for twenty years and taught at various private dog training clubs. This has bought him into contact with a huge range of breeds/types of dogs. He has regularly given advice and guidance to members of the public on training and behaviour modification. He is an instructor and 'A' list assesor for the Kennel Club Good Citizen Scheme Award and a Member of the British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers (MIPDT)
Dealing with prohibited and dangerous dogs
Ian has been recognised as a leading expert in the field of dangerous and prohibited dogs for twenty five years. He regularly accepts instructions from both defence and prosecution.
He has given expert evidence in relation to the identification of prohibited types (both pit bull terriers and dogo argentinos) on hundreds of occasions in both Magistrate and Crown Courts. He regularly assesses dogs to assist the Courts in deciding if a dog poses a risk to public safety. On his retirement he was the most experienced police Dog Legislation Officer (DLO) in the country.
One of the main focuses of any Court work for dogs that have bitten or injured an person is the determination of the cause of the behaviour. This involves an analysis both of the incident, of the dogs antecedent behaviour and of its domestic management. It can then be determined if a suitable behaviour modification plan or physical management can be put in place and the Court can be advised of this.
Ian was the founding supervisor of the the MPS Status Dogs Unit - a team responsible for dealing with all prohibited and dangerous dogs (or irresponsible owners) in London. As part of this he was responsible for the care and welfare of all seized dogs and their kennelling. This is an area of which he is particularly proud and he ensured there were regular and meaningful health and welfare checks, environmental encrichment in the kennel areas and where needed rehabilitation of some quite disturbed dogs.
Providing advice and training
Ian has advised local authorities on their response to stray and dangerous dogs. He provides training to the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, local authority dog wardens, the Corporation of London, police forces both in the UK and abroad, and charitable organisations, this includes practical training in dealing with prohibited types and dangerous dogs as well as animal welfare law.
Ian was the police service representative on the national working group on unrecognised breeds. He was part of the consultation team that gave advice and guidance to the Home Office when the Dangerous Dogs Act was amended in 1997. He has given presentations to the Home Office, Defra and the Kennel Club on a number of occasions
He is the co-author of the Guidance to Enforcers published by Defra in 2009, assisted in writing the ACPO 'National Police Strategy on Dangerous Dogs' published in 2009 and An introduction to the case management of dangerous dog cases’ published by Her Majesty’s Courts Service (HMCS) in 2010. He also assisted in drafting the RSPCA / CIEH guidance 'A good practice guide for enforcement bodies: Meeting the welfare needs of seized dogs in a kennel environment' published in 2012.
He is a member of the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW) and has advised MPs and Lords with potential changes in legislation. He has also advised Ministers of past and present governments as well as the Opposition on behalf of the police service and as an independent adviser.
He has worked on behalf of RSPCA (International) in Africa lecturing and developing good practice with the local police about animal welfare prosecutions and private companies about the use, care and welfare of security dogs. In 2014 he gained a degree (FdSc) in Canine behaviour and Training and continues to study at Bishop Burton College (Hull University) for a BSc (Hons).
Ian has made regular appearances on a diverse range of radio and television programmes both nationally and internationally, including the BBC and ITV news and breakfast shows. He has also given regular interviews in national newspapers and journals. His work has featured in documentaries by such programmes as Panorama and Crime Monthly. Ian has also featured in dog specific documentaries such as the BBC ‘My weapon is a dog’. His appearances range from Animals 24/7 to the BBC World Service.