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Brazilian police order suspects to the ground, dog follows suit

Police said the dog initially barked at officers, but it laid on its back in a submissive position when its owner complied with orders to get down.

By Ben Hooper

FLORIANOPOLIS, Brazil, April 7 (UPI) -- Brazilian police busting an alleged drug dealing ring said they ordered the suspects to the ground and a suspect's dog laid down to surrender with its owner.

Military and civil police raided a home April 2 in Florianopolis and ordered suspected gang members to get down on the ground.

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Authorities said a dog accompanying the suspects initially barked at police, but laid down on its back when its human accomplices complied with the police's orders.

"The officers had been observing the gang for some time and when they arrested them they recovered a substantial quantity of marijuana and cocaine, as well as weighing scales, guns and ammunition," police spokesman Filippo Valdez told Central European News. "There was a male dog that was barking when officers burst onto the scene but when it saw its owners obeying the command to lie down, it ran over and laid down as well."

Two men were arrested in the operation, but the dog was later released from police custody. Police said money and weapons were seized from the home.

Dog trainer Barnie Rico said laying on its back was the dog's way of showing submission.

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"By exposing its soft underbelly to any potential attacker it is showing that it doesn't mean any trouble," Rico said. "The dog is also turning its head away as looking at the potential enemy can also be seen as a sign of aggression to another dog. It is clearly a very clever animal because it saw the rest of its pack give in, and decided to copy them."

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