Holy fuck. And I see from the article the dog had been with the program for five years. While they noted how long the officer has been with the department (23 years), I wish they'd also noted how long he's been a handler, and how long he'd been a handler for this dog.
I reflexively blame a handler for dog problems, that's the answer 99% of the time - and just as I typically hold adults accountable for how their kids behave. But, hell, dogs can wig out - same as people. But this is about as rare as it can be without NEVER happening.
Oh, a meaningless side whine - made me nuts that the reporter referred to the animal as "A K9 dog" or "A canine dog," which of course is like referring to a "feline cat." And when I hear cops say, "I work the K9 dog car..." it sets my teeth on age, no different than when I hear "supposebly" or "irregardless."
There are cases where genetics are involved with vicious behavior. Not everyone is Cesar Millan, not everyone knows how to handle a dog who has a tendency to go into a fit of rage. It doesn't mean the handler was abusive, although he could have been we don't know. I remember them putting down puppies at the humane society who showed aggressive behaviors and one rule of thumb was any puppy who went for the face to bite was a risk. A dog who continues to bite, especially in the face area, well that's a tough case to break.
I actually am not against putting a dog down if they display certain aggressive tendencies that are beyond my ability to control, but it's a last resort. Almost always it's the handler's fault, or the fault of an unknown past, but there are, like humans, always exceptions to that rule.