Self defense is a tricky legal concept, and it becomes even more nuanced when individuals assert self-defense claims against law enforcement officers or police dogs, especially if the officer or K-9 is killed. Generally, law enforcement officers and police dogs have similar rights when it comes to suspects and arrestees fighting back, but these rights vary from state to state. It should be noted that harming a police dog is almost sure to inflame, and provoke, officers, causing them to overreact and shoot to kill.
In nearly every state, there are specific laws that, for all intents and purposes, equate an attack on a police dog as the same as an attack on a regular officer. The penalties are incredible harsh. Recently, a man was sentenced to 45 years for killing a police dog. Generally, though, individuals do have the right to resist unlawful arrests, excessive force, and unprovoked attacks from officers and K-9s.