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Any money that is left after the auction of that one police dog will be donated for vests for the dogs. They were at $54000.00 last I checked. How much does one vest cost?
 

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Discussion Starter #62
Any money that is left after the auction of that one police dog will be donated for vests for the dogs. They were at $54000.00 last I checked. How much does one vest cost?
A regular ballistic vest for a dog costs between $800 and $900, roughly. The vests from K9storm that Spikes K9 fund is providing cost about $2200. These vests are lighter and have a tactical harness built in. The dog can repel, be jumped out of an airplane or be hoisted up onto a ship. The big advantage is the lighter weigh and increased functionality of these K9storm vests. Dogs can work longer and wear them all the time when working.
 

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A regular ballistic vest for a dog costs between $800 and $900, roughly. The vests from K9storm that Spikes K9 fund is providing cost about $2200. These vests are lighter and have a tactical harness built in. The dog can repel, be jumped out of an airplane or be hoisted up onto a ship. The big advantage is the lighter weigh and increased functionality of these K9storm vests. Dogs can work longer and wear them all the time when working.
Are they bullet and stab proof? That isn't a bad price at all. Why do you think these aren't supplied on the first day they start to work? I mean if $2200 can potentially save a dog that is most likely worth thousands, why not just do it?

Is there a data base that provides info on how many k-9 officers there are and how many still need vests?
 

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Discussion Starter #64
llombardo,
Some units do supply vests to their dogs once they certify and hit the streets. Our unit has had vests for all of our dogs since '09. I have had a vest for my dog since I work him on the SWAT team. These vests like the one I wear at work are not stab proof, they are designed for pistol rounds.

The vest that SpikesK9fund.org is outfitting dogs with is one that can be worn all day. The vest Boomer has is heavy and is only worn on high risk deployments and SWAT call outs. The K9 storm vests only weigh 4 lbs and can be used as a tactical harness.

I am involved with Spikes K9 and help with fundraising and assisting with events. It is a cause that I really believe in and I am good friends with Jimmy who started the charity. Jimmy is an amazing guy, a true war hero, a very highly decorated Navy Seal who was a SEAL for 22 years before being injured in Afghanistan. If you have read any books on "special missions" that SEALS have done, Jimmy was there as a team leader. He was a K-9 handler on multiple deployments and his K-9 partners have saved his life on many occasions. I need to start a thread about SpikesK9fund and Jimmy.

Spikes K9 Fund | Spikes K9 Fund

A truly great man, doing great things for working K-9's. Check out his page for a bunch of cool photos of Boomer, Boru and a whole bunch of other K-9's. His facebook page for spikes:
https://www.facebook.com/Spikes-K9-Fund-726061287469347/

I'm honored to know Jimmy and what he has dedicated his life to is making a huge difference.
 

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I will check that out. I love the work that these dogs and their handlers do. I only ask about the stab proof because there has been a lot of that lately. Is there any head gear that can be used in situations that are high risk? I believe they should all have one just like I believe every fire truck should carry oxygen masks for pets. It's a good cause.
 

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Discussion Starter #66
Our Firefighters have masks for pets and have saved several animals. Many of our medics have trauma training for dogs. We have medics assigned to our SWAT teamd and they go through specialized training for tactical traumatic and casuality care for canines as our handlers do.

The best gear for a high risk situation is a vest and proper deployment. There is no getting past the fact that it is a high risk job and even with the best planning you can not cover all the contingencies. Sometimes things go sideways.
 

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I was talking with some breeders a year ago in our local area. They had raised money to vest our local K9 dogs. They were refused by the PD. Apparently LE here feels that the vests will physically hamper the dogs in their work???

Can anyone direct me to more information on these vests so I can forward it on to our city council? They may be able to get our PD to take a 2nd look. Thanks!
 

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I was talking with some breeders a year ago in our local area. They had raised money to vest our local K9 dogs. They were refused by the PD. Apparently LE here feels that the vests will physically hamper the dogs in their work???

Can anyone direct me to more information on these vests so I can forward it on to our city council? They may be able to get our PD to take a 2nd look. Thanks!
See below. The spikesk9 fund seems to have light weight vests that won't hinder the job. I guess my question is do they feel the bullet proof vests hinder human officers and refuse them?
 

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Discussion Starter #69
Stonevintage and llombardo,
The vest I have currently for Boomer weighs about 9 lbs, it offers the same ballistic protection as my vest. It is actually, due to design probably a little heavier than my vest. It is really not flexible, though custom made and fitted. A 60 lb dog wearing a 9 lb vest for an extended period of time working, especially in the heat can be exhausting. The current vest really does not offer any tactical advantages like the K9storm vest. I can attach a strap to the K9storm vest and literally put the dog over my shoulder or on my back and climb a ladder. It is the same vest that you see the Tier one MWD's wear, except it has ballistic panels built in. It only weighs 4 lbs, and can be used the same as a high dollar tactical harness.

Part of the advantage a K-9 has is speed, if you slow the dog down you have taken away some of that advantage. Where I work the summers are very hot and the use of my current vest is only for short periods.

While I have deployed my dog with my current vest on high risk searches, high risk tracks for armed subjects and clearing a building with the SWAT team, etc. It is rare that I use that vest. I will however, use the K9storm vest on a regular basis as it is similar to wearing a high end harness.

When it comes to tactical K9 applications and real life equipment for dogs, there are few with more real world experience than Jimmy from SpikesK9fund. He had input into the design of the vest. A guy that has had numerous combat deployments as a 22 year SEAL, over 30 jumps from planes with his dog, some into combat. I like what he has done with K9storm and what he is doing to keep K-9's safe. This is a vest that can be used daily.
 

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Thanks for the info Slam. I think I'll send a short e-mail to the PD to ask if they are using anything at any time for their dogs and if not why not.

I took a look at the K9 Storm vest. Are the added features such as camera mount and carry capability the main reason these vests are desired or is it for the lighter weight bullet proof panels to protect the dog? Can that camera mount and handle get the dog hung up in tight spaces or be used as grips for the bad guy? If you were going into a situation with known increased danger - would you still choose to switch over to the 9lb vest instead of the Storm? or is the protection equal? I think safety and lighter weight would be an easier sell than the other features for our small PD.
 

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Well, good questions. The heavier vest does offer some additional ballistic protection, none offer protection against rifle rounds. The biggest added feature is the functionality of the harness system. You could literally skydive your dog in this vest, and Jimmy has done it. The camera mount folds down out of the way when it bumps something.

A collar can be used to grab a dog, so can skin. I can pick a dog up by the skin on it's back or flanks and toss most dogs. A vest or harness can also be used to grab a dog.

Honestly, since I will have both, on a barricaded, suicidal or hostage situation doing a covert clear, I may put the heavier vest on. With that said, I have sat on the corner of a house, outside for hours on the reaction team waiting to make entry, while CNT negotiated. The lighter vest would be a whole lot better, when waiting for 6 hours or more to go to work to clear. You just never know how long it will take, could be minutes, could be hours.
 

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Thanks for the answers and introducing your new officer to us!

One last question please, if you have time. I know these dogs are running on a reward system and a series of behaviors - but - here it comes...... do they sense bad, guilty, deceiving people? Can they anticipate when someone's about to try something to overpower their partner? Do you see reasoning and problem solving as needed as a daily occurrence with these dogs? Can they perceive ill intentions before they are acted on or is there just so much adrenaline and stuff going on that there is no time for this?
 

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Discussion Starter #74
Stonevintage,
They can absolutely sense fear, excitement and adrenalin. They have super senses compared to us. They read body language and demeanor, they recognize aggression and hostility. I can tell when I go to search a house pretty quickly whether some one is inside or has recently been there by the dog's behavior.

We do hard surface scent discrimination tracking and when tracking a felony suspect, from a pursuit for example, the dog takes odor and you can see that he is on it. The drive to track becomes pretty intense, more so with dogs that have had apprehensions at the end of tracks.

Deacon, I've only done 4 tracks so far. I'm at a Walmart getting ready to do a hard surface track through the parking lot now. I will try to video it for you. It may be tricky to hold this dog and video, I will see what I can do.
 

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Great thread folks Ive learned alot. Ive always been interested in LEO Dogs and MWD. I guess I thought the vests could help reduce the harmof a knife attack.

Slamdunc. thank you for your service and for sharing Boomer and Boru with us.
 

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Thank you for the kind comments.

Here is a short video of Boru's 5th track. I started his tracking a couple of days ago. It is 70 degrees and the wind was blowing pretty good, about 20 mph gusts. This is in s Walmart parking lot to start. Not very long, just training the dog to pick up scent on asphalt. I am training a hard surface scent discrimination tracking / trailing dog. Once I get these tracks to about a 1/2 mile I will move on to the next phase and start trailing.

http://youtu.be/Bg7kWtTnEy0
 

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Stonevintage,
They can absolutely sense fear, excitement and adrenalin. They have super senses compared to us. They read body language and demeanor, they recognize aggression and hostility. I can tell when I go to search a house pretty quickly whether some one is inside or has recently been there by the dog's behavior.

We do hard surface scent discrimination tracking and when tracking a felony suspect, from a pursuit for example, the dog takes odor and you can see that he is on it. The drive to track becomes pretty intense, more so with dogs that have had apprehensions at the end of tracks.

Deacon, I've only done 4 tracks so far. I'm at a Walmart getting ready to do a hard surface track through the parking lot now. I will try to video it for you. It may be tricky to hold this dog and video, I will see what I can do.
Do your dogs make a distinction between recognizing aggression and hostility vs recognizing the actions of an enthusiastic but harmless drunk?

Do your dogs recognize aggression and hostility in a passive person?
 

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Discussion Starter #79
Do your dogs make a distinction between recognizing aggression and hostility vs recognizing the actions of an enthusiastic but harmless drunk?

Do your dogs recognize aggression and hostility in a passive person?
No, but they are trained in handler protection and will defend their handler with out any command. If the enthusiastic drunk came running or staggering over to give me a great big hug, the dog would react as trained.

Our dogs are trained to "find and bite" or to bite on command even a passive suspect in a crowd of screaming, yelling hostile people. You need to realize that we (Police Officers) deal with some crazy and violent people, sociopaths and psychopaths. I have ran into a couple of guys that have stood in front of me and with seemingly no care or concern that I and the dog are there. A calm, almost chilling demeanor with the thousand yard stare and absolutely no fear or concern that the dog is there. Some dogs may not see a threat as the dog may be supremely confident and not concerned. We actively train apprehensions of passive subjects in all kinds of scenarios and environments, using suits, hidden sleeves that the dogs have never seen and muzzles.

Not engaging a passive person is usually a training issue and a decoy issue.

Deacon, thanks!
 

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No, but they are trained in handler protection and will defend their handler with out any command. If the enthusiastic drunk came running or staggering over to give me a great big hug, the dog would react as trained.

Our dogs are trained to "find and bite" or to bite on command even a passive suspect in a crowd of screaming, yelling hostile people. You need to realize that we (Police Officers) deal with some crazy and violent people, sociopaths and psychopaths. I have ran into a couple of guys that have stood in front of me and with seemingly no care or concern that I and the dog are there. A calm, almost chilling demeanor with the thousand yard stare and absolutely no fear or concern that the dog is there. Some dogs may not see a threat as the dog may be supremely confident and not concerned. We actively train apprehensions of passive subjects in all kinds of scenarios and environments, using suits, hidden sleeves that the dogs have never seen and muzzles.

Not engaging a passive person is usually a training issue and a decoy issue.

Deacon, thanks!
That's what I thought. I just wanted to clarify that as a rule dogs really can't distinguish a threat in the case of a thug vs a drunk any more than they can distinguish a threat in a passive person. I think too many people put too much faith in a dog's ability to do so.
 
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