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Hello everyone :)

My name Jose Ignacio Munoz Quijada. I am a 4th year Industrial Design Student at Massey University, all the way in Wellington New Zealand.

for my final year project I chose to design protective equipment for Search & Rescue Dogs.
The aim of this project is to design search & rescue dog protective / safety equipment that aids the well being of search & rescue dogs and ability to perform at their job, all while providing comfort to the dog.

currently I am conducting research. The research study aims to understand the work of search and rescue dogs and the challenges, problems and or issues that are encountered by the dogs and their handlers regarding the safety and well being of the working dogs.

I would like to invite you to be part of my research. I am thinking to put some online surveys and use this forum to discuss experiences, topics and ideas, but firstly would like to know if there are any interest to be involved?

thanks for your time for reading and the wonderful work you do!
your input would be greatly valuable. :)
 

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I'm not involved with SAR or the like but I have often sorely wished someone would come up with a travois that is light weight, collapses to an easily carried over the shoulder or in back pack size and strong enough to lug about 100 lbs that would allow me to get my boy out by myself if he ever got hurt while in the woods hiking. Maybe the use of a wheel at the end of it (I tend to stick to less rough terrains)
 

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I practice man-trailing and a good lightweight but sturdy harness is always important. One that is easy to put on and off but doesn't restrict leg movement (come across shoulders or dig into "armpits" for instance). Important is a strong tangle resistant leash that still has some grip. Wearing gloves one day I was hanging on for dear life so that the leash wouldn't slip through my knit gloves. Leather palmed gloves would have held better, I was told.

I've never thought about what might happen if I had to carry my dog out of a situation. I do know that some companies make climbing harnesses for dogs with lift handles for both the back and the rump. Not sure how comfortable those are for the dog.
 

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^ K9 Tactical and K9 Storm make similar tracking/trailing harnesses, K9 Tactical's harness has a top handle you can pick the dog up by or restrain. Area dogs just wear shabraks. Those larger harnesses are repelling harnesses. As for tracking gloves I use the thinnest Atlas gloves you can buy at Ace hardware, they have grip.

No idea what protective equipment HRD and disaster dogs could use except for goggles, fire, heat, toxins retarding booties and maybe a respirator.

OP: If you can design a K9 respirator that filters smoke and toxic fumes yet doesn't interfere with the dog's scenting ability or breathing, that'd be something, guess it would have to be designed as a muzzle. We've been dealing with bad fires in California the past few years where HRD dogs are deployed after the fire is out. I don't know what's out there for dog paw booties, there's another idea.

I'd be interested in some kind of sling to carry my dog and leg splint if she got injured out in the wilderness.
 

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The most important thing I would like is portable field decontamination equipment one person could keep in their car. At a disaster they can set up tents etc but working wilderness the dogs are often in toxins you would rather them not track back into their vehicle crate. Agree on the carry sling for injured dogs.
 

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I would second Nancy's request for a portable decontamination.. I have harnesses that work well for my dogs but I will think about anything else that might be needed or remade to be more effective.
 

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Hi guys thanks a lot for input! the portable field decontamination equipment, leg splint, and sling type of device are things that I haven't thought about. you guys have given me some great feedback.

since this is part of a research project, there are some ethics involved and be given consent to use the information you have provided.
I have made a google survey that explains to you the ethics side of the project. the survey should take approximately 5-8 minutes to complete, you can also copy your comments from this thread. I have made a section for that.

I would be grateful if you guys took the time to complete the survey :)
the post of the link will come soon. I have to have at least 3 comments hahaha.

Thanks.
 

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^

No idea what protective equipment HRD and disaster dogs could use except for goggles, fire, heat, toxins retarding booties and maybe a respirator.

OP: If you can design a K9 respirator that filters smoke and toxic fumes yet doesn't interfere with the dog's scenting ability or breathing, that'd be something, guess it would have to be designed as a muzzle. We've been dealing with bad fires in California the past few years where HRD dogs are deployed after the fire is out. I don't know what's out there for dog paw booties, there's another idea.
Initially my idea was to design a dog gas mask for dogs, but a dog researcher informed me that dogs aren't highly affected by gases or other air toxins, this was later reinforced when reading the dog morbidity report during 9/11, it was reported that despite a lot of fumes and other gas toxins, dogs didn't show any side effects to the exposure of air toxins. In saying that, there isn't a lot of research out there on search and rescue dogs.


Thus far I have gathered evidence suggesting that there are problems in the feet and paws of dogs, as well as there is no adequate boots specifically designed for search and rescue dogs. I have been thinking of possibly designing boots for search and rescue dogs, from an angle of how Nike would design a shoe for an athlete or an sport activity. for that understanding the dogs working environment, and dogs ergonomics are crucial to understand.
 

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Initially my idea was to design a dog gas mask for dogs, but a dog researcher informed me that dogs aren't highly affected by gases or other air toxins, this was later reinforced when reading the dog morbidity report during 9/11, it was reported that despite a lot of fumes and other gas toxins, dogs didn't show any side effects to the exposure of air toxins. In saying that, there isn't a lot of research out there on search and rescue dogs.


Thus far I have gathered evidence suggesting that there are problems in the feet and paws of dogs, as well as there is no adequate boots specifically designed for search and rescue dogs. I have been thinking of possibly designing boots for search and rescue dogs, from an angle of how Nike would design a shoe for an athlete or an sport activity. for that understanding the dogs working environment, and dogs ergonomics are crucial to understand.
Can't help you with dog ergonomics, perhaps you can post in equipment sub forum and not label as search and rescue but dog booties. People who put booties on their dogs often do so during Winter months to protect from ice/salt. They may be able to advise which brands work well, which don't and why.
As for working environment, sar handlers that'd consider booties are working areas and structures devastated by fire and rubble from natural or terrorist events. Most structures have toxic materials inside.
 
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