Infantry Combat Equipment (non-firearm): Vests, Body Armor, NVGs, etc.


vesicles

Colonel
The military canine gets its own 'combat uniform' and tactical vest, complete with a 81 flag.


I always have doubts about these gear for animals. Animals are physically a lot tougher than us human. Do they actually need these gear? A lot of times, wearing these things might actually slow them down, or make them uncomfortable (with their fur underneath...). For example, these dogs grow a cozy and warm layer of winter coat and shed this winter coat in spring. When they groom their fur nicely (which they instinctually do to almost obsession), their winter coat easily keep them warm. That's why human living in colder areas wear animal fur in the winter. When you put a vest on a dog, it'll mess up the grooming of their fur, and create an uneven and messy fur coat. In areas where their fur is split by the vest, gaps are created, which might make them colder. On the other hand, in the areas where their fur overlaps too much, their sweat cannot evaporate effectively. They will develop rash...
 

PiSigma

"the engineer"
I always have doubts about these gear for animals. Animals are physically a lot tougher than us human. Do they actually need these gear? A lot of times, wearing these things might actually slow them down, or make them uncomfortable (with their fur underneath...). For example, these dogs grow a cozy and warm layer of winter coat and shed this winter coat in spring. When they groom their fur nicely (which they instinctually do to almost obsession), their winter coat easily keep them warm. That's why human living in colder areas wear animal fur in the winter. When you put a vest on a dog, it'll mess up the grooming of their fur, and create an uneven and messy fur coat. In areas where their fur is split by the vest, gaps are created, which might make them colder. On the other hand, in the areas where their fur overlaps too much, their sweat cannot evaporate effectively. They will develop rash...
Dogs don't sweat, they lose heat only through their tongue and the pads of the feet.

And dogs feel the temperature too when it's cold, just because they are double coated doesn't mean they handle cold well. My dog can sleep outside for hours when it's -30C, but most dogs can't. My dog also needs A/C in the summer when it's 20C out. Most dogs won't do well past -15C and will get frostbite on their paws after 1 hour.

Dog shoes are needed because dogs didn't evolve on rocky terrain, so it's very damaging to their soft paws. That's why you see all police dogs and military dogs are trained to wear shoes on duty.
 

PeoplesPoster

Junior Member
Dogs don't sweat, they lose heat only through their tongue and the pads of the feet.

And dogs feel the temperature too when it's cold, just because they are double coated doesn't mean they handle cold well. My dog can sleep outside for hours when it's -30C, but most dogs can't. My dog also needs A/C in the summer when it's 20C out. Most dogs won't do well past -15C and will get frostbite on their paws after 1 hour.

Dog shoes are needed because dogs didn't evolve on rocky terrain, so it's very damaging to their soft paws. That's why you see all police dogs and military dogs are trained to wear shoes on duty.
It’s also cute and good for PR and photo ops.
 

PiSigma

"the engineer"
Very true! I forgot about that!
I forgot to mention. Most medium sized dogs are very high energy when they are young. Medium being the 40-70 lb range. Big dogs are low energy.

when my dog was a pup (up to 7 years old), we can go for 15-30km hikes for 4 days in a row and he can keep up and pass us. Most times he travels more because he will go side to side to pee and run back and fourth because we are too slow. This is while carrying his own gear (he got a backpack like the army dog vest with food for the day, 1.5 L of water and snacks).
 

GTI

New Member
Registered Member
Very true! I forgot about that!
I think the dogs also sometimes to jumps (HAHO, HALO etc.) with the operators?

They’d definitely need equipment for that too (not to mention the cameras and microphones that allow the operator to give the K9 instructions from a distance).
 

plawolf

Brigadier
A lot of the time the dog vests are also intended to allow soldiers to grab and carry them easily, sometimes even just hooking the dog vest directly onto belts/plate carriers so the soldier can have both hands free for weapons and other jobs.

In war zones you can expect a lot of rubble and broken glass, dog paws are not designed to handle that kind of terrain. They would be able to navigate it if allowed time to move slowly and test their step all the way, but if needing to move in a hurry, they will shred their paws.

The vests can also be made of Kevlar, or have Kevlar panels, which offers a degree of protection to the dog against blades, as if an angry attack dog grabbed my arm or leg, the first thing I would do is pull my knife out and stab it to death. Harder when the vet can stop or at least mitigate a lot of the blows.
 

MwRYum

Major
The vests can also be made of Kevlar, or have Kevlar panels, which offers a degree of protection to the dog against blades, as if an angry attack dog grabbed my arm or leg, the first thing I would do is pull my knife out and stab it to death. Harder when the vet can stop or at least mitigate a lot of the blows.
That is, if you can overcome the pain of getting chomped by something that weights 40+kg, came at you faster than Usain Bolt, with sharp teeth and whole lot a attitude...but yeah, that may work. At least from a guard dog handler perspective...

Most likely you'd find yourselves suddenly got jerked hard and on the floor (with some concussion from the fall) before you know it, and "something" that bitting down real hard on your arm, likely your master arm because that's some human instinct involved, reflex.

And you'd feel pain as those fangs punch through your BDU fabric, and your skin. And the dog would be shaking its head left and right violently, not necessary yanking your limbs off but compounds your feeling of pain.

The dog's vest likely made with Condura or equivalent, with built-in carrying handle for ease of handling (in and out of vehicles) or strap to handler to parachute in...dogs are easier to train to acclimate to vest wearing, put on vest = work time.
 

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