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Training Dogs With Bite Suits

by Brett

Bite suits are used to train police. Unless a unit has had sufficient training, the bite suit is often misused. Like concealed sleeves, obvious grip-building sleeves, and muzzles, a biting suit is supposed to approximate an actual bite on a victim. Real bites can’t be practiced in police training, only approximated. Working a dog on a suit doesn’t imply it won’t have trouble engaging a suspect in real life. This article discusses the benefits of including this equipment during patrol training.

Biggest misperception about bite suits is that they allow dogs to bite “everywhere.” Most dogs that bite do so poorly. They nibble the chest and stomach, between the jacket and pants, grabbing loose suit material. The decoy in a biting suit feeds the dog forearm bites. My company has done decoy seminars for police around the world, and I’ve seen bite suits with worn forearms.

Why Buy A Suit If You Only Need The Forearm?

A bite suit allows us to educate the dog to safely target a finite but multiple number of targets in scenario training. We must teach the dogs to target the forearm, triceps, biceps, shins, calves, and hamstrings. Chest, back, and thigh bites were omitted. So why?

Trained Dogs Can Grab Extremities

Training dogs to target anything is harmful for the dog and the decoy. Back bites at a distance and frontal chest bites are unavoidable. The dog’s neck and spine absorb the impact, and the decoy takes the hit. Because there’s no suitable area to grab the chest and back, missed bites often target the neck and head. Since there is no biting platform, a dog may just grab clothing if he goes for the back or chest, posing a safety risk to the officer. If merely clothes is gripped, no pain compliance occurs.

Dog’s Target

Training using non-vital grips if an important area is accidentally gripped. It’s a deployment accident and suspicious behavior. As a handler, unit trainer, and per SOP, you must teach the dog to grasp in locations that create the maximum pain compliance but minimize the risk of a crucial area grip. In weapons training, we teach center-mass targeting to develop muscle memory. In a stressful situation, our dogs need the same training to produce pain compliance. Dog needs a few effective targets. This implies decoys must be trained to teach dogs to target in these regions by understanding suit mechanics and how to act as a decoy.

Suspects obstruct dogs or provide jackets or couch pillows to distract them. This is a tangent about human direction in biting, which we cover in our decoy schools. If you block the upper body, a trained dog can attack the legs, and vice versa. The biting suit allows us to teach these concepts to dogs once they are fluid in aiming.

Recommendations Breaking In And Storing Your Bite Suit

We recommend folding the jacket in half and then folding the arms downward to make the garment as slim as possible before putting your suit in one of our bags. By using these methods for breaking in and storing your dog bite suit, you may be sure that it won’t need to be replaced for many years.

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