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Dog Gear Glossary and FAQ

Glossary and FAQ for tactical K9 gear component terminology. Tactical dog gear contains a lot of technical hardware and components. When comparing two harnesses or collars it's important to know the differences and what each component does and is used for.

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ADF Raptor Buckle

A 2,000 lbs. load-bearing rated buckle used on collars, made to be a ‘two-eared open’ which prevents accidental release of the buckle. Made in the U.S.A.

Agitation Collar

A collar designed to spread the weight across the dog's neck as not to restrict airflow or put pressure on the dog’s carotid artery during a forward drive in bite training or protection work. Often comes with a built-in handle for better handler control over the dog, and a D-Ring which can be used to attach the leash to.

Agitation Muzzle

A muzzle/bite protection equipment meant to be well-fitted and comfortable, and reinforced with a metal plate to maintain its shape under extreme agitation and also distribute pressure when the muzzle strikes the decoy.

Bail Out System

(See also: Deployment System) A remote monitoring system for a K9 unit vehicle which unlocks and opens vehicle doors when deployed. Bail Out Systems are meant to assist the K9 officer in keeping his handler safe from extreme encounters such as assaults at traffic stops when the K9 is left inside the vehicle. Bail Out Systems also monitor vehicle temperature and trigger multiple alarms, window drop, or internal cooling fan when a predetermined temperature threshold is exceeded.

Basket Muzzle

A muzzle/bite protection resembling a basket that is made to be strapped over your dog's nose and mouth. Generally made of leather, wire, plastic, or rubber. The basket style allows dogs to open their mouths to pant, drink, and eat with the muzzle on.

Biothane

A brand-id webbing material made by the Biothane Coated Webbing Corp, often used in heavy-duty leashes and lines, comprised of a polyester webbing with PVC coating that makes it durable and waterproof, often used in tracking or outdoor training. Biothane provides a superior grip without burning or irritating a handler’s skin when a dog is pulling.

Bite Gauntlet

A K9 bite sleeve designed to be used under bite suits, generally made for decoys to help minimize bite pressure, and help the decoy withstand more bites.

Bite Sleeve

A full or partial arm (or leg) covering for K9 bite training bite suit arm designed to strengthen a dog's bite and grip abilities. It helps train the K9 to build from just the sleeve to a full bite suit.

Bolt Snap

A bolt snap is a type of snap hook with a manually operated bolt action slide gate, i.e. the standard clip seen on the end of a dog leash. These can come in multiple different metals like bronze and stainless steel.

Bungee Leash

This leash acts as a shock absorber when your K9 pulls or lunges forward. Made to attach to your training or tactical belt for hands free usage. Can also be used for agitation work to help give back pressure during a bite to build pressure.

Choke Collar

A steel collar and training aid, meant to tighten when tension is put on the dog’s leash and loosens immediately when tension is released to give an instantaneous correction. Choke collars can also support a leash being hooked to any link to create a secure fit on the dog’s neck. The metal and links are also meant to prevent discoloration and damage to fur around your K9’s neck.

Clicker Training

A K9 training method based on behavioral psychology that relies on marking desirable behavior and rewarding it with a short and immediate ‘click’ sound from a ‘clicker’ mechanism, usually followed with a treat or other reward.

Cobra Buckle

A quick-release, load-bearing buckle generally used on police and military K9 collars that will not accidentally pop open during heavy pulling or activity because of the duel ear release, and is crafted from heavy-duty materials and is resistant to wear. The slider piece below the Cobra Buckles determines the thickness of the material that can be used within the collar (i.e. leather, nylon, etc.). Check out our Youtube video here to learn about the types of buckles we use, and how to pick which buckle is right for you and your K9 (metal dog collar buckles, plastic dog collar buckles).

Cordura

Nylon material blended with cotton or other natural fibers that is used in backpacks, trousers, military wear and performance apparel. Most Cordura we use is a 500-1000D and had DWR which stands for Durable Water Resistance.

Decoy

The K9 trainer or handler who serves as the reward mechanism for K9 bite training who can reward the K9 for appropriate grip to increase the likelihood of all the drive behaviors the dog must execute on patrol.

Deployment System

(See also: Bail Out System) A remote monitoring system for a K9 unit vehicle which unlocks and opens vehicle doors when deployed. Our Deployment Systems feature one-button remote deployment, recessed for safety, to prevent accidental deployments, and are accompanied by a short vehicle horn burst for deployment acknowledgment.

D-Ring

Also called an “active D ring” is a stainless steel or brass ring that is secured to a collar and can lay flat or pops out and stays stiff to clasp the end of a leash or line. Generally, the D-ring comes before the buckle in this style. When used with a leash this is the most secure design since the dog actually pulls against two layers of the collar.

Drive

A term used in training to mean a dog’s subconscious impulse to react to stimuli, such as the way it will chase or bite when in ‘prey’ drive or when agitated. This also can describe nose work and “hunt” drive when smelling and odor.

E Collar

An E Collar is a remote electronic dog training system that consists of a wireless remote and a wireless receiver, and sends low-to-high electronic vibrations, beeps, tens units or other signals to your K9 across a variety of ranges and frequencies, used as a training and corrective tool. Some ECollars also come with a built in GPS tracking system, such as a Garmin or other technology.

Grip

A term used in K9 bite training, meaning the bite pressure exerted on a decoy by a dog. The grips can be ‘full mouth’, with a hard grip that exerts pressure, or a “pulse” which can occur after the dog achieves full mouth and they continue to push in with their entire bodies, occasionally thrashing after a strong bite.

Frog Clip

A directional connector used on leashes and leads that has an automatic clamping action which engages and clips securely when it touches an anchor point, such as a D-Ring.

GHOST Series K9 Gear

Our GHOST Series K9 gear is perfect for SWAT teams, military working dog teams or the casual user looking for some unique K9 gear. This usually is in the “gray” colorway.

GT-Cobra Buckle

A 500 lbs. load-bearing rated buckle, made from nylon polymer plastic, made to be a ‘two-eared open’ which prevents accidental release of the buckle. Made by Austri Alpine. Check out our Youtube video here to learn about the types of buckles we use, and how to pick which buckle is right for you and your K9 (metal dog collar buckles, plastic dog collar buckles).

Heat Alert System

A remote internal temperature monitoring system for a K9 unit vehicle. The monitoring system has sensors that are heat-activated and can be set to a predetermined level which will trigger an alarm, turn on the vehicle, activate lights, sirens or horn, or open vehicle windows using frequency technology. Our heat alert systems come with a pager that receives feedback when deployment is activated.

Herm Sprenger Pinch Collars

Herm Sprenger is a German company that develops pinch dog collars that have been with an electro-welding process that guarantees consistent strength. Many professional K9 handlers prefer Herm Sprenger pinch dog collars because of the type of metal, easy to adjust link design and pure effectiveness of the product.

IATA Compliant

IATA stands for the International Air Transport Association and is the official trade organization for the world's airlines. An IATA-compliant dog crate is an airline-approved carrier specifically designed for air travel. See IATA specifications here.

ID Patches

Badges or customized patches for harnesses and collars that identify or make your canine clearly visible as the working dog on duty, whether it is as a K9 officer, service dog, etc. Can be embroidered or attached with Velcro.

Icon AIR Harness

A Ray Allen-branded tactical icon harness that features lightweight mesh for comfort and ventilation, and full range-of-motion in legs and chest for high-intensity tracking or search and rescue work, and a secure-grip handle and sleek fit for service or other dogs requiring a uniform. This is a full insertion harness ready to use for any and all areas a dog is working in.

Impact Crate

A heavy duty, collapsible or stationary dog crate made from .063 aluminum, built for dogs who typically destroy, chew on, or escape from typical dog crates.

Kimono Lite Bite Suit

A K9 bite suit that is value-priced, with a loose fit for more experienced decoys. The id comes from the “GI” type design you would see in a Kimono.

Latigo Leather

A firm, durable, and smooth leather made from cowhide, often oiled or waxed after tanning and richly dyed for a luxurious look.

Load Rating

A mechanism’s ability to hold strength, before ultimately reaching the point of the mechanism’s failure, i.e. a GT Cobra Buckle load rated at 500 lbs. can withstand 500 lbs. of pull force before shattering or breaking. Check out our Youtube video here to learn about the types of buckles we use, and how to pick which buckle is right for you and your K9 (metal dog collar buckles, plastic dog collar buckles).

Mesh Muzzle

A breathable, ultra-adjustable, and lightweight muzzle/bite protection equipment made for ease of use. This muzzle is typically called a “Vet” muzzle for use in injury or at the vet.

Modular Harness System

The Ray Allen Modular Harness System is made up of multiple different harnesses and ten different components that can be mixed and matched between each of the different harnesses and accessories, including bodies, frames, pouches, etc.

Molle Panels

MOLLE stands for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment and is commonly used on load-bearing equipment and backpacks used by the armed forces. The panels are rows of heavy-duty nylon fabric stitched onto our harnesses, vests, and other gear so you can easily attach MOLLE pouches and accessories to your equipment or K9’s gear.

Monitoring System

A remote internal vehicle monitoring system which monitors vehicle temperature, monitors and displays vehicle battery voltage, and includes a multi-purpose auxiliary alert input for use with an external device such as smoke/carbon monoxide detector.

Martingale Collar

A collar designed for training and everyday wear, featuring a loop which tightens when the dog pulls, and prevents dogs from backing out of the collar and escaping.

MilSpec Dog Collar

Military Specification; the standard in the professional K9 industry including Police K9 teams, Military Working Dog Teams and professional K9 trainers. These collars are created specifically to help spread the weight across the dog's neck to make it more comfortable in agitation or tactical scenarios.

MultiCam Harness

MultiCam Harnesses are harnesses built for military or patrol dogs that vary in style for the type of activities your working dog will be performing. The MultiCam pattern was developed to provide maximum effectiveness across diverse operating environments with a minimum logistical burden.

Northern Leather

A tighter, thicker type of leather used in the manufacturing of some of our leather dog collars. The hide is sourced from a tannery right here in the U.S., from cows in the Northern states making the hide thicker because of the colder weather.

Pinch Collar

A stainless steel collar comprised of multiple metal tines, which, when a dog pulls against the pinch collar, spreads the “pinch” sensation around a significant portion of the neck and distributes the correction equally.

Nylon Collar

Nylon dog collars are optimal for transition from K9 duty to everyday wear, as the material comes in several styles and colors, and is preferred for its lightweight nature, breathability, and customization potential for adding patches, ID panels, or even a martingale-style straps.

O-Ring

An O-Ring is a stainless steel ring often built into the center of a collar, leash, or harness. The O-Ring is designed to turn inside out and release your dog if the equipment gets snagged on a fence, branch, or elsewhere in the line of duty.

RAMTech Working Leads

Heavy-duty performance leashes and leads, made from BIOTHANE, which are impervious to water and ice and can be used in any conditions, over any terrain. Resistant to picking up thorns, goat heads, or other brush, and requires no maintenance. These also retain their grip in all conditions. Meant for tracking through wooded areas or high-activity police or search and rescue work.

Scent Training

(Also called Nosework) K9 scent training or Nosework is the term used to describe canine scent detection activity, typically used in Detection or Narcotics work. Target odors are introduced to the dog, and he is trained to search for the odor only and find its source, then get rewarded by his handler with his favorite food or toy reward.

Semi-Comp Bite Suit

A K9 bite suit with no extra folds or bulky padding, made for excellent mobility and comfortable fit.

Swiss Seat

A swiss seat allows safe rappelling with your K9 ensuring that they do not slip out the bottom or back of the harness.

Tracking

The act of a police K9 or search and rescue dog following the path of a suspect or victim takes, regardless of wind direction. K9s scent along the ground, for the scent trail that a person leaves, and in the air, for the scent “cone” is generally downwind from the person.

Tracking Harness

A high-quality harness designed to not restrict the working dog on a scent, yet allow the handler to control at a distance. Tracking harnesses are often padded at the breastplate for comfort as the dog pulls forward, and are secure with a handle for better control. The tracking lead or line is meant to run lengthwise and can be positioned over the dog’s back or between his front legs for minimal hang-ups.

Tracking Line

A long, loose, weatherproof line that attaches to a dog’s collar or harness to keep him anchored to the handler during scentwork or tracking. Generally tracking lines extend from around 15’ to 30’+.

Traffic Lead

A traffic lead is a short leash, often under a 1’ in length. Traffic leads are designed to be worn by medium to large sized dogs that have already been trained to walk close to the handler on a regular leash.

Trainer's Bite Suit

A K9 bite suit made for maximum mobility; ideal for experienced law enforcement, military, and sport trainers so you can really feel the bite and give the appropriate feedback to the dog.

Transport Barrier

Also called (K9 Transport Insert) An adjustable barrier made of plastic or metal, used to secure a dog with a divider between the back seat and the load area of a wagon, SUV, or patrol vehicle. It secures the safety of passengers traveling in your vehicle, and the barrier keeps pets from distracting the driver or from becoming a projectile in an accident.

Under Garment Tactical Bite Suit

A K9 bite suit fitted with strategic padding and ballistic nylon pants. Designed for experienced decoys to be worn under clothing to give the dog a picture of a “normal” guy and not fixated on the suit.

Ultra Kimono Bite Suit

A K9 bite suit made for maximum protection and good mobility; ideal for intermediate to advanced decoys.

Ultra Kimono Bite Suit with Police Package

A K9 bite suit made with key placement of additional padding; preferred by Police K9 and Military working dog units.