Army scientists have designed and developed a realistic canine bite sleeve trainer to improve the performance of military and civilian K9s, according to U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Army Research Laboratory Public Affairs.
Trainers use bite training on military working dogs to assist in restraining a perpetrator. However, most bite training sleeves are too bulky for concealment, making it harder to train the dogs for real-world scenarios. Other sleeves are made of materials such as jute that do not provide a truly realistic training scenario and can reduce canine effectiveness on target due to hesitation.
The new bite sleeve provides military working dogs with an authentic human skin texture when biting the forearm region and reducing the circumference of the target. The sleeve is comprised of an outer silicone skin paired with an inner leather-based sleeve. The skin is a proprietary prosthetic-grade silicone product that looks and feels like human flesh and has an internal mesh support system for resilience. The inner sleeve is a low-profile bite platform constructed from a pressure dissipating foam and several layers of Kevlar® fabric to allow for a full-mouth bite, and two adjustable straps allow a custom fit for any trainer.
Dr. Stephen Lee, a senior scientist at the Army Research Office, an element of the CCDC Army Research Laboratory, led the research. He developed the product with students from the Wilson College of Textiles and the Materials Science and Engineering Senior Design courses at North Carolina State University in support of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C.