Q: What's the point of a dog helmet?
A. To serve as a mounting platform for devices such as cameras and communication devices that facilitate remotely monitored and controlled tactical reconnaissance.
Q: Is the helmet bullet proof?
A: No it's in the same category as military bump helmets, designed for less extreme environments where exposure to great blunt force trauma is limited or non-existent, and the primary need is for integration of mission configured components.
Q: Why isn't the helmet bullet proof.
A: The design doesn't cover enough of the head to justify the weight of a 12 mm thick ballistic shell.
Q: Is it for use on a motorcycle?
A: No. It's designed to protect the face and upper cranium from bumps and abrasions, particularly when running through brush or terrain populated by hazardous debris.
Q: Why is so much of the ear and face exposed?
A: Multi-purpose working dogs need full bite capability as well as full range of ear position. Also, we created a form that with little modification can accommodate modular ear protection that attaches directly to the helmet shell.
Q: What dogs will the helmet fit?
A: 60-85 pound shepherd breeds such as Belgian Malinois and German Shepherds.
Q: Why don't you make helmets for other breeds?
A: We designed the shape to fit the most common breeds of dog for military and police work. That's the market most likely to buy a dog helmet.
Q: How much will it cost?
A: $599.95 USD plus shipping.
Q: That seems really expensive. Why?
A: It's a niche market product produced in small numbers. High production = low cost per unit, low production = high cost per unit — Manufacturing 101.
Q: Why do you use 3D printing? Isn't that just for prototypes?
A: We use an advanced form of 3D printing introduced in 2017 by HP, called multi-jet fusion. The parts are made of extremely durable nylon with dimensional accuracy within 0.2 mm. The Trident helmet has a highly complex shape with interior and exterior details that cannot be made using traditional plastic molding techniques.
Q: If there's no tooling, can't you just scale the helmet up or down to custom fit my dog?
A: It's not that easy. The lenses, straps, and foam lining are made using traditional techniques and cannot be scaled without retooling. Your custom helmet would require $6000 in tooling and another $4000 for a minimum order of parts!
Q: I'm a police K9 handler and my department has a limited budget. How do I justify a helmet for my K9 partner?
A: That depends on your dog's training. Is your dog capable of operating off-leash and out of your line of sight, responding reliably to voice commands over radio and positioning his head on command to best utilize his head camera? If so, the helmet's cost is easily justified.
Q: OK, I want a helmet. What else do I need to remotely operate my dog?
A: You'll need a helmet camera capable of streaming a video feed like a MOHOC, a smart phone, and a means of communication such as a Tactical Electronics K9GS guidance system, or a 2-way radio attached to the dog's collar.
Q: So how much will all that stuff cost?
A: As little as $500, assuming you already have a smart phone and access to handheld 2-way radios. That setup will be great for training and limited use in the field. However, serious operators will want a broadcast quality, high-definition, high frame rate, low latency video stream that's securely encrypted with a much longer transmission range than wi-fi, and is able to reliably transmit through steel and concrete structures. That kind of equipment can cost $10,000 or more.
Q: So it sounds like for serious tactical operations your K9 helmet is among the least costly components, but it helps maximize the effectiveness of the more expensive components... is that right?
A: That is correct.